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Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: Marco Leone on October 19, 2005, 02:45:17 PM



Title: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: Marco Leone on October 19, 2005, 02:45:17 PM
My words of wisdom(?) on yesterday's viewing.....

DEAF SMITH AND JOHNNY EARS
Set in 1830's Texas, Erastus 'Deaf' Smith (Anthony Quinn) is an ageing but trusted spy for the president, despite the obvious handicap of being a deaf mute. His friend and companion is the sexually charged Spaniard Johnny Ears (Franco Nero), seemingly on a constant mission to obtain another notch on his bed post (or should I say, someone elses!). Infact, unlike your usual Spaghetti Western hero, he is probably more likely to be found in bed than in a bar brawl or gunfight.

The two have been sent by the president to halt the uprising down south, where a rebel by the name of Morton is rallying a rebellion to create independence and domination, with the help of German backing.

The whole emphasis of the story is the great bond between Nero and Quinn, which is quite enjoyable throughout. Comically, Johnny Ears is constantly throwing stones at the laid back Smith in order to get his attention. Ears' relationship with the luscious local whore Susie (Pamela Tiffin) is also a fine display of character play, as their interplay changes from flirtation to sexual tension, and from lust to love. Hell, by the end, Ears seems willing to quit his womanising ways and settle down with the blonde beauty.

There are entertaining one-liners throughout (all obviously left to Nero, who is in fine comic form). As for Quinn, the whole idea that a deaf gunhand can survive and be held in such esteem is entertaining in itself (as he walks away completely unaware of the explosions metres behind him, and sneaks up on opponents oblivious to the fact that the bells on a whores garter - given to him whilst he awaited the return of the promiscuous Ears from the local brothel - are jangling together).

Aside from these highlights, the film is fairly average fare. At times Smith's inability to communicate can be as frustrating to the viewer as it must be to Smith himself. The Director does however highlight this disability to some effect, with silence at any time when the story is shown from Smith's eyes. Too much weight is also placed on the final action-packed climax, which goes on for an age with a maximum explosion count (although it does contain a priceless moment when Ears is unable to operate the enemies' machine gun - a skill mastered to great effect by Nero's Django).

In summary, this is an entertaining little film, high on cheese but low on substance. And there are days when that is exactly the sort of "popcorn" movie that you want to watch. If you are in that mood (I was) you will probably enjoy it (I did!). But it is definitely more "watchable" than "recommended".

If you've seen it, feel free to vote at http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/spaghettiwesterns/reviews/deafsmithandjohnnyears.html


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: Banjo on October 20, 2005, 03:31:07 AM
Whilst i agree Deaf,Smith & Johnny Ears ,for a light-hearted SW, is light years away from Companeros/Mercenary/Long Live Your Death it is as Marco says nontheless very entertaining,and if Quinn is a little dull,Nero as always is excellent in his role which quite often pokes fun at his previous Django/mercenary incarnations.Well worth the investment if you can get hold of a reasonably priced burnt copy as i did!!!


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: Marco Leone on October 20, 2005, 02:45:25 PM
And Nero generally makes any film worth watching.  The Mercenary is lined up for the next couple of weeks - and I've been told and read that its one of the best.

Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears is definately good fun though.  Hmmmm, could I slowly but surely be getting a liking for these comedy westerns???   :D


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: Banjo on October 21, 2005, 04:57:34 AM
Funny you should say about the Mercenary because having endured for a couple of years the atrocious picture quality of my A Professional Gun USA video, i finally forked out the reddies for a burnt copy of the Japanese DVD which arrived yesterday and i probably don't need to tell you it is fantastic in quality and has extra footage!!!Similarly i only have Companeros on a UK vhs but my wifes getting the USA dvd for me this Xmas.I don't know if this will be any longer also?I'm also hoping that eventually a decent dvd print of the Corbucciesque Long Live Your Death will eventually emerge.
I used to feel the same about comedy SW's but my wife loves them(espescially Hill & Spencer) and i now take them as they are for a bit of good fun.They are even one or two good moments in Life is Tough Eh Providence? which i know your not keen on but it only cost me a couple of quid and it has Tomas Milian!!!
One more thing about Franco Nero ,i haven't seen the Tramplers or Cry Onion,have you?


