Vengeance / Joko, invoca Dio … e muori (Antonio Margheriti, 1968)


[quote=“scherpschutter, post:16, topic:302”]I think we all agree that pan & scan is extremely detrimental. I saw Vengeance on VHS the first time, and since Margheriti makes excellent use of the full scope of the wide screen, that might well have been the reason for not liking it then.

As for subtitles, I think it may be important in what country you are born. In the UK or USA people are not used to subs, in Holland you grow up with them (and I think that is the situation in Scandinavion countries too): nearly every foreign language program or film is subtitled, only programs and films aimed at children are dubbed. Growing up with subs, you learn how to read and look at the same time; and after a while even a quick glance is enough to understand what has been written.
And there’s something else: since nearly all films are subtitled over here, we don’t identify subs with a specific genre; the BBC hardly ever show a movie that is subtitled, and if so, it’s most of the time an art house movie, the kind of movie SD desribes as ‘talky’, tedious’, ‘pretentious’ and as God knows what more. I guess many British and American people dislike subs not only because they’re not used to them, but also because they identify the process with the kind of movies they do not like.

That said, I think the best language for a western is English; for a spaghetti western Italian is acceptable, if only to hear how actors like Giuliano Gemma or Franco Nero sound like in their native tongue (I was moved when I heard Giuliano Gemma speak Italian for the first time). I have learned to live with German and French dubs, so to me those languages are OK, even for Lee or Giuliano, but I guess many people think otherwise.

VENGEANCE 1968 is definitely best seen on widescreen and not vhs or pan and scan.

Once again Scherp I must congratulate you on a very fine , analytical, explanatory post.

You have summed up very well how subtitles are seen , accepted or rejected by various
parts of Europe/World. I had not realised how used to subtitles Holland/Scandinavia was but you are correct in stating that UK/USA are intolerant of subs as I am :o

You have understood my dislike of art house/talky dramas “arty farty” and those seem
to be forever subtitled. I can see your point about hearing the actor’s original voice but
I think that is over-ridden by the clear necessity to fully understand what each actor is
saying, feeling and conveying on screen. After a short while I get fully used to the
dubbed voice as if it was the original actor’s voice.

It helps very much if like you and me we also speak Italian in addition to english as
many SWs/Giallos were originally filmed in Italian. :smiley:

(Hud) #22

Four stars… I’ve seen a widescreen version of VENGEANCE only recently, which was fine but I liked Anthony Dawson’s visuals even in a cropped VHS release… The pre-credit scene is among the best grim opening sequences in any SW. It draws you into a world of brutal betrayal in few seconds, with no onscreen blood but with tons of attitude. It always chills me when the dying scream of Alberto dell’Aqua (?) is instantly followed by the Spanish guitar riff of the simple but powerful theme song… This is THE way to start a spaghetti western. The first three “dispatches” by Richard Harrison that follow are also intense and moody stuff, with great attention to detail. Some later parts like the subplot about the Pinkerton agent don’t have the same kind of tension, but when the strange Mr Mendoza is re-introduced the film becomes interesting again. The Professor should have had more scenes.

(scherpschutter) #23

[quote=“Sundance, post:17, topic:302”]I agree Seven7 (whatever…) releases look very good, but unfortunately many of their releases are cut. Vengeance seems to be cut, Stranger & Gunfighter is cut, Pistol for Ringo is cut… I believe God Forgives, I Don’t is cut as well (even though it says uncut…)! I think Day of Anger is missing something as well…

If that matters…[/quote]

Of course it matters, Sundance, but there’s ‘cut’ and ‘cut’.
When entire scenes are cut from a version, for reasons of violence, nudity, suggested sex or whatever, that is a serious problem. But sometimes minor cuts are made because of bad print conditions, usually where originally the reels had to be changed. This seems to be the case for de Seven DVD of VENGEANCE. Those minor cuts can be a bit annoying, but you can’t say you really have a ‘cut version’. After all cutting nails or hair for aesthetical reasons, even when it’s done a bit too drastically, is not the same as chopping heads or balls, if you know what I mean.

