The Taste of Violence / Le Goût de la violence (Robert Hossein, 1961)

(Novecento) #81

It’s a really great piece of film-making - definitely worth watching.

Hossein and Leone are so different - both are auteurs in their own right. It’s why the Leone-shot scene in “Cemetery without Crosses” is so obvious (once you know of course :slight_smile:). I really don’t understand what that reviewer is talking about.

Both are definitely worth watching. See if you can spot the influences on “Star Wars” when watching “Hidden Fortress”.

I haven’t seen that but reading the reviews it sounds seriously disturbing. I think I’ll probably pass on it unless you can convince me otherwise.

(Stanton) #82

Doubtless disturbing, but a wonderful film, with an incredible ending (which is actually the beginning :wink: ), one of the most beautiful endings in films.


LOL I have more to say. More spoilers ahead.

After seeing the movie i couldn’t help but reflect long afterwards on the immense suffering that the main character Perez is forced to endure. The physical deprivation associated with fighting as a war-time guerilla fugitive would be hard enough but also consider the amount of emotional stress that he must be under. His two most trusted comrades betray him from the outset and he literally loses everything bar his life by the end of the story. Its remarkable when you think about it. In what other film or narrative does the main protaganist suffer so much for literally no payoff at the end. He gets beaten further and further down and by the end of the story he achieves nothing. Can you see where I’m going with this? Perez’s story represents Jesus life on the earthly plain.

It goes without saying that Christian themes are prominent in this movie. The Madonna-esque female is extremely devout and the characters on a couple of occasions visit places of worship (monastery ruins and an actual church ceremony for fallen soldiers).

Jesus suffering is also a well established ethos of the New Testament. Consider who Perez is suffering for. Chamaco constantly derides Perez for foolishly failing to act in his own self-interest. But Perez is not an anti-hero his cause is the greater good. He is willing to sacrifice everything (his own life, his family friends) for the betterment of the people. What is truly tragic is that the very people he is striving to protect are willing to brutally murder him (villagers with machetes) for a few pieces of silver. Jesus dedicated his life to others and was similarly betrayed by peoples who formerly welcomed him as a saviour.

And consider Perez incredible capacity for forgiveness. We only ever see him resorting to violence in self defence. The audience knows that Perez knows from day one that Chamaco hates the plan and could kill him at any moment. He has to sleep with one eye open. HE KNOWS but he never acts on it, he gives Chamaco the chance to redeem himself. Chicho also gets caught in a lie which Perez lets slide and when he betrays them by stealing Ralli away he forgives him. When Perez confronts him about the lie he lies again. I wonder if he lies three times like Peter did to Jesus.

But notwithstanding all of the above I still wasn’t sure if i was stretching the comparison a bit too far. But then something clinched it for me. On the beach towards the end they come across a soldier who has been strung up in crucifixion pose. On the beach Ralli and Perez just before they find out the resistance cause is lost lie spreadeagled on the sand again in a pose reminiscent of Christ. For me this imagery speaks to the fundamental message of this movie.

(carlos) #84

A mesmerizing film for sure!


Very impressed by this film, I knew Hossein wouldn’t let me down. Whoever submitted the English subtitled version to Amazon Video. Thank you!

(MMcG) #86

Hi, I watched this movie by adding an English subtitle file as follows - the movie was well worth watching:

I purchase the DVD with French audio. Then I found an English sub-title file (.srt file) on the internet (https:/ for this movie (check that the sub-title file is the same length as the movie and use the same name for the sub-title file as the name of the movie).
Next, play the movie on a PC using a media player package such as VLC and add the subtitle file to the movie being played. The audio and video should sync up.


Over half a year after I said I’d get Amazon Prime I finally did the other week and got round to watching this great film. If it was a full on spag it would probably be in my top 30 but as it is I’ll stick it at the end of my top 50 with Man, Pride and Vengeance.

Huge thanks from me too :slight_smile:

(Novecento) #88

Wow - so low! This is comfortably in the top-10 for me.

(El Topo) #89

For me too, IMO on a completely different league than Man, Pride and Vengeance.

(morgan) #90

For me inside top twenty.

(Michael Baker) #91

I wouldn’t make this eligible for top 20 lists myself purely because it was made before the spaghetti western was born. I haven’t seen the film but hope to one day.


Since I hate watching movies on a laptop; I ripped the DVD, applied the subtitle file to it, then burnt the new subtitled version to a DVD-R :+1:

(MMcG) #93

Good idea - I haven’t done this before but will give it a go


Agreed, but I don’t really see this as a western but more of a “quasi-spaghetti” which is how I see MP&V. I’ve always put the latter at the end of my top 50 even though I actually prefer it to some others I rank between 40-50 like Texas Adios and Fort Yuma Gold etc. and I just did the same thing with A Taste of violence even though I definitely prefer it to the likes of Navajo Joe and A Pistol for Ringo (which I have ranked in the early 30s).

I wouldn’t rank it that high myself but I can definitely see why. I without doubt think Hossein’s one of the genre’s best directors after finally seeing both his films.


Great idea. I guess that’s what I’ll end up doing. :slight_smile: