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Spaghetti Western: 44 Movie Collection [11 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

E Dio disse a Caino
Don't let the title mislead you, this film doesn't come from the Bible Belt; it's actually a western where a trigger-happy quickdraw guy has to draw upon all his talent just to stay alive. ~ Phillip Erlewine, Rovi

Run, Man, Run!
A skillful thief with a penchant for knives attempts to outwit a slew of bloodthirsty treasure hunters in this brutal Italian Western from director Sergio Sollima. The gold they seek may be enough to finance the Mexican Revolution -- depending on who gets to it first and what they intend to do with it. Whether it's the thief Cuchillo (Tomas Milian), his passionate fiancée, the sheriff-turned-bounty-hunter, the ruthless bandits, or the fearsome American agents who end up with the gold, two things are certain -- the stakes are high and the competition is literally cutthroat. Run, Man, Run! also features music by Bruno Nicolai and the legendary film composer Ennio Morricone. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Four of the Apocalypse
A vain gambler (Fabio Testi), a pregnant prostitute (Lynne Frederick), a bumbling alcoholic (Michael J. Pollard) and a man who claims to see ghosts (Harry Baird) become unlikely traveling companions in this unusual spaghetti Western from notorious Italian horror director Lucio Fulci. The only survivors of a frontier-town massacre staged to rid the once-lawful town of its overpowering criminal element, the quartet ride the Western trail in a last-ditch bid to reach the next populated area and get back on their feet. Soon drawing the attention of a trigger-happy bandit named Chaco (Tomas Milian), the four cautiously accept him into the fold when Chaco displays a remarkable talent for hunting. When their newfound friend tortures the foursome and leaves them for dead after feeding them hallucinogens, the remaining survivors' desperate bid for survival leads them to take shelter in a ramshackle mining town inhabited only by men of questionable honor. As the birth of her child draws closer, prostitute Bunny (Frederick) looks to suave gambler Stubby (Testi) for the love and support to bring her child into the world. Though the men of the town reluctantly band together to aid Bunny in the birth of her baby, Stubby finds himself torn between the prospect of fatherhood and his unquenchable thirst for revenge against the supremely evil Chaco. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Il Grande Duello
Il Grande Duello is the original title of this Italian/French/West German production. The titular duel pits hard-bitten gunslinger Clayton (Lee Van Cleef) against the equally gritty Saxon (Horst Frank). Before this takes place, however, Clayton champions the cause of Newland (Peter O'Brien) a young punk who'd been framed on a murder charge. One of the beauties of the spaghetti western genre is that there were seldom any clearly defined Good or Bad Guys. This helped to keep the audience guessing as to the ultimate outcome of the film, thereby increasing the entertainment value tenfold. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Kid Vengeance
One of Cannon Films' two 1976 Italian-Israeli co-productions starring Lee Van Cleef and Leif Garrett (Gianfranco Parolini's Pistola di Dio was the other), this spaghetti western was actually shot in the Middle East by American director Joseph Manduke. Pop star Garrett plays Tom, a teenager who teams with a black gunfighter named Isaac (Jim Brown) to avenge his family. The culprit was McClain (Van Cleef), a sadistic outlaw who carried out the brutal rape-massacre, but his role is minor, as most of the film deals with Tom's maturation and coming to terms with his feelings. Omnipresent 1970s character actors Glynnis O'Connor and John Marley co-star. If there is anything remarkable about Kid Vengeance, it is Francesco Masi's fine musical score, but the film is otherwise anemic. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

Sundance and the Kid
A pair of brothers do all they can to get their hands on a nice fat inheritance. The film is also known as Sundance Cassidy and Butch the Kid. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Trinita E Sartana Figli Di...
Jesse and Lester, Two Brothers in a Place Called Trinity
Two opposite brothers are the focus of this western where one brother heads to a whorehouse and the other brother goes to a Mormon church. ~ Jeaniff Dorset, Rovi

The Great Adventure
The real name of director "Paul Elliotts" is Gianfranco Baldanetto, indication enough that The Great Adventure is not a Hollywood product. Adapted from a story by Jack London, the film features Fred Romer (aka Fernando Romero) as a young boy exploring the wilds of Alaska in the company of a large white dog. During a stopover in a gold-rush town, the boy is targeted as a sucker by the town boss (Jack Palance). Our hero is also flummoxed by a sexy dance-hall girl (Joan Collins). As the story unfolds, the boy is threatened by such less-imposing adversaries as wild wolves and bad weather. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Lo Chiamavano King
In this spaghetti Western, Richard Harrison stars as a mercenary who hunts down the gunrunners who raped his wife (Anne Puskin) and killed his brother. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi

