Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: cigar joe on June 13, 2004, 07:26:47 AM



Title: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: cigar joe on June 13, 2004, 07:26:47 AM
Watched this over the last couple of nights. I like James Garner and this was shot in Spain with Vic Morrow (Combat) directing. The opening sequence through to  the 3W's was great. Some neat camera angles and a great little shoot out. After that it was so so but acceptable.

One real noticable difference was the use of color accents especially in the adobe villages that will look very familiar to Leone fans. There are bright rugs hanging from the walls. The western towns have a lot more signage on all the buildings.

Most of the main actors were familiar americans.


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: Belkin on July 23, 2004, 08:41:52 AM
Many years age I saw a western  titled "A MAN CALLED SLEDGE (1970)"! It starred JAMES GARNER and was directed by the brilliant actor VIC MORROW (KING CREOLE, CIMARRON, THE BLACKBOARD JUNGLE etc.), who died in tragic circumstances while working on the JOHN LANDIS segment of TWILIGHT ZONE-THE MOVIE. I saw it once only, back in 1970. In my memory it was a terrific western seemingly influenced by LEONE'S style of film-making. HAS ANYBODY EVER SEEN IT? IS IT AS GOOD AS I REMEMBER OR HAS TIME GIVEN IT A GOLDEN GLOW? It's a movie I would love to catch up with again. ;)


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: Cusser on July 23, 2004, 09:04:39 AM
I saw this about two months ago on cable Westerns Channel.  It had a few moments, but I didn't think it was very good.  Too many illogical things happened (such as the poker game) and I didn't like the ending or song.  For Non-Leone, Death Rides a Horse, Big Gundown, Sabata, Day of Anger or American westerns Liberty Valance, Red River, Magnificent Seven, Josey Wales, Unforgiven, Shane are must-see.  


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: Belkin on July 23, 2004, 01:37:02 PM
I saw this about two months ago on cable Westerns Channel.  It had a few moments, but I didn't think it was very good.  Too many illogical things happened (such as the poker game) and I didn't like the ending or song.  For Non-Leone, Death Rides a Horse, Big Gundown, Sabata, Day of Anger or American westerns Liberty Valance, Red River, Magnificent Seven, Josey Wales, Unforgiven, Shane are must-see.  
Thanks Cusser, think I'll give SLEDGE a miss next time it shows up. Came across a western recently, starring DENNIS HOPPER. It was called KID BLUE (1973). Dammed if it didn't blow me away. Slow but wonderfully detailed. Great turn from HOPPER.


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: cigar joe on July 23, 2004, 01:59:37 PM
Sledge just came out on DVD the very beginning is great the snowstorm and the saloon sequence then it breaks down, but you'll see alot of the same Leone locations with a bit of colorful rugs tacked to familiar walls. The original cut had a nude scene that was cut for the american release, I've heard. This DVD doesn't have it.

I always liked James Garner.


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: cigar joe on July 23, 2004, 02:02:09 PM
Cusser, do you know if TWC shows uncut films or cuts?
Don't have it so don't know for sure.


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: Cusser on July 23, 2004, 04:02:04 PM
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) apparently shows the most complete versions of films that it can find, quite dedicated to film preservation.  All of their films are shown in letterbox if available, as well.


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: Cusser on July 23, 2004, 04:05:37 PM
Encore's Western Channel (TWC) shows mostly pan-and-scan films.  I can't vouch whether their versions are complete or not, haven't watched that many there.   I have cable and TWC/Encore/Cinemax are digital picture for me, very clear even though it's not HDTV, but my TCM is not digital (yet) so not as clear of a picture.


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: Christopher on March 13, 2005, 08:52:26 PM
I just saw a preview of this movie a little bit ago on the Encore Westerns channel. It looked like it might be pretty good, or at least worth watching. Maybe I'll be able to catch it sometime when it's on.


