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Author Topic: Un esercito di cinque uomini aka The Five Man Army (1969)  (Read 12022 times)
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« on: February 08, 2005, 01:28:52 PM »


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064300/

http://www.spaghettiwestern.altervista.org/esercito5uomini.htm


I caught this one on Turner South this weekend. Nothing real special. Peter Graves wasn't all too convincing in a western setting. It did feature Bud Spencer though, and I believe they used his actual voice! Nice triple cross sequence at the end.

« Last Edit: May 26, 2010, 12:00:44 PM by Dust Devil » Logged
Tim
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2005, 07:13:10 PM »

  Five Man Army has always been one of my favorite spaghettis, yet I don't know why.  The scene with Samurai running across the countryside trying to catch up to the train is a great action sequence.

  Good Morricone score also and Bud Spencer is as good as ever.

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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2005, 04:05:13 PM »

five man army is apparently pretty bad and wastes Morricone's score, but id like to see it anyway, lol.

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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2005, 10:37:06 AM »

I have seen both films although not for quite some years. 5 Man Army was shown by the BBC a couple of times around the late seventies to early eighties and M Clay i remember seeing on ITV in their 10.30 slot on a monday i think about '75 (the first Euro Western i ever saw) and as far as i am aware has never been on terrestrial TV since...in the London area anyway. I am going to get copies of them simply as it is so long since i saw them and they are rarely seen. They aren't that good actually but 5MA does have a great score as mentioned.

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Tim
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2005, 07:23:57 PM »

  I can't speak for Minnesota Clay, but I've always enjoyed Five Man Army.  Really good Morricone score.  It's one of those movies where you can just shut off your brain and be entertained for a couple of hours.  Good twist ending too.

  I know moviesunlimited.com has the dvd for Five Man Army if you can't get it at ebay.

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Marco Leone
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« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2005, 02:41:39 PM »

A few words and opinions on.....

THE FIVE MAN ARMY
The Five Man Army are "The Dutchman" (Peter Graves) and four colleagues from previous escapades - Mesito (Bud Spencer), a big brute of a man that can knock out an opponent with a big thump to the top of the head (so, the usual Bud Spencer character then!); Samurai (Tetsuro Tamba), a ruthless sword bearing oriental; Captain Augustus (James Daly), an expert with dynamite; and Luis Dominguez (Nino Castelnuovo) an acrobat turned outlaw and the "baby" of the group.

The Dutchman has gathered the clan with the promise of a $1,000 reward if they can successfully carry out a robbery of a train (bearing gold to the value of £1 million) on behalf of the Mexican Revolution. The catch is that the train is heavily guarded by soldiers, with the military posted at regular intervals along the journey to resist any attempted theft.

This film is an Italian/American co-production, and it does bear traits of both nations particular western styles. It is at times highly entertaining, mostly pretty dumb but always very watchable. The highlight of the movie is the contrasting characters, who are all very likable (albeit fairly clichéd). James Daly in particular has a good role as the ageing Captain Augustus, constantly doubting his (and his colleagues) ability to carry out the heist.

The actual robbery itself takes up nigh on half an hour of this movie, with very little dialogue. The scene is well filmed though and does not drag too badly at all. It also features a great scene where the bodies of the armed soldiers are waved about frantically as a signal to the nearby patrolling military that all is well.

Ennio Morricone's score is rousing (of course), but does sound like a muddled jigsaw of many of his other works. It fits perfectly, however.

It may sound like I am being critical of this film, and I guess that there are a few shortcomings with it. But if you ignore its occasional predictability and just take it for what it is - a highly entertaining yet simple western - you are pretty much guaranteed to enjoy it from beginning to end. I know I did.

If you've seen it, and you want to vote your opinion in the poll at my site, its at http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/spaghettiwesterns/reviews/fivemanarmy.html


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Tim
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« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2005, 07:35:46 PM »

The Five Man Army has always been one of my favorite spaghetti westerns.  It is highly entertaining, I like the idea of a group of specialists teaming together to get the job done along the lines of Mag7, and I love Morricone's score.

The assault on the train is a great action sequence.  There are some dumb moments, like how they get on the train with guards watching them, but still one of my favorites. 

TCM is showing this in a couple of weeks along with two other Morricone-scored movies.

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« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2005, 04:23:57 PM »

How does it compare to "The Professionals".

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Tim
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« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2005, 10:00:14 PM »

  Similar plot line with a team of specialists joining up to do an impossible mission.  Otherwise, not too much in common.

  The Professionals, IMO, is just a better movie overall although I really enjoy both.  One of my favorite American westerns with a great cast.  You can't beat Lancaster, Marvin, Strode, and Ryan. 

