IMDb > The Mercenary (1968)
Il mercenario
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The Mercenary (1968) More at IMDbPro »Il mercenario (original title)

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Franco Solinas (story) and
Giorgio Arlorio (story) ...
View company contact information for The Mercenary on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 August 1968 (Italy) See more »
He sells death to the highest bidder! Buy or die!
A well-groomed, greedy Polish mercenary aids a Mexican Revolutionary against the repressive government, while butting heads with a young female radical and an American rival. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
The one that almost got away. See more (27 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Franco Nero ... Sergei Kowalski, the Polish

Jack Palance ... Ricciolo ('Curly')
Tony Musante ... Paco Roman

Giovanna Ralli ... Columba
Lorenzo Robledo ... Officer
Álvaro de Luna ... Ramón
Eduardo Fajardo ... Alfonso García
Raf Baldassarre ... Mateo
José Canalejas ... Sebastian
Vicente Roca ... Elias Garcia
Franco Ressel ... Studs
Guillermo Méndez ... Captain
Enrique Navarro
Simón Arriaga ... Simón
Ugo Adinolfi
Francisco Nieto ... Antonio
José I. Zaldua ... Innkeeper
A. Jiménez Castellanos
Tito García ... Garcia's Cousin
Franco Giacobini ... Pepote
José Riesgo ... Mexican #2
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Julio Peña
Ángel Álvarez ... Notary
José María Aguinaco ... Ramirez (uncredited)
Juan Cazalilla ... Mayor (uncredited)
Remo De Angelis ... Hudo (uncredited)
Alejandro de Enciso ... Juan (uncredited)
Ángel Ortiz ... Mexican #3 (uncredited)
Milo Quesada ... Marco (uncredited)
Herman Reynoso ... Curly's 2nd Man (uncredited)
Fernando Villena ... Sergeant (uncredited)

Directed by
Sergio Corbucci 
Writing credits
Franco Solinas (story) and
Giorgio Arlorio (story)

Luciano Vincenzoni (screenplay and dialogue)

Sergio Spina (screenplay and dialogue with the collaboration of) &
Adriano Bolzoni (screenplay and dialogue with the collaboration of) &
Sergio Corbucci (screenplay and dialogue with the collaboration of)

Produced by
Alberto Grimaldi .... producer
Francesco Merli .... associate producer
Original Music by
Ennio Morricone 
Bruno Nicolai 
Cinematography by
Alejandro Ulloa (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Eugenio Alabiso 
Production Design by
Piero Filippone 
Art Direction by
Luis Vázquez  (as Luis Vazquez)
Set Decoration by
Tomás Fernández (settings)
Augusto Lega (settings)
Félix Michelena (settings)
Luis Vázquez (uncredited)
Costume Design by
Jürgen Henze  (as Jurgen Henze)
Makeup Department
Giusy Bovino .... hairdresser (as Giuseppina Bovino)
Alejandro Millón .... makeup artist (as Alejandro Millon)
Raul Ranieri .... makeup artist
Production Management
Manuel Castedo .... production manager
Santiago Marugán .... production manager
Francesco Merli .... production manager
Manuel Muñoz .... production manager
Pietro Nofri .... unit manager
José Nuño de la Rosa .... assistant production manager
Norberto Soliño .... production manager
Manuel Sánchez .... assistant production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Filiberto Fiaschi .... assistant director
Ricardo Huertas .... assistant director
Art Department
Santiago Marugán .... property master
Sound Department
Renato Cadueri .... sound mixer
Carlo Diotallevi .... sound engineer
Alfredo Polo .... sound engineer
Special Effects by
Manuel Baquero .... special effects (as Manuel Vaquero)
Celeste Battistelli .... special effects
Miguel Pedregosa .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Antonio Benetti .... still photographer (as Tonino Benetti)
Sergio Bergamini .... camera operator
Hans Burmann .... camera operator
Julio Leyva .... assistant camera (as Julio M. Leyva)
Isidro Muro .... assistant camera
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Victoria Ayllón .... wardrobe
Isabel Perales .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Enzo Ocone .... supervising editor
Music Department
Bruno Nicolai .... conductor
Other crew
Remo De Angelis .... master of arms
Serafín García .... production secretary
Nando Gazzolo .... voice dubbing: Franco Nero (uncredited)
Franca Invernizzi .... script supervisor (as Franca Santi Invernizzi)
Orlando Pierfederici .... production secretary
José Nuño de la Rosa .... production secretary (as Jose N. de la Rosa)
Manuel Sánchez .... production assistant
Ferruccio Amendola .... voice dubbing: Franco Ressel (uncredited)
Luciano De Ambrosis .... voice dubbing (uncredited)
Oreste Lionello .... voice dubbing: Franco Giacobini (uncredited)
Pino Locchi .... voice dubbing: Tony Musante (uncredited)
Gianni Marzocchi .... voice dubbing (uncredited)
Bruno Persa .... voice dubbing: Eduardo Fajardo (uncredited)
Carlo Romano .... voice dubbing (uncredited)
Rita Savagnone .... voice dubbing: Giovanna Ralli (uncredited)
Renato Turi .... voice dubbing: Jack Palance (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Il mercenario" - Italy (original title)
"A Professional Gun" - Ireland (English title) (imdb display title), USA (alternative title)
See more »
Rated PG-13 for violence and brief nudity
Italy:110 min | Spain:111 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:M | Finland:K-16 | France:-12 | Germany:16 (DVD rating) | Netherlands:18 (1970) | Norway:16 (cut) | Spain:18 | UK:AA (1970) (cut) | USA:PG-13 | USA:GP (original rating) | West Germany:18 (nf) (cut)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

