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Author Topic: Gli specialisti aka The Specialist/Specialists (1969)  (Read 17727 times)
The Firecracker
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« Reply #45 on: April 27, 2007, 08:28:15 PM »

No complaints because its about a 1/4 inch or more thick, which makes a difference.


but it's a long range weapon that, at one point, is used at very close range.


Wouldn't that make a difference?

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« Reply #46 on: April 28, 2007, 10:50:44 AM »

I don't think it would make too much of a difference, I'd rather be behind plate iron than chain male.

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« Reply #47 on: April 29, 2007, 05:30:32 AM »

But on Mythbusters weren't they using modern powder loads?
Haven't seen it in awhile so I'm not sure.

I think they were trying to debunk the metal cigar box or medallion shield cliche which are normally in the domain of westerns but i recall them using all sorts of ammo  and every time the bullet got through.

Anyway i agree with what FC says about The Specialists being a fantasy film with its fantasy elements,and The Specialists is a very good movie.

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The Firecracker
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« Reply #48 on: May 25, 2007, 08:57:45 PM »

This has a few reviews elsewhere on the board but if we want to be the largest spaghetti western information bank on the web (which we are already slowly achieving) we need to keep everything about one particular film on one thread.


Also this excellent SW needs to be seen by everybody. It's a flawed masterpeice by Corbucci.

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« Reply #49 on: May 26, 2007, 04:12:00 AM »

Well all multi-threads for sw's have already been merged (hopefully) but  i'll keep an eye out for any rogue Specialist reviews that may be hiding somewhere.   Wink


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« Reply #50 on: October 08, 2007, 06:57:11 PM »

THE SPECIALIST 1969 aka GLI SPECIALISTI

Johnny Halliday (Hud), Mario Adorf (El Diablo), Sylvie Fennec (Sheba), Gaston Moshin (Sheriff), Gino Pernice (Romero)

Directed by Sergio Corbucci; Music by Angelo Lavagnino

*****POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD*****


I HAD TO BREAK MY REVIEW UP INTO TWO POSTS AS THE POST COUNT WILL NOT ALLOW ME TO POST THE ENTIRE REVIEW. I POSTED THIS ON ANOTHER SITE AND AT THE BEHEST OF BANJO, I'M POSTING IT HERE AS WELL...

Hud (Halliday), a famous gunman across the US has returned to Blackstone to learn what led to his brother's hanging. A woman named Virginia Pollywood had her bank robbed of all its money and the guilty party was thought to have been Charlie, Hud's brother. Now, the townspeople believe that Hud has come back not just for revenge, but also to recover the stolen bank money. The sheriff (Moshin) requires that no one in Blackstone can carry a gun but problems still arise as assassins try to snipe Hud upon his arrival as well as townsfolk attempting to take his life inside the saloon. Hud goes in search of a bandit named El Diablo (Adorf), a friend from Hud's past who may have some information on Charlie's death. The sheriff pursues Hud keeping a close eye on him until the truth and Charlie's killer is revealed.

I've never seen the actor Halliday before and he reminds me of a very skinny Franco Nero. He is quite intimidating in the gun action sequences and he seldom shows any real emotion other than when anyone mentions his brother you can almost sense in the way he turns his head, he is saddened at the mention of it. He is satisfactory enough and as I said, he's an imposing figure in his long trenchcoat and his actions in the numerous gun battles. Many times however, he comes off as little more than a hoodlum but in light of the way the townsfolk gossip and plot his death or arrest, this is warranted. His treatment of the people in the town reminds me of Eastwood in HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER (1973). It's subtle but the Eastwood film came to mind instantly.

