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Author Topic: Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears  (Read 12402 times)
Marco Leone
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« on: October 19, 2005, 02:45:17 PM »

My words of wisdom(?) on yesterday's viewing.....

DEAF SMITH AND JOHNNY EARS
Set in 1830's Texas, Erastus 'Deaf' Smith (Anthony Quinn) is an ageing but trusted spy for the president, despite the obvious handicap of being a deaf mute. His friend and companion is the sexually charged Spaniard Johnny Ears (Franco Nero), seemingly on a constant mission to obtain another notch on his bed post (or should I say, someone elses!). Infact, unlike your usual Spaghetti Western hero, he is probably more likely to be found in bed than in a bar brawl or gunfight.

The two have been sent by the president to halt the uprising down south, where a rebel by the name of Morton is rallying a rebellion to create independence and domination, with the help of German backing.

The whole emphasis of the story is the great bond between Nero and Quinn, which is quite enjoyable throughout. Comically, Johnny Ears is constantly throwing stones at the laid back Smith in order to get his attention. Ears' relationship with the luscious local whore Susie (Pamela Tiffin) is also a fine display of character play, as their interplay changes from flirtation to sexual tension, and from lust to love. Hell, by the end, Ears seems willing to quit his womanising ways and settle down with the blonde beauty.

There are entertaining one-liners throughout (all obviously left to Nero, who is in fine comic form). As for Quinn, the whole idea that a deaf gunhand can survive and be held in such esteem is entertaining in itself (as he walks away completely unaware of the explosions metres behind him, and sneaks up on opponents oblivious to the fact that the bells on a whores garter - given to him whilst he awaited the return of the promiscuous Ears from the local brothel - are jangling together).

Aside from these highlights, the film is fairly average fare. At times Smith's inability to communicate can be as frustrating to the viewer as it must be to Smith himself. The Director does however highlight this disability to some effect, with silence at any time when the story is shown from Smith's eyes. Too much weight is also placed on the final action-packed climax, which goes on for an age with a maximum explosion count (although it does contain a priceless moment when Ears is unable to operate the enemies' machine gun - a skill mastered to great effect by Nero's Django).

In summary, this is an entertaining little film, high on cheese but low on substance. And there are days when that is exactly the sort of "popcorn" movie that you want to watch. If you are in that mood (I was) you will probably enjoy it (I did!). But it is definitely more "watchable" than "recommended".

If you've seen it, feel free to vote at http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/spaghettiwesterns/reviews/deafsmithandjohnnyears.html

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Banjo
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2005, 03:31:07 AM »

Whilst i agree Deaf,Smith & Johnny Ears ,for a light-hearted SW, is light years away from Companeros/Mercenary/Long Live Your Death it is as Marco says nontheless very entertaining,and if Quinn is a little dull,Nero as always is excellent in his role which quite often pokes fun at his previous Django/mercenary incarnations.Well worth the investment if you can get hold of a reasonably priced burnt copy as i did!!!

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Marco Leone
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2005, 02:45:25 PM »

And Nero generally makes any film worth watching.  The Mercenary is lined up for the next couple of weeks - and I've been told and read that its one of the best.

Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears is definately good fun though.  Hmmmm, could I slowly but surely be getting a liking for these comedy westerns???   Cheesy

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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2005, 04:57:34 AM »

Funny you should say about the Mercenary because having endured for a couple of years the atrocious picture quality of my A Professional Gun USA video, i finally forked out the reddies for a burnt copy of the Japanese DVD which arrived yesterday and i probably don't need to tell you it is fantastic in quality and has extra footage!!!Similarly i only have Companeros on a UK vhs but my wifes getting the USA dvd for me this Xmas.I don't know if this will be any longer also?I'm also hoping that eventually a decent dvd print of the Corbucciesque Long Live Your Death will eventually emerge.
I used to feel the same about comedy SW's but my wife loves them(espescially Hill & Spencer) and i now take them as they are for a bit of good fun.They are even one or two good moments in Life is Tough Eh Providence? which i know your not keen on but it only cost me a couple of quid and it has Tomas Milian!!!
One more thing about Franco Nero ,i haven't seen the Tramplers or Cry Onion,have you?

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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2005, 08:05:10 AM »

Fellow Spaghetti junkies. Avoid Cry Onion at all costs!
Freckle faced Nero in a comedy wig and dungarees dubbed with a faux Jimmy Stewart voice. :shudder:
Spends most of the time in the movie chucking onions at unsuspecting bad guys. Hopelessly unfunny.

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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2005, 11:45:46 AM »

They are even one or two good moments in Life is Tough Eh Providence?
banjo please tell me where i can get this as i'm a huge fan of Milian and can't get this anywhere.

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Marco Leone
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2005, 01:21:21 PM »

Indio, I got hold of a copy of Providence from ebay, albeit with foreign subtitles.  It was a copy of an old VHS video transferred to DVD.

Banjo - I have got The Tramplers but not seen it yet.  I got it on the back of The Hellbenders, which is one of my favourites.


Smoker -  Cheesy a film with Nero throwing onions sounds good to me!!!

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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2005, 02:38:54 PM »

Smoker - Cheesy a film with Nero throwing onions sounds good to me!!!

Marco please look at this poster, before you make a mistake.



Oh how could i forgot about the horse wearing a straw hat... Because thats always a funny number that one. Roll Eyes

P.S. Always wondered if Sterling Hayden actually turned down the role of legendary Shark Hunter Quint from amid 70s shark monster movie. (a part eventally filled by Robert Shaw, The second option) deciding on travelling to Italy to be in this little sweet number?


« Last Edit: October 21, 2005, 03:54:34 PM by The Smoker » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2005, 03:27:48 PM »

not a good example SMOKER


that poster makes me want to see the movie.  Smiley













hey if i sat through THE FOG remake this definatly deserves my attention.

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Marco Leone
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« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2005, 04:16:28 PM »

 Cheesy Thats a fantastic poster!!!!  Hahahaha.

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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2005, 05:38:22 AM »

Indio,sounds like Marco got his Providence dvd from the same source as myself.I haven't seen it listed on Ebay recently but the guy who sold it to me always has big SW lists there and i suggest you contact him,he is very affable.
By the way i don't like Charlie Chaplin but Milian does pull off his loose imitation very well and is funny,and Morricones very upbeat score is addictive.Although not strictly for Leone purists,this film is weird,but hard not to like.

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Marco Leone
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2005, 05:32:43 AM »

'ere Banjo..... is it you that keeps out-bidding me hahaha  Cheesy

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indio
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« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2005, 07:10:51 AM »

so does anyone wanna trade these?

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Banjo
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« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2005, 09:57:09 AM »

I don't usually get involved in a bidding war Marco because the DVD's do tend to get relisted the next day!!
My wife had to restrain me from getting a bank loan about 6 months ago because the seller in question not only had about 50 SW titles up for sale,but also had about half a dozen DVDs of each title and several DVDs were finishing, by the minute, unsold at a 3.00 starting price,but i did manage to come away with a good handful of DVD's for what seemed like an absolute steal!!
Sorry Indio,i want to keep hold of my copy.

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Marco Leone
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« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2005, 02:22:23 PM »

I'm the same Indio, even the ones that aren't so good I have a real soft spot for.

Banjo, I'm pretty much the same bidding wise.  I tend to know the maximum I'll pay, on the basis that they usually get listed again.  There are about 3 sellers these days on ebay where I'll get a fair amount from, but I'll never pay too much.  As a perfect example, I paid 3 each for Jonathan of the Bears and the Belle Starr story, both of which were great views.

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