English scholar visits a small Spanish town in the Andalusian mountains to investigate the disappearance of another English scholar long ago. He learns of the legend of Sabina, a mysterious dragon woman who becomes his obsession.
José Luis Borau
In a fictitious South American country there's lots of political tension, the labor-unions have all their members on strike. The public demands the return of politician B. from exile. ... See full summary »
José Luis Borau
Paella/Spaghetti Western co-produced by Spain/Italy , being decently directed by the great filmmaker Jose Luis Borau
This Tortilla Western packs drama , shootouts , high body-count , thrills and results to be quite entertaining . Powerful local forces (George Rigaud , Giuseppe Addobbati or John MacDouglas as Judge , among others) enlist the services of a nasty gunfighter called Moody (Robert Hundar who starred a notorious Paella Western , Cutthroats) , to kill a shopkeeper in order to seize his ownership and to pay bribes ; as the gunslinger carries out an explosion on his property . After that , the town drunken named Brandy (Alex Nicol in a Robert Mitchum's El Dorado role alike) is hired as the new marshal after Moody kills the former (Antonio Casas) . But Brandy gathers together a reformed gunman (Luis Induni) , Pastor Andrews (Renzo Palmer) and a hopeful young boy (Mark Johnson) and both of whom face off the villain enemies . Then , the good people take on a blockade of gunfighters surrounding the little town and the prison . Meanwhile , Brandy is helped and finally falls in love for a hot-head young woman (Maite Blasco) . All of them fighting for their lives against the land baron (George Rigaud) and his hired killers such as the sinister Moody (Robert Hundar in Jack Palance's Shane role alike , he even is clad utterly in black and wears black gloves) whose finger itches demoniacally on the trigger every time he gets a contender in his sights . Ultimately , Brandy with the help of the townsfolk vanquishes shotgun-toting Moody, his gang and the corrupt officials
There is plenty of action and thrills in the movie , guaranteeing some shoot'em up or stunts every few minutes . Acceptable Chorizo Western though contains some flaws and in which a drunk become sheriff resolves a conflict among officials : corrupt Land Baron , Mayor , Judge that want to blackmail villagers and the good guys who attempt their freedom . All in all, this film is predominantly a Spanish film rather than an Italian one. It's a two country co-production but is clearly dominated by the Spanish contingent and the traditional leanings of the Spanish producers of the time have their stamp on the entire proceedings. The Spanish westerns of this era were far more likely to try and emulate their American source material than cultivate a distinctive style of their own the way the Italians were doing but their product, if you like traditional westerns remains watchable . It's a thrilling western with breathtaking gunfight between the protagonist Alex Nicol against the heartless Robert Hundar and his nasty hoodlums and a stirring ending fight . It's an entertaining story with a touch of peculiarity , some great characters, and an agreeable soundtrack . The basic plot is typical spaghetti western fare , but what makes this movie stand out is its style . There is a very odd implementation of shots in the camera work during some particular scenes as the film approaches its climax , such as in the ending gundown . The movie gets the usual Western issues , as avengers antiheroes , strong facing off , exaggerated baddies and spectacular duels , among them . The sense of pacing is such interesting that his film can be counted on to move quickly and smoothly . Sympathetic acting by Alex Nicol who takes on a band of crooks , unethical Mayor & his gang, and he then decides that he wants to get justice for the friendly townsfolk . Alex Nicol starred during the sixties and seventies several American Western as well as Chorizo or Paella Western such as ¨Relevo para Pistolero¨, ¨Gunfighters of Casa Grande ¨ and "The Savage Guns" or ¨Tierra Brutal¨, the latter considered to be the first Spaghetti . Furthermore , there appears ordinary secondary of Spaghetti/Paella Western as Spanish players : Luis Induni , José Canalejas , Miguel del Castillo , Alfonso de la Vega , Rafael Hernández , Alfonso Rojas , Frank Braña or Italian actors as Renzo Palmer , John MacDouglas and Robert Hundar . Plus , the starring boy turns out to be Mark Johnson , now a prestigious producer who has financed successes such as Rain Man , The Notebook , The Chronicles of Narnia , and Breaking Bad ¡ . Good production design creating an excellent scenario with luminous outdoors , rocky landscapes under a glimmer sun and fine sets by expert set designers Cubero and Galicia who designed several Westerns as Spanish as international ones . Besides , the musician Riz Ortalani composes a nice soundtrack and well conducted .
Striking cinematography by Manuel Merino , but being necessary a correct remastering . Outdoor sequences with barren and rocky exteriors filmed in Spanish places located on outskirts Madrid , Colmenar Viejo , Hoyo De Manzanares and La Pedriza . In Hoyo de Manzanares was built a Western village by producer Eduardo Manzanos Brochero , called 'Golden City' and resulted to be the location in which was shot lots of Westerns produced and directed by Spanish and Italian and occasionally American people . This motion picture was professionally directed by Jose Luis Borau ; however with no originality . He managed to make a fluid and agreeable SW ; though not very good but decent . Borau began as a Critic of cinema and to publish articles about cinema in newspapers . He enters the Spanish Official Cinema School where he later become a teacher and after that , he directed documentaries and films . He was President of the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ; in addition , member of the jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1991 . Borau was one of the best Spanish filmmakers who alternated flops as ¨Rio Abajo¨, ¨Leo¨ , ¨El Monosabio¨, ¨Tata Mia¨, along with successes such as ¨La Sabina¨ , ¨Mi Querida Señorita¨ , ¨Hay Que Matar a B¨, and his greatest picture , the hit ¨Furtivos¨ .
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