Wrath of God / L’ira di Dio (Alberto Cardone, 1968)


(Silver) #1

Watched; VHS rip/Italian audio only/Fair bit of speckling throughout.

Mike (Brett Halsey) meets up with a friend , David, who accompanies him to his home then rides on ahead. Mike enters his home only to find that his wife has been raped and murdered and that the perpetrators (seven men led by stalwart villain Fernando Sancho) are still there. They beat him, shoot him and leave him for dead. David returns to find his wounded friend semi conscious on the floor. Mike then finds that in addition to killing his wife, the bandits have robbed him of a large sum of money, leaving only (somewhat conveniently) seven silver dollars behind. Ignoring David’s protests, Mike sets off for revenge as soon as he’s buried his wife, silver dollars at the ready to leave on the killers’ corpses. He tracks the men down one by one, recognising some by particular features, some by the fact that they are flashing his money around, before finally trapping the last in an underground lair. But, a nasty (although rather predictable) surprise awaits him.

I’d wanted to see this film for some time, and thankfully i wasn’t disappointed. By no means a masterpiece i guess, but that’s not a problem for me. Halsey looked suitably moody in his all black get-up and cape, there were some enrgetic fights and the music was pretty decent (may have to pick up that OST). There were a couple of slow spots - one where Mike is held in a jail cell, knowing that one of the men on his hitlist is going to come back there to kill him but overall it went at a nice pace. There was a strange “duel in the dark” sequence that was quite novel, involving a mark (of what looked like flourescent paint) on the men’s foreheads. The lack of English dialogue didn’t make the plot hard to follow, and i can understand bits and pieces of Italian these days, but i really would liked to have known what was being said in certain scenes (the duel in the dark room, scenes where Halsey and Sancho talk during a card game, and also their individual conversations with a saloon girl, but especially a semi hysterical “confession” at the film’s end). Guess i’ll just have to hope an English or subbed version turns up some day. So, all in all (for me anyway), worth the wait.


(ENNIOO) #2

Sounds interesting this one !


(Silver) #3

Yep, pretty good. Maybe one day a fandub will turn up…who knows!


(Chris_Casey) #4

I, too, hope that an English language version will crop up one of these days!!
Frankly, L’IRA DI DIO is a personal favorite of mine. I would call it a brilliant classic but for the bit where they use luminous paint (if you have seen the film you know what I am talking about). That was just too much for me! Other than that bit…I love this movie!!


(Silver) #5

[quote=“Chris_Casey, post:4, topic:1549”]I, too, hope that an English language version will crop up one of these days!!
Frankly, L’IRA DI DIO is a personal favorite of mine. I would call it a brilliant classic but for the bit where they use luminous paint (if you have seen the film you know what I am talking about). That was just too much for me! Other than that bit…I love this movie!![/quote]

Guess your avatar gives that away! I think when i get round to redoing my Top 20, this one will probably feature in it. I actually found the paint thing kind of amusing …but just wish i knew what the hell they were saying!


(Stanton) #6

This is a turkey for me.

Except for the desert scene and the jail scene the film offers only boring routine. And the directing is forgettable too.

The beginning was funny: They have killed Halsey’s wife and knocked him down. Then one aks if he should finish Halsey and another one answers “No, he has enough for the moment”. So Halsey gets his chance to finish them all. The rest of the script is similar inventive with the usual predictable “surprise” end.


(Bluntwolf) #7

I can’t say I didn’t like the movie. I thought it was technically good with nice score but weak plot (too predictable).

Overall average for me!


(Silver Wolf) #8

This could be one of my top 20. Cardone’s best western, which is saying much, since I rate 7 Dollars on the Red & Blood at Sundown highly too. Brett Halsey is at his coolest, gothic scenes are great, Lacerenza’s score is his best work as a composer and Cardone is able to overcome all limitations of low budget with very imaginative directing, like the fisfight scene at the desert, shot from extraordinary high camera angle that somehow reminds me of El Topo. Even the unavoidable comic relief (the crazy old man Haley meets when he’s wounded) works great. Pay attention to Halsey & the old man when they have a conversation and the old man tries sell him that obviously-useless-whatever-it-is, their facial expressions remind me of Wallace & Gromit! Absolutely hilarious! Fernando Sancho does is usual great bandit role and even whips one senorita near the end! The film has nothing new to offer when it comes to story but that doesn’t matter, most spaghetti westerns are just the same old story told over and over again anyway. What matters is the way everything is worked out and I’d say that L’Ira di Dio is… 8/10!


(Silver) #9

The fight in the desert was good, and as you say, most westerns follow a pretty similar and inevitably predictable path so, like you this didn’t matter to me. Could end up being a top 20 candidate. I’m going to have to take another look soon though…Wallace and Gromit!??


(Silver Wolf) #10

Too bad that I don’t have Photobucket account anymore, otherwise I would post a screencap of this priceless scene to those who have not seen this film yet. It’s more fun than all jokes of Nobody’s the Greatest put together :wink:


(Phil H) #11

I’ve just posted a review of this one.

http://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Wrath_of_God_Review

I really enjoyed the film. It is largely derivative but I don’t mind that if it is put together well which this one, for the most part, is.

The opening scene with ‘Made in Italy’ stamped into the gun really made me smile. :slight_smile:


(scherpschutter) #12

[quote=“Phil H, post:11, topic:1549”]I’ve just posted a review of this one.

http://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Wrath_of_God_Review

I really enjoyed the film. It is largely derivative but I don’t mind that if it is put together well which this one, for the most part, is.

The opening scene with ‘Made in Italy’ stamped into the gun really made me smile. :)[/quote]

Read a story about a guy living for decades with a bullet in his head, maybe this was the fella.

Don’t know either if this ‘made in Italy’ was negligeance or a joke, but I remember an interview in a documentary with one of those maestro d’armi, who tells the interviewer that all arms used in spaghettis were copies of the real thing, made in Italy.


(Phil H) #13

I would expect that the weapons would have been locally made but not so sure they would all have had ‘made in Italy’ stamped on them. Especially in English. But hey, I got a kick out of it anyhow. Enough to make the shot the banner image on my blog site.


(p.pereira) #14

Too sloppy, too predictable.


(Stanton) #15

Very, very predictable.

It’s one of those films in which the first shot was so disappointing looking, that I immediately lost my interest. And there was not much to bring my interest back, only temporarily in the jail and the desert scene. The end was as good as the first scene.


(p.pereira) #16

Agree.

Other thing I really dislike is how quickly Cardone changes the set from a green landscape to a desert.


(YourPallbearer) #17

I have a gorgeous Thai poster of this.
Always heard good things.
It’s on the top of my list of “SW wants”.
It’s right up there with “Thompson 1880” (has anybody seen this?).


(Stanton) #18

Yeah, better, but nothing special.


(YourPallbearer) #19

Well, at this point in my SW career I never expect anything good (only “horrid” to “Average” fare) so anything that can be considered “pretty good” or better than “Wrath Of God” (which I hear is solid) is more than enough reason for me to watch it.


(ENNIOO) #20

One mans copper is another mans gold.