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: The Smoker on October 21, 2005, 08:05:10 AM
Fellow Spaghetti junkies. Avoid Cry Onion at all costs!
Freckle faced Nero in a comedy wig and dungarees dubbed with a faux Jimmy Stewart voice. :shudder:
Spends most of the time in the movie chucking onions at unsuspecting bad guys. Hopelessly unfunny.


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: indio on October 21, 2005, 11:45:46 AM
They are even one or two good moments in Life is Tough Eh Providence?
banjo please tell me where i can get this as i'm a huge fan of Milian and can't get this anywhere.


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: Marco Leone on October 21, 2005, 01:21:21 PM
Indio, I got hold of a copy of Providence from ebay, albeit with foreign subtitles.  It was a copy of an old VHS video transferred to DVD.

Banjo - I have got The Tramplers but not seen it yet.  I got it on the back of The Hellbenders, which is one of my favourites.


Smoker -  :D a film with Nero throwing onions sounds good to me!!!


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: The Smoker on October 21, 2005, 02:38:54 PM
Smoker - :D a film with Nero throwing onions sounds good to me!!!

Marco please look at this poster, before you make a mistake.

(http://www.posterdb.de/posters/c/cipolla_colt_a.jpg)

Oh how could i forgot about the horse wearing a straw hat... Because thats always a funny number that one. ::)

P.S. Always wondered if Sterling Hayden actually turned down the role of legendary Shark Hunter Quint from amid 70s shark monster movie. (a part eventally filled by Robert Shaw, The second option) deciding on travelling to Italy to be in this little sweet number?



Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: HEX on October 21, 2005, 03:27:48 PM
not a good example SMOKER


that poster makes me want to see the movie.  :)













hey if i sat through THE FOG remake this definatly deserves my attention.


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: Marco Leone on October 21, 2005, 04:16:28 PM
 :D Thats a fantastic poster!!!!  Hahahaha.


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: Banjo on October 22, 2005, 05:38:22 AM
Indio,sounds like Marco got his Providence dvd from the same source as myself.I haven't seen it listed on Ebay recently but the guy who sold it to me always has big SW lists there and i suggest you contact him,he is very affable.
By the way i don't like Charlie Chaplin but Milian does pull off his loose imitation very well and is funny,and Morricones very upbeat score is addictive.Although not strictly for Leone purists,this film is weird,but hard not to like.


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: Marco Leone on October 23, 2005, 05:32:43 AM
'ere Banjo..... is it you that keeps out-bidding me hahaha  :D


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: indio on October 23, 2005, 07:10:51 AM
so does anyone wanna trade these?


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: Banjo on October 23, 2005, 09:57:09 AM
I don't usually get involved in a bidding war Marco because the DVD's do tend to get relisted the next day!!
My wife had to restrain me from getting a bank loan about 6 months ago because the seller in question not only had about 50 SW titles up for sale,but also had about half a dozen DVDs of each title and several DVDs were finishing, by the minute, unsold at a 3.00 starting price,but i did manage to come away with a good handful of DVD's for what seemed like an absolute steal!!
Sorry Indio,i want to keep hold of my copy.


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: Marco Leone on October 23, 2005, 02:22:23 PM
I'm the same Indio, even the ones that aren't so good I have a real soft spot for.

Banjo, I'm pretty much the same bidding wise.  I tend to know the maximum I'll pay, on the basis that they usually get listed again.  There are about 3 sellers these days on ebay where I'll get a fair amount from, but I'll never pay too much.  As a perfect example, I paid 3 each for Jonathan of the Bears and the Belle Starr story, both of which were great views.


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: HEX on October 23, 2005, 06:13:27 PM
U GOT JONATHAN OF THE BEARS!


DEAR GOD MAN! that is incredibly hard to find! ive been looking for just one price tag on it for about two years now. where did u buy it. ebay i would assume?


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: indio on October 24, 2005, 12:54:06 AM
i got it too.
i'm not talking about selling my dvds merely trading copies. not that i would subscribe to bootleging of course!
 


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: Marco Leone on October 24, 2005, 04:29:14 AM
Indio - I wouldn't have a problem with trading  ;) - particularly if the films are not commercially available - but unfortunately I don't have a dvd burner.   :'(

Hex - Jonathan of the Bears used to be available regularly on ebay in the uk - a copy obviously.  Great film.