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 13, 2005, 10:51:43 PM
I saw this recently also, and was disappointed. The main plot wasn't bad, but I hate it when smart characters do stupid things. Why did Sledge want to take everyone's gold in the card game? So that they would have a reason to pursue him to get it back? Helps the plot along, granted, but it isn't the kind of thing a Maverick or a Rockford would have done (either of those two worthies would have conned the men into believing that losing the gold was a *good* thing).


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: cigar joe on March 14, 2005, 05:01:31 AM
your right about that dave.

You got to admit though strapping the cross to his arm was very very SW, lol.


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: Christopher on March 18, 2005, 08:14:55 PM
I just watched it tonight on the Westerns channel.

I thought it was pretty good, but I can see what dave jenkins is saying. The fact that they would play poker at all seems a little strange, but I guess it's to show us how greedy they are. And I guess that same greed is what leads Sledge to try to take all the gold apparently without realizing that he's going to make a couple of guys really, really mad. ;D

But other than that, I liked it. I haven't seen Garner play a character like that. But he played him well.


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: Marco Leone on May 09, 2006, 03:20:58 PM
Its...... the first Marco Leone review for some time!!!

A MAN CALLED SLEDGE
I must confess to "umming and ahhing" a fair bit as to whether I really wanted to see this film. I've got nothing against James Garner, but he just didn't say "spaghetti western protagonist" to me. He doesn't have that certain "kill" look in his eye (think Eastwood, Nero, Gemma, Steffen et el). However, having always respected Howard Hughes' "Essentials" book, this was one of the few films that he had covered so far that I had not seen - and his recommendations had generally not disappointed. I am really glad that I did dispel these initial reservations, because Man Called Sledge makes great viewing from beginning to end.

Luther Sledge (Garner) is introduced to us as he enters a bar with one of his cohorts. Leaving his colleague to participate in an ill-fated card game, Sledge reunites himself with his lover Ria (Laura Antonelli). After a night of passion (lucky man!) he is woken by the sound of a gunshot. He returns to the bar to find his partner dead, and forced to defend himself against the killers. An old timer witness (John Marley) confirms that Sledge has merely defended himself.

Sledge and the old timer soon cross paths again, with the former assuming that he is being tracked due to the price on his head. However, it soon transpires that the old man has been spying on a delivery of gold. This gold is transported by a posse of armed guards and stored in a top security prison overnight. The old man recounts how he spent time in the jail, with his cell sitting side by side to the safe.

The lure of the gold is too much for Sledge, and he is soon devising a scheme to get his hands on the horde and allow him to settle down and lead an honest life with Ria. And what better way to get access to the treasure than to find ones self imprisoned in the jail......

A simple yet highly enjoyable idea for a story, with double crossing aplenty and a cracking soundtrack. If truth be told, I am still not completely sold on Messrs Garner and Weaver in the spaghetti genre, but the film itself more than makes up for such minor grumbles. There are some great scenes, with Sledge's wilful imprisonment (with some very shady characters forming his prison mates) a particular highlight.

Highlighly recommended, and grasping at a possible "must view" berth.

Please feel free to visit my site, and vote for this film if you have seen it - http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/spaghettiwesterns/reviews/mancalledsledge.html


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: The Firecracker on May 09, 2006, 04:54:41 PM
My opinion is it is rather draggy until the Break out scene. Then it becomes really spaghetti!!!


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: cigar joe on May 09, 2006, 05:06:49 PM
There is supposed to be an uncut version where it shows where Laura Antonelli is raped and killed.

And you didn't mention the snow bound stage holdup was that in the film version you reviewed?


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: The Firecracker on May 09, 2006, 05:08:14 PM


And you didn't mention the snow bound stage holdup was that in the film version you reviewed?

I dont think it was really important nor did it catch my attention.


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: Marco Leone on May 09, 2006, 05:20:48 PM
There is supposed to be an uncut version where it shows where Laura Antonelli is raped and killed.

And you didn't mention the snow bound stage holdup was that in the film version you reviewed?

Yeah you are right CJ, that was the opening sequence.  i forgot about that.   :D One of the reasons that i wouldn't make a professional reviewer is that i always drink mucho alcohol whilst watching films, so my memory is sometimes skewed.

