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Author Topic: Johnny Hamlet (Quella sporca storia nel West) (1968)  (Read 6161 times)
titoli
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« on: January 03, 2007, 01:31:26 PM »

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063479/

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


The thing I liked best is the title song: up to Morricone's standards even for the arrangement. Then the story: what do you expect from Corbucci (who had the "idea" for the transposition to West: gosh, he is credited with this great piece of thinking!) and Castellari dealing with Shakespeare? Of course they throw Shakespeare away at the start and that's their great merit: they take some of the plot of the tragedy and turn it into a mystery which has the inescapable fault of being no mystery at all if you know the tragedy (and if you don't but you're just a SW fan the casting of Horst Frank as Claudius\Claude let you know immediately anyway). So what it is that saves this from triviality? Some elements. The landscape (the one with the mushroom rocks) is really surrelistic; the indoor cemetery: probably art director Bulgarelli's idea, and a great one. The confrontations there (too many though) have a special character. The gold trail at the end (I won't be more specific). And Castellari's direction. He's not my favourite director but you have to own him that he knows how to set up a scene and where to put the camera (BTW, the people who got enthused for the "target" behind-shot in Keoma will discover here their progenitors). Maybe, among SW directors, he's second only to Leone in this, though he hasn't his narrative rhythm and the stories leave much to be desired and confine him in the b series.
I would like to spend some words on Andrea Giordana. People of my generation knew him as the Count of Montecristo which was a sensation in 1967 on italian TV: he was son of actors, he was the handsomest actor of his generation, he was tall, he could play (though uncorrect, but he was only 21, in his delivery: here he is dubbed by somebody else, while his own voice can be heard in El Desperado). Still I knew that he had done 3 western only a few months ago. Apparently they weren't succesful and that maybe ex'plains (though I'm not sure about it) why he disappeared  from cinema to have a career in theatre, with only some occasional appearance in TV (i read this in IMDB). I think his place was taken by Fabio Testi, just as handsome but poor actor. I think he could have had a great international career and can't explain why he had not.


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The Firecracker
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2007, 12:30:07 AM »

Seen the first ten minutes of this and it looks promising.


Agree with Titoli on the cave cemetery. Very nice.

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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2007, 01:33:13 AM »

BTW, the scene on the beach is shot at a summer resort 30 kms from Rome where me and my family started to spend holidays since 1971. You can see some ancient roman ruins and maybe you'll notice that a II world war german bunker was, of course, hidden from view.

I would also spend some words on Françoise Prevost, at the same time one of the ugliest (well, at least not pretty) and sexiest actresses who haunted my, alas, greener years. Castellari doesn't invent for her some sexy scene though (apart from maybe the introductory scene) and the protracted scene after she's shot is beyond pure dementiality.

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The Firecracker
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2007, 01:37:52 AM »

BTW, the scene on the beach is shot at a summer resort 30 kms from Rome where me and my family started to spend holidays since 1971. You can see some ancient roman ruins and maybe you'll notice that a II world war german bunker was, of course, hidden from view.




I plan to watch it again from the beginning so I'll keep an eye out for it.

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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2007, 01:59:34 AM »

Of course you can't see it's a bunker, but you see in the last shot that something in the background it's hidden from view.

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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2007, 06:04:02 PM »

I've been holding back on playing this one-got put off by the Shakespear references but perhaps i'll give it a look very soon Roll Eyes

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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2007, 09:53:03 AM »

    Just finished watching this-absolutely outstanding and up there with Castellari's Keoma-i see that he reused Keomas crucifixion scene from Johnny Hamlet.
   Titoli's comments about the direction,camerawork,locations,music etc are spot on and all the lead performances are excellent including Horst Franck(always a great villain) and Gilbert Roland as the guardian angel. By coincidence i caught Andrea Giordana in Dirty Outlaws last nght and i'm very impressed with him as the leading guy and i'm now looking forward to watching both Cost Of Dying and Massacre At Grand Canyon which i've been sitting on for awhile.I see in Weissers book he only starred in just the 4 Undecided.Weisser  suggests that Johnny Hamlet was a  "dark hour" for scriptwriter Sergio Corbucci-what a complete twit!! I'd expect Shobary to award this at least an 85% rating Afro 

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titoli
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2007, 05:48:44 PM »

Of course, I was referring to Giordana's 3 western "after" Montecristo (not that I knew about the first SW, but that doesn't count). BTW it might be interesting the fact that his mother (one of the most beautiful actresses of the '40's) was born (and, if I rememeber well, raised) in England:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0078055/

here in Quo vadis?






Which lets me presume he should be speaking english like a native. Which would render even more enigmatic his going nowhere.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2007, 05:52:53 PM by titoli » Logged

pixelated
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2007, 07:12:34 PM »

great film- definitely in my top 15


for some reason, i was completely unaware of Corbucci's involvement.. strange, considering he's probably my favorite spag director


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The Firecracker
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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2007, 09:35:21 AM »

I'm not as enthused as Banjo and Pixelated were.


Agree with Titoli, if you know the story there is no mystery. I was half hoping for the movie to throw Shakespeare completly out the window and have the Roland character be Johnny's father's killer. Alas, that is not the case.


Some good moments...Johnny's torture, cave cemetery, and a good use of a stairwell during a gunfight.


If it weren't for the inclusion of the above it would be an average affair.


The main title theme is very good.

Was I the only one who laughed when Frank casually walks out of the barn while Johnny is firing at him?



EDIT: A stepping stone for Keoma I think. Castallari was mostly doing silly comedy westerns around this time so it's nice to see him doing this sort of thing even though the film didn't come off that great.

« Last Edit: February 09, 2007, 09:38:09 AM by The Firecracker » Logged



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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2009, 04:06:52 AM »

I watched that movie yesterday and I REALLY enjoyed it. The story is nothing special, but IMO the cinematograpgy and the direction are great. I also liked the music.

I could be wrong, but I think that one of the movie's filimg locations is "La Ciudad Encantada" in Cuenca (Spain). Here are some links, and please anyone correct me if you feel I am wrong.  You can also google the term for more pictures Smiley








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