Three Graves for a Winchester
Boot Hill
A tough adventurer and his sidekick find outlaws and rowdy women in this action-filled spaghetti western. ~ Kristie Hassen, Rovi

Il Prezzo del Potere
Italian director Tonino Valerii recreates a fistful of JFK conspiracy theories in Western settings with this bizarre look at the assassination of President James Garfield in 1890 Dallas. Granted, the assassination really occurred in Washington in 1881, but Valerii and screenwriter Massimo Patrizi don't let their allegory be ruined by facts. Anyway, it's a well-made film, with cinematography by Stelvio Massi and a suitably stentorian soundtrack by Luis Enrique Bacalov, but its appeal is probably limited to fans of Euro-oaters. Giuliano Gemma, Fernando Rey, and Van Johnson star, while genre enthusiasts will recognize veterans Frank Brana and Antonio Casas. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

China 9, Liberty 37
China 9, Liberty 37 falls halfway between the Hollywood backlot-western school and the Italian "spaghetti" western genre, borrowing the best elements from both. Fabio Testi plays a gunfighter who is saved at the last moment from a hangman's noose. His liberators are a cartel of railroad men who want Testi to kill farmer (and former hired gun) Warren Oates, who has refused all entreaties to sell his land. As part of the scheme, Testi befriends Oates; on his own volition, he sleeps with Oates' wife Jenny Agutter. When the railroad barons insist that Testi go through with his mission, he refuses, and helps the farmer fight off the train moguls' hired thugs. Also known as Gunfire, China 9 Liberty 37 features a cameo by director Monte Hellman's role model, Sam Peckinpah, who plays a bombastic Ned Buntline-style novelist. And the significance of the title? It's the location of Warren Oates' spread: Nine miles from the town of China, 37 miles from the town of Liberty. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Ciakmull - L'uomo della vendetta
The Unholy Four was originally titled Ciak Mull, L'Uomo Della Vendetta. It's one of those spaghetti westerns in which the heroes and heavies are virtually indistinguishable. Though the outlaw leader (played by George Eastman credited by his birth name Luigi Montefiore) is evil incarnate, he isn't much worse than the four mercenaries hunting him down. Stalwart John Ford-regular Woody Strode is given plenty of screen time, and he makes the most of it. Director Enzo Barboni was billed as "E. B. Clucher" in the American prints. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

T'ammazzo!... Raccomandati a Dio
Hollywood's John Ireland made an appearance in this typical "Spaghetti" Western about a military officer, a huckster, and a mysterious femme fatale who team up once again to search for the loot from an old bank heist. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Se Incontri Sartana Prega Per la Tua Morte
In this western, an engimatic stranger stops a stage from being robbed. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

En el Oeste Se Puede Hacer... Amigo
Italian action hero Bud Spencer stars in Maurizio Lucidi's comedy Western The Big and the Bad. While wandering through the West (which looks a lot like Spain), Spencer becomes intimate with the gorgeous Dany Saval -- discovering, all too late, that she is the younger sister of vengeful gunslinger Jack Palance. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Gli Fumavano le Colt... Lo Chiamavano Camposanto
Beyond the Law
Unlike Clint Eastwood, who in the 1960s was cast as the Man With No Name, Beyond the Law star Lee Van Cleef has a name, and a very functional one. Van Cleef is known to one and all as Bandit Turned Sheriff. Actually, a more appropriate cognomen would be Bandit Turned Sheriff But Still a Bandit, since Van Cleef only pretends to reform so that he can steal a cavalry payroll. Since it's hard to watch Beyond the Law with a straight face to begin with, the producers wisely decided to turn this spaghetti western into a semi-comedy. Released in Italy in 1967 as Al Di La Della Legge, Beyond the Law was distributed in the US in 1971. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Deserter
A captain convicted of deserting his cavalry (Bekim Fehmiu) is released to lead a band of deputized renegades. Together, the force must defeat a band of Apache braves. The film was released to video as Ride to Glory. ~ John Bush, Rovi

