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Author Topic: La resa dei conti aka The Big Gundown (1966)  (Read 67229 times)
Novecento
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« Reply #150 on: August 05, 2009, 07:30:24 AM »

I absolutely adore the cane fields scene at the end. It is brilliant.

However, excluding this incredible ending, I actually prefer "Run Man Run" to this one with "Face to Face" being my least favorite of the three.

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« Reply #151 on: August 06, 2009, 08:06:39 AM »

For me the ending is a little strange: it seems Lee was seriously wounded, and he's all like "It's but a scratch."

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« Reply #152 on: September 08, 2009, 06:24:12 PM »

Sayeth Groggy:

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Amidst the general flotsam and jetsam of Spaghetti Westerns (over 400 in all) that followed the colossal success of Sergio Leone's Dollars trilogy, there were a handful of films that, despite the limitations of budget and the subgenre, are actually pretty good. In 1966, director Sergio Sollima took a highly-politicized story by left-wing screenwriter Franco Solinas (The Battle of Algiers), transposed it to a Western setting, toned down the politics and created The Big Gundown, creating an entertaining, stylishly-directed oater in the process. Despite the usual Spaghetti faults, the result is easily the best Spaghetti I've seen to date, a truly entertaining and creative film that fires on most cylinders.

Jonathan Corbett (Lee Van Cleef) is a ruthlessly efficient lawman with political ambitions who singlehandedly clears a West Texas territory of outlaws. Before he can set his sights on elective office, however, Corbett is hired by unscrupulous businessman Brokston (Walter Barnes) to track down a wily Mexican, Cuchillo (Tomas Milan) accused of killing and raping a twelve year old girl. Corbett immediately sets off in pursuit, but finds Cuchillo a most elusive prey; he outwits, outfoxes and frustrates the lawman at every turn - ultimately leading Corbett into a Mexican jail. At some point along the way, Corbett realizes that Cuchillo has been set-up by Brokston, and the two criminals band together against Brokston, his Austrian bodyguard (Gerard Herter), and a huge posse of bloodthirsty gunmen.

The Big Gundown doesn't do a lot that's overly original, but it does it so well that one is loathe to criticize it. The political overtones are mostly toned-down and work as part of the story rather than an obnoxious writer's message (see the atrocious Bullet For the General); fortunately, aside from Cuchillio's expert knife-throwing the film is also lacking the over-the-top weapon-fetishizing of the genre's weaker entries - even the body count is fairly subdued by Spaghetti standards, and there's no intrusive cartoonishness to mar the procedings either. There are some weaknesses in story structure which hurt, but do not seriously, namely the cop-out happy ending - which, if Christopher Frayling is to believe, was much darker in Solinas' original story. One might also criticize the typically poor dubbing and awkward English-translated dialogue, but all Spaghetti fans will be accustomed to this.

Sollima's direction is perfect; he handles the action and showdowns with an aplomb Leone would envy, captures the stark yet beautiful Almerian outback with striking clarity. The movie has some truly inspired set pieces, most notably the lengthy scene where Brokston's posse hunts Cuchillo through a cane field (an arresting sequence Solinas would later recycle for Pontecorvo's Burn!). The film moves at a brisk pace, never stopping long enough to get boring (though some of the scenes run a bit long in the restored Franco Cleef version) but keeping things interesting without a bloody gunfight every five mintues. Ennio Morricone contributes a typically strong, vibrant and catchy score (sans a fairly obnoxious title song); the interesting duel music, in which a guitar theme is interspersed with snatches of Fur Elise, was recently coopted by Tarantino in Inglourious Basterds.

Lee Van Cleef is his usual badass self; Corbett is just a bit more complex than most Spaghetti heroes, and Cleef affectively makes him an intimidating screen presence and a conflicted protagonist. Cuban-born Tomas Milan would soon become a big name in Spaghetti circles, but rarely would he better his turn here; he makes Cuchillo a fascinating, vibrant and loveable trickster almost on a par with Eli Wallach's Tuco in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The supporting cast includes the usual array of Spaghetti faces: Walter Barnes, Antonio Casas, Fernando Sancho, Benito Stefanelli, Roberto Camardiel.

The Big Gundown may well be the best Spaghetti not directed by a man named Leone. It's certainly among the most entertaining, lacking the genre's usual excess and cartoonishness in favor of a taut, entertaining and stylish story.

http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2009/09/big-gundown.html

Rating would be somewhere between a 7 and 8.

I hope this doesn't seem dismissive, I just didn't have the energy to write a super-analytical review. I may try and track down some of Sollima's other work, or perhaps even embark on a broader Spaghetti quest in the near-future if I get the opportunity.

