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Author Topic: A Man Called Sledge (1970)  (Read 13857 times)
cigar joe
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« 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.

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Belkin
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« Reply #1 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. Wink

« Last Edit: July 23, 2004, 08:49:59 AM by Belkin » Logged

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« Reply #2 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.  

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« Reply #3 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.

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« Reply #4 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.

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cigar joe
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« Reply #5 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.

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« Reply #6 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.

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« Reply #7 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.

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Christopher
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« Reply #8 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.

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« Reply #9 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).

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cigar joe
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« Reply #10 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.

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Christopher
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« Reply #11 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. Grin

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

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« Reply #12 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

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« Reply #13 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!!!

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cigar joe
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« Reply #14 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?

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