Django Il Bastardo
Sergio Garrone's spaghetti Western The Strangers Gundown tells a tale of revenge. A man known simply as The Stranger (Anthony Steffen) goes about settling old scores with the traitorous military leaders who allowed their entire regimen (a regimen that at the time included The Stranger) to be murdered by the enemy. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi

Ben e Charlie
Giulliano Gemma is Ben and George Eastman is Charlie in this obscure western. B&C are a pair of small-time hustlers, forever just one step ahead of the law. They finally settle in a town where the people are as green as their money. This time, however, Ben and Charlie outsmart themselves, but good. Listed in most sources as an American film, Ben and Charlie looks decidedly European to us (unless of course, it's common practice for bit players to be speaking English while their lips are moving to a different rhythm). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Arizona Colt
This Italian/French/Spanish sagebrusher stars Giuliano Gemma as the Arizona Colt, a notorious bandit. Imprisoned in a desert town, the Colt is sprung by gang leader Gordon Watch (Fernando Sancho). Instead of galloping off into the sunset, Our Hero elects to stay in town to defend its citizens from the film's real bad guys: Watch's gang. Had Clint Eastwood and Sergio Leone had anything to do with it, Arizona Colt would probably be hailed as a classic; as it stands, it's just another spaghetti western. The film was also released as Man From Nowhere. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Fistful of Lead
When a bounty hunter watches an Old-West gold heist he sets out after the bandits in hopes of making their loot his. ~ Phillip Erlewine, Rovi

I Lunghi Giorni dell'Odio
In this spaghetti western, two adventurous G-men masquerade as arms smugglers and sneak into a gang. When one of them returns home, he finds his parents have been murdered and his sister brutally raped. Now he rides out for revenge and bloody mayhem ensues. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Mio Nome È Shanghai Joe
Director Mario Caiano, best known for the gorgeous horror film Amanti d'Oltretomba, made eleven Westerns in his career, but none as strange as this one. Perhaps it might help some to recall that the TV-series Kung Fu was enjoying great popularity at around the same time employing a similar East-meets-West theme. This film is much more grim and bloody, however, as it tells the tale of a Chinese man (Chen Lee) who travels to San Francisco in 1882. Looking for a better life, all he finds is scum -- racists, perverts, slavers, greedy conmen and mercenaries. Naturally, the gentle mystic must fight to find inner peace. Lee's major weapon -- aside from knives and lethal yo-yos -- is a devastating punch that rams all the way through his opponents' bodies. But that isn't the half of it. A cardshark gets his eyes gouged out in revolting detail, people are beaten to bloody pulp, and the villain of the piece (Klaus Kinski in a fascinating performance) is Scalper Jack, a mincing, sadistic bounty-hunter who tortures and skins his victims alive. A depressing and violent film, this exercise in bloodletting is powerful stuff and well-acted by a veteran cast including Giacomo Rossi Stuart, Claudio Undari and Gordon Mitchell, who also appeared in Caiano's Erik IL Vichingo. Adalberto Albertini made an unfortunate comic sequel the following year with Kinski (in a different role) and Lee. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

Anche nel west c'era una volta Dio
A bunch of anxious men attempt to track down the treasure stolen from a Texan church, and few are left standing. ~ Kristie Hassen, Rovi

Four Rode Out
In this western, a Mexican desperado tries to flee his partner, a determined girl friend, and a US Marshal. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Apache Blood
A young Indian brave who survived a massacre of his tribe by the U.S. Army, sets out to avenge their deaths and confronts a cavalry scout in the desolation of the desert. ~ Deb Rainsbottom, Rovi

The Manhunt
In this drama, a man who is unjustly imprisoned escapes, and soon the manhunt is on. After a stranger (John Ethan Wayne) buys two horses at an auction in Tucson, he stops to water them on the property of rancher Ben Robeson (Ernest Borgnine). The unscrupulous rancher sees an easy mark, so he accuses the stranger of stealing the horses from his stables and ultimately gets him thrown in jail for three years. Determined to get revenge against the rancher, the stranger escapes with justice on his mind. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