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« Reply #153 on: September 08, 2009, 06:59:24 PM »

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At some point along the way, Corbett realizes that Cuchillo has been set-up by Brokston, and the two criminals band together against Brokston, his Austrian bodyguard (Gerard Herter), and a huge posse of bloodthirsty gunmen.
Uh . . . kind of a spoiler, ain't it?

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« Reply #154 on: September 08, 2009, 07:04:27 PM »

Sure.

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« Reply #155 on: July 09, 2011, 04:53:44 PM »

I just watched The Big Gundown for the first time and found it to be absolutely fantastic !
The DVD  was the Franco Cleef restored version , and the print was nearly flawless.
The acting of the main characters is first rate and Lee Van Cleef is outstanding as the absolutely bad ass yet painfully conflicted Corbett.
There are hiccups in the pacing of the film but I found it to be every bit as entertaining as the Dollars movies.

My favite line is when Corbett says to Cucillo ; " You must have come out of your mother running." Grin

Great flik !

Here's a link to the DVD.

http://cultcine.com/products-page?category=1&product_id=82

« Last Edit: July 10, 2011, 12:20:01 PM by El Gorila » Logged

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« Reply #156 on: July 10, 2011, 04:41:05 PM »

Agreed I like it.

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« Reply #157 on: April 24, 2012, 06:16:03 AM »

Someone mentions on YT comments that this is the Franco Cleef version on youtube...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJIUmVB4LlY&feature=related

Anyone seen this?

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« Reply #158 on: April 24, 2012, 03:22:47 PM »

Yea it looks like it may be the Franco Cleef restoration, except the Franco Cleef version has subtitles in the cut sequences.

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« Reply #159 on: April 27, 2012, 04:06:18 AM »

Just seen this film....reminded a bit of a Spagetti Western version of Midnight Run.

One question,  I always thought that the Ennio´s Musical cues for characters was introduced in OUTITW, but I´d noticed the beautiful score that the Baron had when dueling with Corbett....

Is there any earlier examples of this or is this the first movie to do this?


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« Reply #160 on: April 27, 2012, 04:56:17 AM »

It may be, but "Guns For San Sebastion" may have had these leitmotifs also, but I haven't seen it for a while, I think GBU has the wah, wah, wha, wah, wahaaaaaa, using different instruments to designate Blondie & Tuco.

There are at least two other Morricone scored Westerns where there are prominent leitmotif's for the characters Run Man Run, and The Mercenary.

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« Reply #161 on: May 21, 2012, 05:38:16 AM »

Mr Ugly comes to town.... is in reference to GBU...where the american promotions misidentified Lee Van Cleef´s character?



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« Reply #162 on: May 21, 2012, 12:03:33 PM »

Mr Ugly comes to town.... is in reference to GBU...where the american promotions misidentified Lee Van Cleef´s character?




Yes, I just saw the GBu commentary with Frayling and he mentioned this poster: they confuse who is Bad and who is Ugly, and therefore Van Cleef was erroneously billed as "Mr Ugly Comes to Town" in other SW's!

As you can see here, the trailer confuses who is Bad and who is Ugly
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13EUXqIwDkQ

I guess that The Big Gundown was released before GBU was, perhaps the distributors were basing "Mr. Ugly" on the erroneous identifications in the trailer? I am not certain if it is the trailer or something else that made them think Van Cleef was the Ugly, but it is definitely a mistake.

(In Italy, the movie was called Il Buono It Bruto Il Cativo (ie. the Good, the Ugly, and the Bad); but for the English version of the movie they changed the order in the title, cuz "the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" sounds a lot better. But there is no doubt that in every version of the movie, Van Cleef is the Bad and Tuco is the Ugly. (Hence the words on the screen identifying each character)

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« Reply #163 on: May 27, 2012, 11:19:59 PM »

I noticed something interesting while watching Big Gun Down for wbout the 60th time.
In the part where Cuchillo is being chased through the cane field by riders on horseback,
the music score uses animal sounds, including what sounds like monkeys or apes.
The sequence is a damned close match for the cornfield chase in Planet of the Apes.
The music on POTA also uses monkey sounds, and the way the scene is shot even matches some of the camera angles from TBGD.
Do you think the POTA scene may have been inspired by TBGD ?

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« Reply #164 on: September 04, 2012, 06:21:58 PM »

New Blu-ray - with English audio apparently:

http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B009229EQI/ref=s9_simh_gw_p74_d1_i1?pf_rd_m=A3JWKAKR8XB7XF&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0NZ56E6FHMCJ0P8XZ93N&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=463375173&pf_rd_i=301128

Sprache: Deutsch (Dolby Digital 2.0), Deutsch (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Englisch (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Italienisch (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
Untertitel: Deutsch, Englisch


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