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February 26, 2021, 09:11:59 AM

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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly / Baker
« on: Yesterday at 05:53:25 AM »
I was watching a snippet of the movie in english and noticed that LVC cuts through a loaf of bread as the name is pronounced.

Other Films / Gun the Man Down (1956)
« on: February 21, 2021, 09:41:42 AM »
This very first directorial effort by McLaglen is praised unanimously. The screenplay by Burt Kennedy is solid and the direction shows an ability hard to find in the future works (see the sequence of the paid killer looking for Arness). Still what doesn''t fits right with me is the premise: After a hold-up his accomplices leave Arness who's been severely wounded in a cabin and get away with the loot and Angie. So, being caught by a posse, he's looking for revenge: why? What else should they have done? Actually the should have killed him to prevent him from making names. The actor playing the sheriff is the best of a good cast, well supported by Carey Jr. (yeah, this is a Batjac product). "Introducing Angie Dickinson" confirms what I thought when I saw her in Rio Bravo: she must have paid herself a very good surgeon in the years to come.  7/10

Other Films / A Time for Dying (1969)
« on: February 21, 2021, 04:14:04 AM »
Last Boetticher's and Murphy's. I must have seen it eons ago because I remember Murphy's brief appearance. Or maybe it was just what I caught of the movie not bothering with the rest. But one wonders what Boetticher had in mind. Hard to tell. I guess that the parts of Judge Roy Bean, Jesse James and Billy Pimple were those he had started from and then he tied them up with the story of the young one and his bride. Maybe. But anyway the movie doesn't know where it's going all of the time and the duel, with the guns slipping from the hands of the boy, doesn't help. The finale with the new girl arriving in town and starting the cycle again is musty and making little sense of what precedes because there was no story to begin with. 6/10 only because Jory as Bean is not memorable but passable. 

Other Films / Vayas con Dios, Gringo (Go with God, Gringo) (1966)
« on: February 20, 2021, 10:10:54 AM »
Stagecoach in the roman countryside. A gang of about to be hanged criminals manages to escape and starts travelling in a stagecoach. One by one they'll die and only Saxson and Sanchez will survive, Saxson managing to avenge his brother. This would be good thanx to the actors, especially Berti as one of the villains, but Saxson is good too and I do not share in the criticism about him: What one should say about a Steffen, then? I give this a solid 6/10 for the over the top scene of the mexican gang chasing the stagecoach while the occupants play poker and throw dynamite at the bandits without bothering to aim: the kind of action which defines the genre.   

Other Films / Uccideva a freddo (The Cold Killer) (1967)
« on: February 20, 2021, 04:05:17 AM »
Snowy SW shot before The Great Silence. Not that it makes a difference. Another original item is the country-style OST courtesy of a presumably italian duo (or group?). Which wasn't so easy to find at the time at the time. And the friar who blackmails the villain. And finally the the real point of originality which makes this worth a watching: the fact that the protagonist is the villain and he holds true to the movie title: he kills in cold blood and wasting no words about it. But apart from that the rest is the usual sea of ineptitude, only the protagonist resembling an actor and the story making no sense (why the gang waits all that time to get the gold from the mine? And how the "hero" manages to shoot one of the gang who rather looks like he shot himself, as the hero doesn't show a pistol). 5/10

Other Films / Il magnifico Texano (1967)
« on: February 20, 2021, 01:52:32 AM »
Boring masked avenger Zorro style (but the costume is simply a green poncho) story shot in Rome's countryside. Lots of women here, but only the avenger's girl is worth watching. And at 100' is at least and hour too long. 3/10

Other Films / Lo sceriffo di Rockspring (Sheriff of Rock Springs) (1971)
« on: February 18, 2021, 08:58:03 AM »
A jailbird on the loose kidnaps a little girl but Sheriff Harrison captures him. I give it 3/10 because Manera plays a good villain who could have been better developed in a at least decent movie.

Horror meets SW. This had many troubles and the working title was Wanted Ringo, being finally released in 1970. The protagonist was to be Mickey Hargitay but, shooting having started, he found out his son was bit by a lion and left  the production without notice. So they had to come out with the story that his brother (a french actor was called on the double) comes to town to find out what's happened to him. The only original thing I think I haven't seen before is a shot from the back of an ambusher on a tree who jumps on the hero and starts a fight, without editing cut. That makes me give it 2/10.

