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Question: What do you think is Sergio Sollima's most remarkable Spaghetti Western?
The Big Gundown   -1 (12.5%)
Face to Face   -4 (50%)
Run, Man, Run!   -3 (37.5%)
Other (Are there any others? . . . )   -0 (0%)
Total Voters: 7

Author Topic: Sergio Sollima's Most Remarkable Spaghetti Achievment  (Read 1661 times)
Silenzio
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« on: October 22, 2006, 10:23:19 AM »

Seriously though, are there any other Sergio Sollima spaghetti westerns other than those three? None come to mind right now.






Anyways, back to Sollima. Over the past few weeks I've ordered four or five spaghetti westerns, which includes The Big Gundown and Face to Face. I saw Run, Man, Run quite a few months ago, but I'll be viewing it again soon. Right now, my vote on this poll goes to Face to Face, and I'll leave my review of TBG and FTF right now, and RMR once I watch it again (hopefully within the next few weeks).

The Big Gundown

Reviewed version: Franco Cleef Reconstruction DVD-R (mostly English, partly Italian audio with English
subtitles)

Synopsis: Jonathan Corbett (Lee Van Cleef) is a determined lawman and a possible up-and-coming senator. Cuchillo Sanchez (Tomas Milian) was accused of the rape and murder of the twelve-year-old girl, and is on the run from Corbett. Cuchillo was featured in Sergio Sollima's later western, Run, Man, Run!

Sergio Sollima's first Spaghetti Western, the Big Gundown, is basically, to quote Cigar Joe, "A Leone clone." And the mesmerizing opening credit sequence removes all doubt that this movie has heavy, heavy Leone influences (as all spaghetti westerns do) but I think there is definitely some "Sollima flair" in this movie, not just an uncreative mimic of Leone.  The part where Cuchillo is running through the sugarcane fields, coupled with Maestro Morricone's magnificent score, is one of the best scenes I've ever seen in a spag. Lee Van Cleef is, of course, badass (a word that is synonymous with the name Lee Van Cleef) and gives a typical Lee Van Cleef performance. However, Milian's performance was not all I was hoping for. I saw Run, Man, Run! before I saw this movie, and I remember Cuchillo being a lovable character who you can sympathize with. When I saw TBG it was not at all the Cuchillo Sanchez that I remembered from RMR. He was loud, not charming, with little or no charisma whatsoever. But, I'm able to look at both films independently, and Cuchillo in TBG isn't that bad, just a lot more annoying. Right now, The Big Gundown is in my top 5 spaghetti westerns, it is magnificent despite the fact that Milian's performance isn't as good, and there are some scenes I could really live without (i.e., the bull sequence). Don't let the way I talk down about Milian's performance deter you from seeing this movie. Once you get used to Milian's character, it's not bad at all. On the second viewing, I enjoyed this film more. Highly recommended.

Shobary's Rating: 100%
My rating: 93-95%




Face to Face

Reviewed version: Region 0 Japanese Print DVD (Italian with English Subtitles [there is an English track, but the quality is really bad, very quiet, and all-around not good])

Synopsis: History professor Brad Fletcher (Gian Maria Volonte) has to move to a warmer climate due to an illness he has. He is taken hostage by notorious bandit "Beauregard" Bennet (Tomas Milian), but ends up saving Bennet's life and falls in with his outlaw gang.

Face to Face, I thought, was all around a more mature film than The Big Gundown. Milian's performance was much better, but the look of his character is more ridiculous. This film has a kind of relationship between two characters where one affects the other, Bennet is attracted towards Fletcher's intellectual capacity and understanding of things like philosophy, but Fletcher is drawn in to Bennet's criminal way of life. It's a similar switcheroo to what happens in Leone's own "Duck, You Sucker!" Both The Big Gundown and Face to Face are arranged in these kind of distinct episodes (in TBG there are "episodes" with the mormans, the sex-addicted ranch lady, etc) but in this film these episodes run together more smoothly. Whereas in TBG they can sometimes feel somewhat clumsy (like the episode where they go into the monastery).

Shobary's Rating: 97%
My rating: 95-97%




Here's a list of what each film has that's superior to the other film:

The Big Gundown:
Better Score
Better Opening Credit Sequence
Better "Gunplay"
Better direction

Face to Face:
Better Performances
Better Plot
More mature look
Tackles bigger themes
The episodes are strung together more coherently
a HEIST (which I like to see in spaghetti westerns for reasons I'm not going to go into)

Basically, if you like the Spaghetti Western anti-heroes, Lee Van Cleef, and stuff like that, go for the Big Gundown. If you like a more artsy film that tackles larger themes, has better performances, and is a pretty unique spag, I would recommend Face to Face.

Whew.

Run, Man, Run review will be coming up soon enough...

« Last Edit: October 22, 2006, 10:46:42 AM by Silenzio » Logged
The Firecracker
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2006, 11:14:45 AM »

Seriously though, are there any other Sergio Sollima spaghetti westerns other than those three? None come to mind right now.






No. These three are it.

"Face To Face" is the best out of the three in my opinion. Too bad there is little to be desired in the soundtrack. Sad

« Last Edit: October 26, 2006, 08:11:34 PM by The Firecracker » Logged



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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2006, 08:03:22 AM »

I think FTF soundtack is great and very moving in places and yes FTF is probably the best and most distinctive Sollima western but i'm very fond of all 3 films.
BUY THEM ALL I SAY!! Smiley

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cigar joe
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2006, 04:36:26 PM »

I think FTF soundtack is great and very moving in places and yes FTF is probably the best and most distinctive Sollima western but i'm very fond of all 3 films.
BUY THEM ALL I SAY!! Smiley

They are all good but my favs are TBG & RMR

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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2008, 11:45:22 PM »

All three are excellent, but Run man Run gets my vote.

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