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A Professional Gun (1968)
"Il mercenario" (original title)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 2,202 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 20 critic

While a Mexican revolutionary lies low as a U.S. rodeo clown, the cynical Polish mercenary who tutored the idealistic peasant tells how he and a dedicated female radical fought for the soul... See full summary »

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Ricciolo ('Curly')
Tony Musante ...
...
Eduardo Fajardo ...
Alfonso García
Lorenzo Robledo ...
Officer
Álvaro de Luna ...
Ramón
Raf Baldassarre ...
Mateo
Vicente Roca ...
Elias Garcia
José Canalejas ...
Sebastian
Franco Ressel ...
Studs
Guillermo Méndez ...
Captain
Enrique Navarro
Simón Arriaga ...
Simón
Ugo Adinolfi
Edit

Storyline

While a Mexican revolutionary lies low as a U.S. rodeo clown, the cynical Polish mercenary who tutored the idealistic peasant tells how he and a dedicated female radical fought for the soul of the guerrilla general Paco, as Mexicans threw off repressive government and all-powerful landowners in the 1910s. Tracked by the vengeful Curly, Paco liberates villages, but is tempted by social banditry's treasures, which Kowalski revels in. Written by David Stevens

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He sells death to the highest bidder! Buy or die!

Genres:

Comedy | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence and brief nudity | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

29 August 1968 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

A Professional Gun  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Gross:

ESP 21,793,177 (Spain)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Palance plays a character named "Curly". Palance later won an Oscar for City Slickers (1991), in which he also played a character named "Curly". See more »

Goofs

Sergei Kowalski uses a Spanish Astra 400 pistol. The pistol was not introduced until 1921, after the Mexican Revolution. See more »

Quotes

Kowalski aka the Pole: Dream, Paco, but dream with your eyes open.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Inglourious Basterds (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A PROFESSIONAL GUN (Sergio Corbucci, 1968) ***
24 August 2006 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Last week, I came across a sale of Italian DVDs of several Spaghetti Westerns; I managed to purchase 4 of them and, being one of 2 I hadn't watched before, this ended up as the first I checked out.

Actually, I had missed this on late-night Italian TV; considering that a similar 'political' Spaghetti Western directed by Corbucci and co-starring Franco Nero and Jack Palance, namely COMPANEROS (1970), had been a bit too much tongue-in-cheek for my taste, I expected this to be in the same vein. However, while certainly lighthearted in comparison with Corbucci's DJANGO (1966; which I should revisit again in a couple of days) and especially THE GREAT SILENCE (1968), it's a more balanced proposition than COMPANEROS (particularly with respect to Palance's performance - quietly menacing here as opposed to the campiness of the later film) and, thus, superior to it in practically every way.

Nero has already matured quite a bit from the youthful gunslinger in DJANGO; here, he's basically playing a variation on Clint Eastwood's iconic Man With No Name figure in Sergio Leone's "Dollars Trilogy" (incidentally, Nero's own voice resembles that of Enrico Maria Salerno

  • who used to dub Eastwood in those films!). Indeed, the ongoing game


of cat-and-mouse revolving around Nero, Palance and Mexican revolutionary Tony Musante is clearly inspired by the tricky relationship that went on between Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef in THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (1966)! This is most evident in the numerous scenes where the taciturn Nero gets the brash Musante out of trouble or, conversely, 'sells' him to the authorities...and even more in the rather splendid showdown between the three characters, undoubtedly the film's highlight - given another dimension by being set in a bullring with Palance sporting a wig (he's nicknamed Curly!) and Musante made up as a clown!!

Despite her belated entrance in the film, Giovanna Ralli makes quite an impression as a fiery Mexican woman who hitches up with Musante; Euro-Cult and Spaghetti Western regular Eduardo Fajardo is also on hand as the requisite figure of oppression (who, at one point, is made to eat a living lizard by Musante!). While the comedy never quite descends into spoofiness and the political content is thankfully downplayed, the action sequences are very well handled...and the film is further blessed with a memorable theme tune by the one and only Ennio Morricone (with a little help from his friend and protégé Bruno Nicolai).


9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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