Other Films / Vuelve El Texano (1966)
« on: February 18, 2021, 02:40:34 AM »
Childish, awkward mexican crap in pre-Leone style, under-standard plot and under-standard characters (including the annoying kid). The only element of "originality" is how the falsely accused of murder beefy-faced hero escapes from a closed room in a saloon thx to his friend who lends a cannon to the sheriff to crash the door while he  frees him with another cannon to demolish the back wall. 1/10

Other Films / Raiders Of Old California (1957)
« on: February 14, 2021, 04:12:00 AM »
"Humdrum". (Garfield) He hasn't watched it, again. This is far from good, a festival of historical abuse and with some country singers (Marty Robbins and Faron Young: an excellent horseman, though) turned into inept actors. But the story is far from being trivial and the pace gets better after the incredible beginning, with a hacienda apparently built with Lego. But the main point of interest is, for everybody here, I guess, the fact that LVC has got probably more screen time than everyone else in the cast. Nominally he's second banana to main villain Jim Davis (a good performance, BTW) but he steals every scene he's in, even if one at the time didn't know who he would become. I presume that the filmakers realized it on the set and gave his part more relevance.  So this gets from me a 6/10.

A variation on the aspiring rich widow schemer, it almost looks like a parody of the classic noir plot which will be first brought to the logical consequence in Risi's Il vedovo (almost replicated in Elaine May's A New Leaf).  The movie is short 71' and never bores you. The actors are all tolerable and anyway you keep wondering till the end how things are gonna turn out. 7/10

It is a small production but the strenght it is mainly in the story (you wanna watch it, it's on youtube). Sure, there are some logical flaws, like Lansbury not only  introducing her sister to Andes but even letting them be on their own  so that he can get wise to the lies Lansbury told him. Or why when driving from the cabin Andes just doesn't pull the car over and stop.  But the main problem is with the cast. Andes just can't act (though he gets better toward the end) and Lansbury  is too ugly to be the femme fatale or even just be tolerable on the screen. She can act, sure, but who cares? And Barrett is just average both as to beauty and as to acting. But the story got me intrigued and the three scenes with a car suspenseful. The brief scene of Andes wandering at night fearing being tailed is pure noir.  And then you also have Jane Darwell. Dumbrille is odd as the scheming husband.  7/10.   

Other Films / Un poker di pistole (Poker with Pistols) (1967)
« on: February 10, 2021, 04:05:16 AM »
I don't understand why this, it seems, was criticized when released. It's your average SW and delivers what you expect from it. Eastman and Hilton gang up to understand what's behind the delivery of a wagon and from there the plot develops about counterfeiting money. Sure the story is over-complicated but the pace is fast, the initial stud poker game between Hilton and Eastman very good and there's also a final surprise that earns it a 6-7/10. In english on youtube.

I had much doubts about this one, as I don't like not-american westerns pre-Leone. But in spite of the numerous shortcomings, fallacies (f.e. Mescaleros dressed like Eastern Indians) and logical inconsistencies of the plot (the Indians needing a map) I liked it a bit. It has at least a memorable shot: the long convoy passing over a ridge of a mountain. I don't think I ever saw anything like this in another western. Then the Indian attacks on the convoy: they are well orchestrated and fast-paced. And then the story itself is fast-paced too and it has a very good villain in Adorf (btw well-dubbed in the french version I saw on youtube). Harris is nominally the hero of the story but he has got little screen time and even less it has, unfortunately, his partner Frank, very good-looking with a beard, he looks like an ideal Kit Carson. but, apart from Adorf, the story rallies round many characters and that saves her from boredom. The Indians are more numerous than in any usual AW short of those about Little Big Horn and the production values are apparent. So I give it 6-7/10.

You have the roman country landscape seen in the Trinities, Capitani in a Mezcal clone short role, Micalizzi pervasive score (can be well heard in the left channel of the stereo track): but none of this makes a Trinity. Of course. You also have Keenan Wynn and William Holden's son (who looks like a slimmer Brian Wilson). Wynn and son must bring confederate gold to the General played by Leroy and defend it from assaults of various bandits. I think I smiled a couple of times but the jokes are lame and intended mainly for an italian audience (with the Tiburtinian Indians speaking in roman dialect). 5/10

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