Django, Kill ... If You Live, Shoot!
In this spaghetti western, a cowboy rides into a town that two gangs have taken over. One of the gangs wears black leather and rides white horses. The other gang belongs to a storekeeper. The stranger and the two Indians who assist him manage to survive a massacre between the two rival gangs. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Django e Sartana
In this Italian western, the citizens of the town of Black City are being terrorized by a murderous gun-running gang. Two gunfighters, Django and Sartana, team up to wipe out the gang and bring back order to Black City. ~ Brian Gusse, Rovi

Il Ritorno di Zanna Bianca
A brave German Shepherd defends an elderly gold-mine owner against greedy baddies in this Arctic adventure. ~ Kristie Hassen, Rovi

Find a Place to Die
Nello Pazzafini, using the pseudonym "Ted Carter," leads a band of outlaws in this rousing spaghetti western from director Giuliano Carmineo (as "Anthony Ascott"). Lisa (Pascale Petit) and her brother Paul are settlers who discover an abandoned mine full of gold but are attacked and robbed by Pazzafini's gang. Wandering to the town of Eagle's Nest, Lisa enlists the aid of a vagabond gunfighter named Joe Collins (Jeffrey Hunter) in getting back the gold and avenging her brother's murder. Aldo Lastretti appears as the obligatory fake priest, Rev. Riley, and genre regulars Daniela Giordano and Piero Lulli co-star. Hugo Fregonese collaborated on the screenplay, while Ricardo Pallottini provided the striking cinematography. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

Mannaja
Despite coming along fairly late in the cycle, this spaghetti western is one of the genre's best. Maurizio Merli plays Blade, a bounty hunter who captures outlaw Burt Craven (Donald O'Brien) by throwing his hatchet and chopping off Craven's hand. In the nearby town of Suttonstead, Blade wins a poker game against Voller (Caligula's John Steiner), and -- because he can't get a reward for Craven -- frees his captive. Later, Voller ambushes Blade in the wilderness, burying him up to his neck and sewing his eyelids open so his eyes will be burnt out by the sun. Craven discovers Blade and repays his freedom by saving the now-blinded gunman, who learns to shoot by sound rather than sight. The conclusion has Blade getting his revenge in a dark silver mine, where he has the advantage against Voller and his men. Director Sergio Martino is best known for stylish thrillers and uses his considerable visual style to give this violent, grandiose film an almost mythical resonance. Fans of gritty realism in spaghetti westerns may not relate to Martino's flamboyant style, but most Euro-devotees will find it immensely appealing. Martine Brochard, Rik Battaglia, and Philippe Leroy co-star. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

Johnny Yuma
Infidelity, murder, and betrayal lies at the center of this violent Spaghetti western. A scheming wife does away with her husband, causing the man's heir to seek revenge. A number of double-crosses and bloody gun battles follow, eventually driving the woman to flee into the desert. ~ Judd Blaise, Rovi

Hate Thy Neighbor
Minnesota Clay
In this western, a captured gunslinger is sentenced to swing, but before his execution day, manages to escape from prison. He then seeks out the one man who can prove his innocence. Because he is slowly going blind, he must use his enhanced sense of hearing. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Dead Men Don't Make Shadows
Death Rides a Horse
Bill (John Phillip Law) grows up to seek revenge on the gang that killed his parents. He meets up with Ryan (Lee Van Cleef), a veteran gunslinger seeking his own revenge for the ones who put him in prison. The two proceed to shoot everything that moves in this violent spaghetti western. Bill eventually discovers Ryan was there when his parents were killed and is torn between killing Ryan and letting him ride off into the sunset. ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi

Keoma
Half-breed Keoma (Franco Nero) returns to his border hometown after service in the Civil War and finds it under the control of Caldwell (Donald O'Brien), an ex-Confederate raider, and his vicious gang of thugs. To make matters worse, Keoma's three half-brothers have joined forces with Caldwell, and make it painfully clear that his return is an unwelcome one. Determined to break Caldwell and his brothers' grip on the town, Keoma partners with his father's former ranch hand (Woody Strode) to exact violent revenge. ~ Paul Gaita, Rovi

White Comanche
In this film, the twin sons of a white man and an Indian woman must struggle to overcome both their sibling rivalry and their conflicting identities. ~ Iotis Erlewine, Rovi

White Fang and the Hunter
Courageous Alaskan canine White Fang and David, his fur-trapping master are beset by wolves and later help save a widow who is being forced to marry a man she despises. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

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