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
The original draft of the screenplay was written by Franco Solinas and Giorgio Arlorio, and was largely inspired by Bertolt Brecht's "The Exception and the Rule". Gillo Pontecorvo was the intended director. The screenplay was, however, largely rewritten by Luciano Vincenzoni and several others, who re-conceived the film as a Mexican Revolution-based Spaghetti Western. Solinas and Arlorio disowned the new script, and Pontecorvo stepped down as director, believing he did not have enough experience with Westerns. He instead directed Burn! (1969), a film with a similar concept. Alberto Grimaldi then hired Sergio Corbucci to direct because of his experience with Spaghetti Westerns. See more »
Sergei Kowalski uses a Spanish Astra 400 pistol. The pistol was not introduced until 1921, after the Mexican Revolution. See more »
Kowalski aka the Pole:
So, Paco Roman is a clown. Well, better a live clown than a dead hero. As I, Sergei Kowalski, Polish emigrate to the New World, always realised...
[fade-in to flashback of Paco working in a mine]
Kowalski aka the Pole:
When our story began, Paco was only a peon. But one... with a difference.
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I recently got hold of the Japanese DVD print via ebay. This is of really high quality and I was amazed that this film is not more widely known or appreciated. What a brilliant film. In many ways it is similar to Companeros and if you liked that wonderful film you will also love this. The story is somewhat far-fetched but is very enjoyable and fast paced in a 'boys own' way. The machine gun makes its familiar appearance. Franco Nero, as always, delivers a superb performance and Jack Palance gives a very good performance as a very unpleasant killer. The music is brilliant and the duel in the bullring is incomparable and is perfectly choreographed to the wonderful music. If you are interested in westerns you have to see this film.
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