The version I watched was the UK edited version.


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: Banjo on May 09, 2006, 05:22:15 PM
There is supposed to be an uncut version where it shows where Laura Antonelli is raped and killed.

And you didn't mention the snow bound stage holdup was that in the film version you reviewed?
I picked up an American video from USA Amazon and that great scene is intact-i guess my version is cut because i recall we don't see too much about the rape-i really don't mind about this anyway!
I enjoyed Garners performance as Sledge having only really seen him in happy go lucky roles as Jim Rockford and Brett Maverick.His very straight and ruthless role doesn't make him all that likeable but i found him very convincing in this sw-would like to see a widescreen version sometime.


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: The Firecracker on May 09, 2006, 05:26:10 PM
I picked up an American video from USA Amazon and that great scene is intact


really? You have seen the fully uncut rape/murder scene? Every time it comes on TCM that scene is shortened to just a scream off camera.


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: Banjo on May 09, 2006, 05:31:04 PM
No the great scene is the snowbound stage hold-up.I wouldn't want to call any rape a great scene :(


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: The Firecracker on May 09, 2006, 05:33:10 PM
I wouldn't want to call any rape a great scene :(


I was just about to comment on that ;D
thanks for clearing the mix-up.


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: cigar joe on May 09, 2006, 07:45:53 PM
If you liked Garner in this you'll like him in Sturges' "Hour Of The Gun" he's a bad ass Wyatt Earp, could have used less of the trial though and a bit more style but Garner has a few good shootouts in the film.


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on November 27, 2007, 12:04:12 PM
  I watched my old tape of this one late last night, haven't upgraded to the DVD yet.  It's not a great spaghetti, but it is entertaining and that's usually what I'm looking for in these movies.  James Garner is just hard enough as Sledge to be believable, cigar joe's comparison to Hour of the Gun is a fair one, and the supporting cast is pretty good too.  Sledge's gang might be one of my favorites, there's so many good characters there. 

  And as cheesy as it is, I love the theme song, "Other Men's Gold."  It's so over the top and cheesy that it's fun.  The soundtrack too, very early 70s.  You get a sample of it in the trailer I found at Youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zu5tgU-LZaI (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zu5tgU-LZaI)


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: titoli on April 10, 2008, 10:18:32 PM
My opinion is it is rather draggy until the Break out scene. Then it becomes really spaghetti!!!

Mine is the opposite. The movie is excellent until that moment , but after Sledge is emprisoned he takes too many chances for my tastes, with many improbabilities all clicking in the right place (what if the warden doesn't get near to the opposite cell and just gives the alarm?). The screenplayers should have devised something more simple. The poker game, I didn't like at all because implausible that with all that gold they find nothing better than sitting in the sun in full desert playing cards. Still this movie has many assets. The first is Laura Antonelli, beautiful as usual (didn't know she could mime english; even less I would have supposed that about Garrone) though I watched the Encore version without these nude scene (I'll try to get an italian copy). Then James Garner, he's one of my favourite actors and I like him even when he's just standing there doing nothing (but Hour of the Guns is a masterpiece, can't be compared to this one).  The score is funny and original, though not memorable. So I give it a 7\10.


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: cigar joe on April 11, 2008, 04:23:02 AM
let us know about the Italian copy, I'm wondering what all was cut out, thanks.


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: cigar joe on June 07, 2010, 06:59:42 PM
Update watched it again last night:

A Spaghetti Western hybrid, Dir. Vic Morrow, starring James Garner, John Marley, Dennis Weaver, Claude Akins and Laura Antonelli. This is a nice little Western up to a point. It starts off as a snowbound Western we see a stage make its way across a mountainous country, two riders obvious bandits watch its progress. Bandannas covering their faces they stop and rob the stage. Told to drop his shotgun the guard does so and both barrels go off unfortunately killing both driver and guard. The bandits break open the strong box and make off with its contents. They make their way up a road in a snowstorm passing a sign that says 3 W's, "Water for horses, Whiskey and Women for men". They make a town at night a player piano plays a catchy tune that becomes "Rea's Theme". The two bandits tie up their mounts outside, snow swirling about and we see Garner peak into the 3 W's Saloon. Garner and his partner enter and stroll to the bar and buy two bottles, there is a fantastic low angle shot up from the floor that tracks the men. Garner takes his and goes upstairs to visit his woman Rea, the other sits down at a poker game, even though Garner warns him that he is a lousy player.