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: Banjo on October 24, 2005, 05:05:22 AM
Indio i don't have a burner either but i reckon you should contact that Ebay seller,my copy of Providence(and i guess all others)came sleeveless, hence the price of 2 plus 1.60 postage.
Marco,i also got Jonathan of the Bears for 2.00(again sleevelss) from the same place but was put off the Belle Starr Story by what i'd read on IMDB.com for lack of reviews elsewhere.I've been selective in trying to get the better titles first although in view of your viewing backlog i'm begining to think that your system of spreading out the good with the bad is better.One SW i'm quite keen to get hold of is Johhny Yuma.Did you pay the full price from Wildeast,or get a much cheaper copy of Ebay?


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: Marco Leone on October 24, 2005, 05:15:21 AM
I was pleasantly surprised by Belle Starr.  Partly because the lead lady was very tasty!  Also it had George Eastman in it, and he is always pretty good.  It was a film that I didn't think would be that great but really enjoyed it when it came up top of the pile!

Mine is the Wild East original of Johnny Yuma.  I tend to buy things legit when they are available, and copies when not.  Its a "must view" in my opinion.


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: Banjo on October 24, 2005, 05:38:34 AM
Yeau i really like the sound of Johnny Yuma from what i've read elsewhere.
Talking about tasty leading ladies,from looking at your list,i was surprised not to see Viva Maria(Bridgitte Bardot and the other i can't remember) there because this was shown on BBC2 last year.Although there are a couple of (quite bearable)musical numbers there are some definate big parelells here with Corbucci's mercenary type westerns in style and set pieces and i've read he was inspired by Viva Maria.
I'm gonna have to check my list to see if there is anything else i have which you 've not got!


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: Marco Leone on October 24, 2005, 05:43:37 AM
Ah, I never read the TV listings so I only find films by accident normally hehe.  So thats why I would have missed out on that one!

I'm still waiting for them to show El Condor again.


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: cigar joe on June 22, 2006, 11:00:53 PM
Watched this on TCM the other day, nothing special, very very loose with historical accuracy a light SW romp with little style, watchable. Anthony Quinn wasted in a mute role, Franco being Franco, could have been much better IMO.


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: Tim on June 22, 2006, 11:38:13 PM
  I had similar thoughts on it, but I did enjoy it for what it was....a good old popcorn movie with some good action and what I thought were some pretty funny one-liners.  I thought it was hilarious how Nero "Johnny Ears" suddenly learned how to be an acrobat in the final battle, felt like something out of the Sabata trilogy.

  And as long as we're on the subject, I have a question about the ending, one I also put up over at the SWWB.  At the end, why does Nero yell "Deaf" like he does?  I'm assuming Deaf decided to leave Johnny and Suzie to their lives, especially since he left his watch that Johnny wanted.

   I'm only asking because of the distress in Nero's voice, almost as if something possibly happened to his friend Deaf, a la The Ghost and the Darkness.   Or it could just be he's worried/sad because he's lost his best friend.  Thoughts?


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: The Peacemaker on June 22, 2006, 11:41:51 PM
DAMMIT!!! I forgot that the spaghettis were on the other day!!!!   >:(   >:(   >:(   >:(

I want to kick myself in times like this.


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: Tim on June 22, 2006, 11:50:48 PM
  So Peacemaker, I take it you haven't seen Guns for San Sebastian or Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears?  If you're interested, check out TCM's website and search the schedule.  They usually show San Sebastian a couple times a year, but this was the first time I'd seen Deaf Smith on their schedule.

  Both are worth seeing, if for nothing else other than Anthony Quinn in both movies.


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: The Peacemaker on June 22, 2006, 11:56:20 PM
Both are worth seeing, if for nothing else other than Anthony Quinn in both movies.

I like Anthony Quinn too.   :(

I completely forgot about the movies. I had to take a huge Biology Regents exam ( which I probably did atrocious on ) so I was studying.


