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Author Topic: To Hell And Back(1968)  (Read 1771 times)
Banjo
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« on: May 20, 2007, 05:04:10 PM »

I've finished To Hell and Back-what a really good sw!  and one of the best more serious Hilton roles i've seen.Directed by Giovanni Fago who also made the equally good For $100,000 Per Killing(with Gianni Garko) and Magnificent Bandit(a Brazilian "western" high on my wanted list starring Tomas Milian),Hilton plays the suave and(initially) happy go lucky Johnny King,an adopted son of a preacher,who while being the fastest gun,has an eye for other guys women but also has a tendency to quote the bible,but unlike the mediocre Lou Castel character in the otherwise excellent Requiescant,this doesn't dent Hiltons usual coolness.
    Gerald Herter is the sadistic head of the Ward brothers intent on buying up every landowners property by means of violent initimidation but Kings stubborn preacher step father refuses to sell up,backed up by Johnnys prowess with a gun.So to get around this problem the Wards frame King for a murder,throw in into jail and do away with the preacher.In jail King teams up with a charismatic rogue Meredith(Paul Stevens),breaks out, joins up with Merediths gang,and by using an ingenious "Trojan Horse" plan dreamed up by King they rob a bank.Money mad Meredith is impressed with King and wants to do more jobs,but all King(now a totally mean dude) wants is to get vengeance on the Ward brothers,  so breaking off from Merediths gang he uses his share of the bank takings to outbid Ward in an auction of the preachers property.
   Things gets really interesting here as Meredith anxious for his next big pay off is hired by the Wards to kill King though he doesn't realise that the "troublemaker" is his former allie,thats as much as i'm gonna give away!!
   I was particularly impressed with Herter ruthless character and performance-he is an avid collector of weird and wonderful firearms and keeps a gallery of wanted posters from his bounty hunting hobby.He also delights in instruments of torture including a human weather vane contraption and in the opening scene he shoots water melons tied to the heads of his fleeing victims-both obvious influences on scenes in Parolinis Adios Sabata,but Ward is a much menacing than Austrian commandant Skimmel.
   A top notch revenge sw that was only marred by the knackered pan & scan video sourced dvd that ruins what sounds like an excellent musical score from Gino Peguri.My rating is 8 out of 10.

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