While Garner and Antonelli make love Garner's partner plays poker he's winning but eventually later on gets shot in the back by one of the losers. The shot awakes Garner and wearing his red longjohns and holding his pistol belt comes seemingly drunk, stumbling down the stairs. The murder and his partner point their guns on Garner and joke about his inebriation. Garner trips near the bottom and rolls on the floor pulling his gun and shoots the two easily from the floor.

John Marley witnesses this all from the bar. Garner next travels over the snowbound pass and we see him shadowed by a rider, he eventually drops down into a desert along the US Mexico border, and confronts the man following him, its Marley.

From here on the film begins to go South, with a bit too many improbable plot points. There is a regular big gold dust shipment in leather sacks that is protected by a large posse with a Gatling gun headed by Vic Morrow in a mountain man outfit. The gold is stored in a prison vault on its way to its destination, (Marley was in that prison in a cell next to the vault he knows the combination from hearing the tumblers fall into place all the years he was incarcerated). Garner gathers a gang and they try and figure out the best way to take the shipment en route but decide to get it from the prison so Garner fakes his own capture and him and Weaver posing as a lawman enter the prison. They contrive to stage a prison break and in the confusion open the safe and take the dust.

After the robbery they stop in the desert to play poker (here its begins to become improbable), why??? Marley catches one outlaw cheating and shots him in the back, Garner decides to play poker and try and win all the loot, why? Garner takes all the gold leaving his gang and Marley with one cup of dust to split, why?

The film ends in a great Almerian location town (with a good confrontation and a nice twist) which will be familiar to many SW fans. It has a good ending but the US release has Antonelli's rape scene cut, so with the weird poker game plot twist and the cut its seriously flawed. Too bad.

Watch it to Garners butcher shop confrontation with Marley its verging on exceptional, from there on its average or below, then picks up again during the Day of the Dead feast in Mexico/Almeria.

If you are a Garner fan its a must see.


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 11, 2012, 09:58:13 AM
Just saw this movie for the first time. Rented the dvd from Netflix. (It has played many times on Encore Westerns, but virtually  everything on that channel is in 4:3, so all widescreen movies are shown pan' and scanned. So I only watch that channel when it shows a movie whose original aspect ratio is 4:3).

Glad I saw it on dvd and not tv, so I have a forward button. I forwarded it every time that annoying song came on.

Enjoyed the movie; nice to see Mini Hollywood and the adobe sets from Leone's movies.


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: Spikeopath on July 23, 2017, 01:46:48 AM
It's really interesting for me to be able to read what you hard-core Spag fans make of the sub-genre films I'm getting acquainted with. This has a mixed rep but I liked it loads and have it as a keeper.

Luther Sledge.

A Man Called Sledge is directed by Vic Morrow and Morrow co-writes the screenplay with Frank Kowalski. It stars James Garner, Dennis Weaver, Claude Akins, John Marley, Laura Antonelli, Wayde Preston and Ken Clarke. Music is by Gianni Ferrio and cinematography by Luigi Kuveiller.

Luther Sledge (Garner) is a wanted outlaw who upon hearing about a huge gold shipment stored in a prison, promptly assembles his gang and sets about executing a daring robbery.