DVDComparenet mentions an international edit of VENGEANCE with a running time of 100:23. Of course I believe those guys, but if they don’t tell me what exactly is the difference with other edits, I can’t make out the other ones are really ‘cut’. The point is that sometimes differents edits were made for different markets, sometimes for obvious reasons (e.g. a bigger part for a local star), sometimes for no apparent reason at all. A good example is the Italian edit for ONCE UPON … which runs nearly 15 mns longer than the international edit, mainly due to needlessly prolonged scenes or scenes deliberately removed from the international edit. Few people find the longer version an improvement. Actually, the Italian Mondo Homo have used the international, shorter edit for their new release of the movie.

I don’t own all the films you mention. I know there are longer Spanish edits for the Ringo movies, but I don’t know what the difference are with the more common international and Italian versions. I own the Italian DVD of DAYS OF ANGER, which runs 1:49:13, so about the same running time as you list for the Seven DVD. If there’s anything missing, I wonder what.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not reproaching you with anything. We were already saddled with ‘title confusion’, so this ‘running time confusion’ seems a little like adding insult to injury, but I’m afraid we have to live with it. Most encyclopedias list only approximative running times, already copied from other encyclopedias etc. With many people allergic to maths, obscure running times pop up when they start converting NTSC to PAL or the other way round etc. etc. etcetera. And what can we do about it? Not much. The Leone movies have been analysed scene for scene, so a little surfing or navigation on the Net will tell you what the differences between several versions are. But most spaghetti westerns are viewed once or twice in al lifetime - and usually not on the same day - so few people have got a clue what the differences are.

(Sundance) #24

Yeah the running times on these films can get really confusing not just because of the PAL-NTSC differences (and people who either don’t know they can’t compare them directly or don’t know how to calculate properly) but also because I have noticed the disc being NTSC or PAL doesn’t necessarily mean the actual length is actually in PAL or NTSC. The older Japanese SPO discs for example seem to be in PAL length even though the resolution and framerate is NTSC. Then there’s possible company logos etc. at the start or end of the film, or just some blackness for several minutes while the end credits music is played.

And I don’t consider any of the sites very reliable either. DVDCompare has lots of films marked uncut that are definitely cut. It’s understandable though and maybe I should contribute some proper into to them… but I have enough stuff to worry on my own site. :frowning:

You are of course right about the different edits for different markets. In my own mind (for most of the movies as it doesn’t apply to everything), I just consider everything cut that is different from the original release no matter what the reason is for the change. Original is original, everything else is changed/cut from that. ;D (I do prefer the shorter version of GBU though).
I also consider English version to be different (but still cut if its missing something!) than other countries (like French or Spanish) edits. So there’s like three possible levels for me… the original version, the longest English version and then the rest. :wink:

If a Spanish release is shorter than French, the French shorter/longer than English but shorter than Italian, and the English shorter than Italian, then all except Italian are cut but I can accept the English is the “international version”. :wink:

As far as I know most of the time the edits were just made to remove some scenes just because of their content or because the film is too long, not because they wanted to make some sort of different version of the film.
If I remember correctly for example Dallamano’s horror film the Cursed Medallion is available (not on DVD though) in three different edits where the tone of the film has been changed to different markets… one is more psychological and one more bloody etc. But I can’t think of any examples like that from Spaghetti westerns (but wouldn’t surprise me if there is).

As far as these Seven7 releases go, the ones I mentioned (except God Forgives I Don’t) are missing scenes that are available in the longest English language releases.

Truth is that I don’t know about the exact cuts for most of these so can’t be much of help I’m afraid.