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: Banjo on June 23, 2006, 03:51:49 AM
Watched this on TCM the other day, nothing special, very very loose with historical accuracy a light SW romp with little style, watchable. Anthony Quinn wasted in a mute role, Franco being Franco, could have been much better IMO.
I'd go along with that but i thought the way Nero poked fun at his Django persona by struggling with the machine gun was amusing. :)


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: Marco Leone on June 23, 2006, 06:24:48 AM
My thoughts were as follows :

"Set in 1830's Texas, Erastus 'Deaf' Smith (Anthony Quinn) is an ageing but trusted spy for the president, despite the obvious handicap of being a deaf mute. His friend and companion is the sexually charged Spaniard Johnny Ears (Franco Nero), seemingly on a constant mission to obtain another notch on his bed post (or should I say, someone elses!). Infact, unlike your usual Spaghetti Western hero, he is probably more likely to be found in bed than in a bar brawl or gunfight.

The two have been sent by the president to halt the uprising down south, where a rebel by the name of Morton is rallying a rebellion to create independence and domination, with the help of German backing.

The whole emphasis of the story is the great bond between Nero and Quinn, which is quite enjoyable throughout. Comically, Johnny Ears is constantly throwing stones at the laid back Smith in order to get his attention. Ears' relationship with the luscious local whore Susie (Pamela Tiffin) is also a fine display of character play, as their interplay changes from flirtation to sexual tension, and from lust to love. Hell, by the end, Ears seems willing to quit his womanising ways and settle down with the blonde beauty.

There are entertaining one-liners throughout (all obviously left to Nero, who is in fine comic form). As for Quinn, the whole idea that a deaf gunhand can survive and be held in such esteem is entertaining in itself (as he walks away completely unaware of the explosions metres behind him, and sneaks up on opponents oblivious to the fact that the bells on a whores garter - given to him whilst he awaited the return of the promiscuous Ears from the local brothel - are jangling together).

Aside from these highlights, the film is fairly average fare. At times Smith's inability to communicate can be as frustrating to the viewer as it must be to Smith himself. The Director does however highlight this disability to some effect, with silence at any time when the story is shown from Smith's eyes. Too much weight is also placed on the final action-packed climax, which goes on for an age with a maximum explosion count (although it does contain a priceless moment when Ears is unable to operate the enemies' machine gun - a skill mastered to great effect by Nero's Django).

In summary, this is an entertaining little film, high on cheese but low on substance. And there are days when that is exactly the sort of "popcorn" movie that you want to watch. If you are in that mood (I was) you will probably enjoy it (I did!). But it is definitely more "watchable" than "recommended".

Marco Leone Rating - ** (2/4 - Watchable)


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: cigar joe on June 23, 2006, 06:42:25 AM
Quote
And as long as we're on the subject, I have a question about the ending, one I also put up over at the SWWB.  At the end, why does Nero yell "Deaf" like he does?  I'm assuming Deaf decided to leave Johnny and Suzie to their lives, especially since he left his watch that Johnny wanted.


I'd assume that too, I suppose he yelled "Deaf " because of concern for his friend, basically how will he get by without a buddy to look out for him.


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: The Firecracker on April 01, 2008, 04:46:10 PM
My opinion is the same as everybody elses. I thought it was a lightweight affair with some good scenes sprinkled here and there.
The first hour isn't really note worthy but the final half hour is fun (especially that gatling gun finale).
Nobody has mentioned the really good score sung by a choir or the instrumental version used when Smith and Ears are mining the hillside with explosives (Franco can be seen doing his stuntwork here but I'm not so sure if it is him doing the gymnastics during the gatling gun sequence).

I liked this. But it is nothing more than average fair

5/10


P.S. not sure what Nero shouts at the end. It doesn't sound like "Deaf" though.

I'll be sure to ask him next week.


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: moviesceleton on April 02, 2008, 03:22:46 AM
I'll be sure to ask him next week.
:o ??? O0


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: Ben Tyreen on April 06, 2008, 11:36:20 AM
  I enjoyed this movie, but I pretty much agree with FC.  Good but not great.  Good action but nothing particularly memorable.  And for the record, I thought Nero did yell "Deaf!"

  When/why/where you meeting the man himself, Franco Nero, Firecracker?  We'll expect full details. O0


Title: Re: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears
Post by: The Firecracker on April 11, 2008, 12:44:37 AM


  When/why/where you meeting the man himself, Franco Nero, Firecracker?  We'll expect full details. O0


I have (had, as I write this it has lready been two days since...) an interview with him.

I have given out some of the spoils on the Massacre Time thread but will not reveal much more as I do have a project I will be saving that information for.