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« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2005, 08:51:44 PM »

Here is a write up for tomorrow nights showing on TCM

The Five Man Army

Friday 09/16/2005 12:00 AM

 

Imagine a cross between a Western heist film like The Badlanders (1958) and an "assemble the team" action thriller like The Magnificent Seven (1960) and you've got a pretty good idea of what to expect in The Five Man Army (1970), a spaghetti Western set during the Mexican Revolution of 1914. Heading an international cast, Peter Graves, of TV's Mission: Impossible, plays The Dutchman, the mastermind behind an attack on a Mexican army train carrying $500,000 in gold and a regiment of armed guards. Joining him on what could prove to be a suicide mission are Augustus (James Daly), a professional gambler and former compatriot; Luiz (Nino Castelnuovo), a revolutionary; Mesito (Bud Spencer), a farmhand whose main attribute is brute strength, and a samurai (Tetsuro Tamba) with a talent for knife-throwing.

The Five Man Army might pale in comparison to a larger budget Western like The Magnificent Seven but it has an oddball charm which is helped immensely by Ennio Morricone's staccato score and some unpredictable plot detours along the way. For instance, where else can you see an enactment of a train robbery done with tacos? The scene in question has The Dutchman using his lunch to demonstrate how he plans to pull off his grand caper. Luckily, he's able to do this before Mesito eats everything in sight. The latter is usually seen chewing on a giant chunk of roasted meat or downing whole jugs of wine. But besides the eccentric humor, there's plenty of body-crunching stunts, rapid gunplay, a genuinely striking credit sequence which utilizes real photographs from the Mexican Revolution, and an ending which seems to be headed in the same direction as The Wild Bunch before throwing you a surprise curve.

Although former actor Don Taylor gets a screen credit as the director of The Five Man Army, there is a conflicting account which claims the film was finished by its screenwriter, Dario Argento, when Taylor returned to the United States sooner than expected to start work on a television project. Argento, of course, is well known to horror film buffs as the man behind such landmark Italian giallos as Deep Red (1975) and Tenebre (1982). Another account claims the film was really directed by producer Italo Zingarelli, supposedly a pseudonym for Giulio Questi, the talented director of Death Laid an Egg (1967) aka Plucked!, a wild psychological thriller starring Jean-Pierre Trintignant and Gina Lollobrigida. Regardless of who really directed The Five Man Army, fans of spaghetti Westerns will find much to enjoy here.

Producer: Italo Zingarelli
Director: Don Taylor
Screenplay: Dario Argento
Production Design: Ennio Michettoni
Cinematography: Enzo Barboni
Costume Design: Enzo Bulgarelli, Luciano Sagoni
Film Editing: Sergio Montanari
Original Music: Ennio Morricone
Cast: Peter Graves (Dutchman), James Daly (Augustus), Bud Spencer (Mesito), Nino Castelnuovo (Luis Dominguez), Tetsuro Tamba (Samurai), Giacomo Rossi-Stuart (Mexican Officer).
C-107m. Letterboxed.

by Jeff Stafford 

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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2005, 06:06:37 PM »

Recorded it and watched it this morning, it wasn't bad though it wasn't outstanding either didn't really have a lot of distinctive style, its a better than what must have been an average SW, it kind of plays like a TV movie though it has some great railroad footage for RR buffs.

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« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2006, 03:08:06 PM »

I had seen five men army at the theatre when released and liked it, then. The Morricone title song is one of his best ever, the arrangement is masterful (as usual). Watched again the movie yesterday. I was about to turn off the player at half time, so much the movie is devoid of any originality in plot and dialogues. Still, I thought there must have been something when I saw it as a kid to let me remember it vaguely as good. I was remembering well: the heist of the train is as good as they come, though very simple, and it is a very good reason (though the only one) to watch the movie.

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« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2006, 03:17:21 AM »

I think Five Man Army is a hugely enjoyable sw and similarly to USA western The Professionals i like the idea of each character in the heist having a different skill,and Morricones score makes this pretty much essential!

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« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2006, 09:08:12 AM »

In "Five Man Army" I really liked the scene where their clothes changed in mid-scene as they rode out together, and the scene where the Samarai runs after the train.  Always thought Ennio was squeezing a duck during the musical score.

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Tim
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2006, 11:12:48 AM »

  Five Man Army is one of my favorite spaghettis on entertainment value alone, but there are some jaw-droppingly bad scenes.  How about when they walk right past the sentries to get on the train?  Hhhmmm, where did those four men go?  As well, the eating scene is bad but funny, and I've never liked the scene where the Dutchman and Co. leave the village with all the Mexican villagers.  It seems to played out, coulda been shorter.

  With that said, I still love the movie.  Like Marco said, the heist is the high point of the movie watching the progress on the train and Mesito (Bud Spencer) preparing the off rail.  And the scene where Samurai falls off the train and must race across the countryside to catch up really gets your heart going.

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