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 »
Anachronisms: A plane is used to bomb Paco's fort. However planes did not begin to drop bombs until the late stages of WWI, in which they were dropped by hand.See more »
Kowalski aka the Pole:Dream, Paco, but dream with your eyes open.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Django Unchained (2012)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
The one that almost got away., 25 January 2006
Author: lost-in-limbo from the Mad Hatter's tea party.

An Mexican outlaw, with the help of a hired Polish gunslinger go out to make an massive rebellious army to take back what they believe is an poorly treated Mexico that is run by crooked and rich upper-class folk. So now they are part of the growing revolution, but the two men seem to have their ups and downs on who really is in-charge here, as the Mexican peasant actually relies on the European cowboy most the time. While, the army might be on the rebels' tails, but also too is another gunslinger that has a score to settle with the two men.

I don't know how long I've had this for, but I nearly missed the opportunity of watching this more than decent spaghetti western. Basically I recorded it off TV some time back onto a blank DVD, which I was going to use, until I realised that this flick was ready to go. Phew, lucky I decided to check it before erasing it. Also after the opening credits the film actually went black and dead quiet for 3 minutes or so, and I was thinking maybe I wasn't meant to see it, but that was short-lived and I was back right into it.

Anyhow, away from my pointless ramble "The Mercenary" which is first I've seen of any Corbucci's films was an exciting gung-ho spaghetti western that doesn't let up on the violence and colourful characters. Although the violence isn't terribly graphic and sometimes it happens off screen, but these minor glitches don't take away anything from it. The actual characters might be hard to like as they come across as incredibly greedy and downright blood thirsty for violence. Which I say isn't too much of a bad thing for this type of flick, because that's one of the draw cards of this sub-genre, but it's just that the characters are expendable to it, well maybe not Franco Nero's easy going character. Sergio Corbucci direction is the key also because the story isn't planned out with any real sort of purpose but just to stage one comical scene or action packed moment. But at least those moments actually worked to make you forget the plot's shortcomings. Plus it was jokier than I thought it would be. From that point it did kind of reminded me of Leone's 'The Good, the bad and the Ugly', that was because of the buddy humour that they played around with and like another reviewer mentioned Paco Roman did have an uncanny nature to that of Taco from GTBTU. Other than that, you can see other influences from the dollar trilogy evident too. For me Nero's gunslinger has a striking resemblance and steady persona to that of Eastwood's character of Dollar trilogy and the showdown in a bullring you could think the same too. But that's enough about that.

What else it has going for it is the great and thunderous score that you come to expect by the ever-reliable Ennio Morricone and the cinematography gets some dynamic treatment. The script is filled with cynical humour and leaden dialog on that of the rich and poor, and how greed can blind you to true intentions. There an over abundance of sharp and witty replies and that's especially between Kowalski, Paco and Columba. The three leads Franco Nero, Tony Musante and Giovanna Ralli as ever gusty but beautiful Columba put in exceptional performances and Jack Palance as Ricciolo 'Curly' the gunfighter on the trail of the group brings the added venom to the villain role, but I thought he was vastly under-used and his agenda with Kowalski would've made for more interest than what is given.

We're thrown right into this baroque western with the backdrop splashing off the screen with such exuberant touches of flair and gusto. Corbucci paces the film swiftly by making it more compelling and surprising the further along it went, without letting you doze off because of some well stage scenes like a bank heist, bombing of an Mexican town and the final shootout. Actually it would be hard to doze off with the loud sound effects and bellowing score. Even so just when you think its finished and the climax feels like it came too early, there's even more to come afterwards. Overall, Corbucci takes advantage of this good rolling adventure, even if it does lack some sort of killer punch or impact to make it overly memorable and grand. But nonetheless it's swell escapism fun that's bursting at the seams with madness, double crossings, plentiful violence, promising performances and grit.

It's a more than decent way to the past time with. I see 'Companeros (1970)' gets praised a lot, so it looks another to hit my must-see list.

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