Adorf AGAIN steals the movie away from everyone else even Halliday when both are on the screen at the same time. Adorf seems to always put everything into his roles and here he plays the one-armed nutty Mexican bandit leader El Diablo who grew up with Hud. Diablo has a spur implanted into his stump where his arm used to be and he has his personal secretary of sorts in a little boy named Chico. Every time Diablo has an epiphany or a sudden intuitive idea, he says, "Chico, write this down...On this day..." It's hilarious and it comes to a head during the final moments when he finally confronts Hud after all the secrets are made public. Diablo tells Chico to write down that at that moment he and Hud will now trade bullets with their left hands and he, El Diablo, is the fastest gun. It's not difficult to guess how it turns out but Diablo's final note to Chico is blackly comical in itself.

Moshin again impresses as the good natured sheriff whom you are led to believe (for awhile anyway) that he has something to do with Charlie's execution. He is a strictly by-the-book lawman similar to Frank Wolff's interpretation of the sheriff in Corbucci's major classic THE GREAT SILENCE (1968). He is somewhat bewitched by Virginia Pollywood who fancies herself a seducer of men. You get the impression early on that she is involved much more than is unveiled at the time. Moshin wants to believe that Hud's brother was innocent and at one point in the film you do think that his brother did in fact steal the townspeople's finances. The scenes with Moshin and Halliday are quite good especially their first meeting leading up to their arrival in the town and their uneasy "relationship" when Hud takes off to meet up with El Diablo where things take a turn for the worse for the sheriff.

Corbucci obviously had an eye for action and was far better at it then the more famous (in America anyways) Sergio Leone. All the action scenes are very well handled with special mention of the opening and the big burst of violence towards the end sure to grab the attention of anyone suffering from ADD. He also had a penchant for having characters with deformities or maiming his heroes in some way. In DJANGO, the informer has his ear cut off before being forced to eat it, and Django having his hands crushed underfoot by horses. In GREAT SILENCE, Silence has had his throat cut in a flashback to his childhood not to mention his love of shooting his enemies thumbs off. Also, a Mexican baddie has his face buried in hot coals and the hero again has his hands mutilated. Here, Hud is shot several times and has a pitchfork ran through his leg. Also, Diablo is missing an arm. An arm which he details how he lost as well as offering up what he did to gringo's captured by him and he didn't stop at arms and legs. This maiming of the body could be seen as a more violent and visceral response to Leone and his method of populating his films with characters whom you never get to know but you remember their faces. You never hear them speak but they have such memorable visages that stand out.

In a scene typical of Corbucci, Hud is shot in the back late in the film. In the scene, he has figured out the location of the cash box and just as he is about to open it, the sheriff shows up having survived his contest with the one armed bandit, El Diablo. Once the Sheriff opens the box, Hud sees something that grabs his attention. He steps towards the Sheriff prompting the deputy to shoot him. However, Hud is wearing a chain mail vest which saves him. Once the sheriff returns to the town, the townsfolk, like animals, demand their money returned leading to further trouble for the sheriff when a couple of twists are revealed late in the film. In keeping with Corbucci's insistence to keep his heroes vulnerable all the while maintaining a facade of invincibility, Hud does not escape the film unscathed and an alternate ending reveals that Hud does indeed die in another version.

Also of note is the aforementioned violent and sudden climax when all is revealed. Again, like Corbucci's DJANGO (1966) and THE GREAT SILENCE (1968), a woman is yet again at the center of the film. Here, it's not known exactly the length of said female's involvement until the final 15 minutes but Corbucci slaps you in the face with a rapid fire scene of violence that alternately ties up loose ends and lays waste to the bulk of the cast members. After learning what led to his brother's demise and the towns total lack of concern for him, Hud burns their money in front of them infuriating them further. The band of hippies who have been watching the action on the sidelines through most of the film decide now is the time to take advantage of the situation and Hud in his weakened state especially after he has shunned them on several occasions earlier in the film.They call out the injured Hud in an effort to kill him. In fact, the hippies had thought of him as an invincible gunslinger. Only when he is brought into town layed out on a wagon do they see that he is human after all. If they had not seen this, it is doubtful they would have gotten the courage to call him out during the final moments. With no bullets, Hud goes out to meet them. Their inability to accurately hit him shows their greenhorn skills with the gun. The bullets that do hit their mark bounce off his bullet proof vest. The group of vagrants then run away. Hud also leaves the town having satisfied his search for his brother's killer and eventual murder.