A Pasta Western filmed in Technicolor/Techniscope out of Andalucia in Spain, A Man Called Sledge is a most interesting and entertaining addition to this splinter of Westerns. From the off we are in no doubt that Garner is serving up a character not of his normal portrayal varieties, here he's not heroic, all American or a lovable rogue, he's a bad egg, gruff, rough and tough, and driven by law breaking activities. Added into the mix is a rather cheeky premise, that of gold being stored in a working prison, which is naturally heavily fortified, protected and seemingly impossible to breach, but Sledge and his cohorts have other ideas that gives the narrative and dramatic drive much strength.

You couldn't take it with a pope!

In spite of the odd flecks of humour, such as a terrific organ sequence and Akins' constant cynical asides (both orally and visually), pic is grim in texture, there will be blood and the unfurling of other hateful human traits. Morrow knows his Pasta Oaters, both as regards visual ticks and via characterisations. So we get camera zooms, low level up-tilts and spins, while the characters range from the foolish to the greedy - to the twitchy and the dumb - and even a howling man! The story plays out through differing back drops, be it a snow storm, an arid landscape or a sweaty bar - not least the imposing prison at the centre of the plot - Morrow is taking his story through visual variations.

I would have died for you Sledge!

There are a number of great scenes to enjoy, usually where action is concerned, not least the quite exhilarating show-piece involving a jailbreak, where here we are treated to top stunt work as dynamite and a Gatling Gun join the usual bullets and blood carnage. Cards are a big feature, as are crosses - cum - crucifixes, the latter providing some striking (and scary) imagery. While all the time Ferrio's varied musical score hits all the right Pasta Western notes. Hell! even the irritating theme song is hauntingly chaotic and thus fitting once the pic reaches its denouement. With the mostly American cast turning in good perfs, and Morrow proving deft at genre compliance, this is very much an under valued pic and worthy of either seeking out for a first time view or for reevaluation purpose. 7.5/10


Title: Re: A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Post by: Spikeopath on July 23, 2017, 01:55:10 AM
Its...... the first Marco Leone review for some time!!!

A MAN CALLED SLEDGE
I must confess to "umming and ahhing" a fair bit as to whether I really wanted to see this film. I've got nothing against James Garner, but he just didn't say "spaghetti western protagonist" to me. He doesn't have that certain "kill" look in his eye (think Eastwood, Nero, Gemma, Steffen et el). However, having always respected Howard Hughes' "Essentials" book, this was one of the few films that he had covered so far that I had not seen - and his recommendations had generally not disappointed. I am really glad that I did dispel these initial reservations, because Man Called Sledge makes great viewing from beginning to end.

Luther Sledge (Garner) is introduced to us as he enters a bar with one of his cohorts. Leaving his colleague to participate in an ill-fated card game, Sledge reunites himself with his lover Ria (Laura Antonelli). After a night of passion (lucky man!) he is woken by the sound of a gunshot. He returns to the bar to find his partner dead, and forced to defend himself against the killers. An old timer witness (John Marley) confirms that Sledge has merely defended himself.

Sledge and the old timer soon cross paths again, with the former assuming that he is being tracked due to the price on his head. However, it soon transpires that the old man has been spying on a delivery of gold. This gold is transported by a posse of armed guards and stored in a top security prison overnight. The old man recounts how he spent time in the jail, with his cell sitting side by side to the safe.

The lure of the gold is too much for Sledge, and he is soon devising a scheme to get his hands on the horde and allow him to settle down and lead an honest life with Ria. And what better way to get access to the treasure than to find ones self imprisoned in the jail......

A simple yet highly enjoyable idea for a story, with double crossing aplenty and a cracking soundtrack. If truth be told, I am still not completely sold on Messrs Garner and Weaver in the spaghetti genre, but the film itself more than makes up for such minor grumbles. There are some great scenes, with Sledge's wilful imprisonment (with some very shady characters forming his prison mates) a particular highlight.

Highlighly recommended, and grasping at a possible "must view" berth.

Please feel free to visit my site, and vote for this film if you have seen it - http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/spaghettiwesterns/reviews/mancalledsledge.html

Having just discovered this one it's nice to read such a positive review. I agree totally, though I had no problem with Garner in the lead, it's actually great to view him in a nasty role and he does it well.