Seven7 Vengeance is under 95minutes (PAL), X-Rated has released German theatrical version (about 95minutes PAL) and a longer international(?) version in English which is about 101minutes (PAL).
I’m not so sure the R1 disc is missing anything though, just because it’s NTSC doesn’t really mean it runs in NTSC speed.

French Pistol for Ringo is missing something compared to the English language version which is available from SPO Japan (at least the older incorrect aspect ratio release). Jerksi has made his own edit combining the two discs (image from French disc, audio and the missing scene(s) from the Japanese disc).

God Forgives I Don’t seems to use an English language print, but not sound!, (perhaps the same as the Dutch disc) which (unless they entered the scene from some other print) could mean it is missing that one rape scene which is available on Spanish, German and Italian releases but never has been on an English print. The French disc seems to be the same length as the Dutch disc and around one minute shorter than the other releases.

As for Day of Anger… according to the French disc is 1:49:21, I was told recently the new Japanese disc is 1:49:22 and missing a scene and I think it runs in PAL (has to be, otherwise it would be missing a lot… :stuck_out_tongue: ). The old Japanese disc may be 111minutes and in PAL.
You are sure your Italian disc is 1:49:13? claims 111 minutes for the Medusa disc from Italy (could be just taken from the cover, maybe it includes the same cut version as well… :P).
And Wild East’s disc is 1:51:42 (has to be PAL? ;D but the final 40 seconds or so seem to be just Wild East credits… according to my site…).
I do recall some claims the Wild East release might even be longer than any previous version (the very last short scene?!).

Stranger & Gunfighter is missing a fight scene in some distillery, this actually is missing from all the DVD releases as far as I know but has been available on VHS releases. I think Jerksi made his own version which includes this scene.

EDIT: Too many smilies!
Anyways, just wanted to say that I do admit that I may often be too eager (maybe even too aggressive or blunt!) to write when it comes to telling people that their (or just in general) versions of some films are cut. And unfortunately some don’t appreciate it at all. ;D
Everyone of course have the right to prefer whatever versions they want.

(Søren) #25

Thanks for the info. This little bit answered MY question :slight_smile:

I must say that I like to have my movies uncut but if any should be missing a tiny little bit I can live with that.

(ENNIOO) #26

Well Sundance very thorough as per usual ;D

Always enjoy reading your blog spot as straight to the point and no messing about…keep up the good work !

(Reverend Danite) #27

I can only echo the sentiments mentioned by all on this thread concerning the film. I reckon I saw this film a long, long time ago and it faded into the mists… but that opening sequence haunted me with its surreallist quality. I could remember what I first thought, looked like a guy in distress, upside down and trying to right himself, and thought he’d maybe slipped and was being helped by the folks with the ropes. What I first thought, in a mere second, was not a man against a cliff face - but an ariel view of a man tied to 5 horses. It is an image that fascinated me as it repelled.
The sort of “attention to detail” can be seen in the shot of Yuma (one of the 5) with the tied man, as he shows us, and him, "The Queen of Spades … bad luck."
After the first ‘dispatch’ we meet Yuma again, and before we see his face we see the same card as before that has now become part of Yuma’s ‘winning hand’.
I like the way we meet Mendoza through a mixture of the talk-over narration of the flashback, and the slip into actual dialogue.
There are some faults (some bits drag a bit - including, I agree Scherp, in the protracted cave scene), [but there is another little detail in this bit that I’ll be asking the relevence of, and opinions of, should there be cause at a later date ???]. But there is also a lot of origionality which admirably compensates. Mendoza is an inspired and stylish villain - if a bit pantomime-y. I’m with you on this one Hud … 4 stars outa 5. Mind you, I’m also with you Scherp - 3.5 (but there aint no half-stars). I’d better settle for a SD-stylee … my vote for Vengeance is 15 out of 20. Who says you can’t please all the people all the time :wink: ?