CONTINUED BELOW...

« Last Edit: October 08, 2007, 06:58:17 PM by Arizona Colt » Logged

Arizona Colt
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« Reply #51 on: October 08, 2007, 06:57:45 PM »

CONTINUED...

Speaking of the hippies, I'm not sure what exactly their reason for being in the film is unless Corbucci was trying to make a statement about the Hippy movement of the time and their "war" against the establishment and government. Here, when the law is summarily eradicated, the put upon outcasts take it upon themselves to take control and start their own "law" so to speak. They force the uncaring and callous townsfolk to strip off their clothes in an attempt to humiliate them as they had been humiliated throughout the movie. There is also a scene in which the group of gypsies try and force a young girl into smoking what appears to be a marijuana cigarette before Hud shows up and runs them off.

Maybe this was Corbucci's way of visualizing his thoughts on these kinds of people. People who more or less were vagabonds living off of what others gave them not so much because they couldn't make a living for themselves but because they didn't want to. Maybe Corbucci wasn't trying to say anything at all. Maybe he just threw these few characters in to add a quirky element representative of his other films with offbeat characters and situations.

Corbucci also lends this film an air of dread although not quite as much a gothic horror atmosphere as his GREAT SILENCE (1968), but a fairly melancholic feel which permeates the film and also through the many characters. The only really sympathetic one is Sheba, the young girl Hud befriends. The film also feels like a continuation of themes Corbucci explored previously in his MUD TRILOGY as I like to call it, DJANGO (1966), THE GREAT SILENCE (1968) and this film. All three are fairly downbeat affairs filled with vengeful, self-centered or callous individuals and some sadistic villains. The locations in THE SPECIALIST also impress. Apparently shot in the Alps, Corbucci takes full advantage of the surroundings and these only enhance the film. There seems to be a constant stream of fog in the background over the mountaintops replete with snow and several somewhat eerie graveyard scenes add to the bleak atmosphere.

This DVD was apparently a fansub of the French disc. There are several times where the film switches to French so I assume these bits weren't in the Italian original. There is also at least two bits where there is no dialog at all. Lips are moving but no sound is heard. The only problem is that often the subs either appear too late or too soon but then it's great to have this film subbed at all as I've never heard of an English version of this released anywhere.

Another awesome Corbucci movie, another quirky Corbucci movie that is highly enjoyable with possible subtext from the man and I'm further convinced that Corbucci was as good if not better than Leone as he made just as many great films as the forever praised Leone did and it's a shame, a real shame that Corbucci will remain an unknown and unappreciated director in America as with such films as HELLBENDERS (1966), THE GREAT SILENCE (1968), THE MERCENERY (1968) COMPANEROS (1970) and the genre defining DJANGO (1966; which was probably just as responsible for the propulsion and continuation of the spaghetti western movies as FISTFUL OF DOLLARS was) were true classics. Even films like JOHNNY ORO (1966) and NAVAJO JOE (1966) are testaments of Corbucci's skill at putting on a feast of shockingly violent displays of mindless action that provide what movies are supposed to do in the first place-be entertaining.

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« Reply #52 on: November 10, 2017, 11:18:11 AM »

A behind-the-scenes short with interviews (you can even hear Corbucci speaking French):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yay1wp773ks&ab_channel=LaurentGosselin

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mike siegel
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« Reply #53 on: November 10, 2017, 03:51:25 PM »

Plus de tournage de Corbucci! Merci bien!

Also a pain: Now I have about one hour of behind the the scenes footage
on Corbucci films 1968-1972, but only ONE minute on Leone. A pain Smiley.

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