I feel that with these censors it is a bad case of :

the more a censor cuts from a film, the less is his level of intelligence… :’(

I wish these censors would leave Films alone and make CUTS instead on sick loud music

(YourPallbearer) #29

This movie is just above average for me.
I think it works very well up until the story involving The Kid that tortures Harrison in the same manner Mannaja is tortured years later.
Movie becomes repetative and sleep inducing during these scenes and they don’t pick up much afterwards.
AND GOD SAID TO CAIN is the directors better Western.

(Stanton) #30

Much better

(chuck connors brother) #31

This nearly makes my top 20 just behind And God Said to Cain, I just love it. I think it’s thrilling thanks to the strong direction and powerful soundtrack, it’s something i’d show newcomers to the genre.

Theres some nice surprises as well like the part with the spurs to the neck obviously… but also a scene where Richard Harrison is about to kill a guy you think he’s going to shoot him with one gun but it pans back and he has 2 guns, I thought that was genius.

(YourPallbearer) #32

Starts off very well but begins to get tiresome during the fourth segment.
DEATH SENTENCE is a very similar film but it is much better. In fact, I’d say it is top ten material.

(Goodfella) #33

I have this one on the way and will be watching it some time soon. Im honestly more interested in And God Said and Death Sentance but neither are as readily avalible.

Someone really needs to get to work on making more spags easily obtainable. And by that I mean more avalible to rent or be had for less than 20-30 bucks.

(chuck connors brother) #34

[quote=“YourPallbearer, post:32, topic:302”]Starts off very well but begins to get tiresome during the fourth segment.
DEATH SENTENCE is a very similar film but it is much better. In fact, I’d say it is top ten material.[/quote]

Yeah it slows down for 15 minutes about one hour into it… but I didn’t mind, the ending made up for it. I like Death Sentence but prefer Vengeance.

(Stanton) #35

I prefer Death Sentence, and Cain to both.

(Goodfella) #36

You know what surprises me? That of all the flaws that may come with the genre, dullness seems to occur rather often. Youd think they could at least excite you once in a while using a simple revenge plot but so often its like no one involved in making the films cared in the least.

For example, the lame dialog, poor acting, contrived duels(the beers and "the “load the gun” ending) and the horrible twist as well as the equally poor way it revealed, are actually the least of the films problems. Its main problem is that including these flaws nothing about the film stands out for better or worse.

It is 100% empty. Its about as interesting as blank screen. While it wasnt as poorly made on a technical level as some films are this one still managed to be one of the worst Ive seen.

I really hope And God Said To Cain is a lot better than this becuase that films sounds awesome and I really want it to be.

(korano) #37

Watched this one at night for best effect. I don’t know how much it helped but I still loved it. Maybe not top twenty because I think I’ve seen the best the genre has and to crack my top 20, it needs to be really good. This is very good. I actually felt for the characters. I used to think Harrison would annoy me with his strangely heavy eyes but he was GREAT here. Perfect anti hero. Camaso is equally great. I do question his genious though because it doesn’t seem like a good idea to live in a sulfur mine. Sulfur damages your lungs and although I doubt he cares, it is not a smart thing to do. Liked it and after watching this movie, I think I am correct in saying the Spaghetti Western genre has some of the most beautiful women in the world. Can I get an amen to that?

(chuck connors brother) #38

Glad you like it… what I like most about it is the badass atmosphere that remains constant through the whole movie and a stunning soundtrack, i’ve seen it 3 times and it gets better and better… I know many have a different opinion though.

(Dillinger) #39

I like it, too, although the plot is kinda strange in some places.
He spots the first baddie and “asks” him for the names of the others, but the baddie can’t give him all the names. OK. BUT, why does’t he “interview” the others to get the mastermind? I didn’t get this…


Yep, there are a lot of flicks out in the west, that please the loner more than vengeance. Exept for the title song - where else do you get a solid men’s choir humming “VENGEANCE”?

(chuck connors brother) #40

Yeah it’s extemely cool, it was like a dream come true when I first heard it.