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Tepepa (1969)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  November 1979 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 543 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 5 critic

The Mexican guerilla leader Tepepa and his gang fight against the chief of police, Cascorro.

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(screenplay), (story), 3 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Jesus Maria Moran a.k.a. Tepepa
...
Colonel Cascorro
John Steiner ...
Doctor Henry Price
Luciano Casamonica ...
Paquito
Ángel Ortiz ...
Francisco
Annamaria Lanciaprima ...
Maria Virgen Escalande
José Torres ...
Pedro Pereira / El Piojo
Paloma Cela ...
Consuelo
George Wang ...
Mr. Chu
Giancarlo Badessi ...
Sergeant
Francisco Sanz ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Armando Casamonica
Clara Colosimo ...
Sergeant's wife
Mario Daddi
Lina Franchi
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Storyline

In Mexico, at the beginning of the twentieth century, a man is to be executed by Cascorro's men. Doctor Henry Price, en Englishman, arrives in his car and saves him. The nickname of the man is Tepepa and he was a hero of the Revolution. Tepepa asks doctor Price way he saved him and the answer is chilly: to have the pleasure to kill him himself. And he aims his gun at him. Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Jails can't hold him! Armies can't stop him! Women can't get enough of him!


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

November 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blood and Guns  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

ESP 24,688,580 (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?

Goofs

After Tepepa blows up their wagon, he fires at the Mexican troops on the ground with his Mauser C96. The model he uses is a standard ten round integral magazine version. He clearly fires more than ten rounds, without reloading. In fact the gun is never reloaded throughout the entire movie. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Spaghetti West (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
TEPEPA {Full-Length Version} (Giulio Petroni, 1968) ***
24 August 2006 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Perhaps the Spaghetti Western genre's last word on the Mexican Revolution (around which so many fine examples are centred) - barring, of course, Leone's marvelous DUCK, YOU SUCKER (1971) - from one of Italian cinema's foremost political writers, Franco Solinas. Tomas Milian is at his best here (with which he appears to concur himself, as per quotes found in the actor's biography included on the DVD!); his ambiguous character is mainly revealed through the film's intermittent flashback structure (borrowed from Sergio Leone).

Like Petroni's own DEATH RIDES A HORSE (1968), the film sees the title character being constantly 'shadowed' by someone for unspecified reasons and, like Sergio Sollima's FACE TO FACE (1967), we are presented with a clash of two personalities (and two worlds) - in this case, larger-than-life Mexican revolutionary Milian and quietly-spoken British doctor John Steiner - that could turn violent at any moment...although the confrontation between Milian and an influential Army Colonel - surprisingly underplayed by Orson Welles (but, then, his presence can only add to the film's stature) - is, at least, as important and central to the plot; indeed, their long-awaited showdown is quite splendid (even if the plot still has a couple more twists up its sleeve!). Needless to say, Ennio Morricone's stirring and unforgettable score is one of the film's trump cards (and, in fact, the SE from Italy's Alan Young Pictures I own includes the soundtrack - running approx. 26 minutes - on a second disc!) and includes a beautiful ballad sung by Christy (which, alas, is only heard in its complete form on the CD!); another crucial asset, of course, is the film's beautiful Techniscope photography.

Even so, powerful and moving though it is, the film ends up being tiresomely long if wholly engrossing: the print on offer here is vaunted as being the complete 136-minute version which has been virtually unseen since the film's original release; actually, it only lasts for 127 minutes in PAL mode, which would bring it to about 133 minutes in full...but, then, a deleted scene has been included as an extra on the DVD (albeit without sound, though accompanied by the director's comments: the dialogue couldn't even be re-recorded for completeness' sake because Petroni himself has no idea what is being said and admitted that, once a film is finished, he throws away the script!) and that's 3 minutes in length, which would account for that discrepancy! As a matter of fact, when I first watched the film (recorded off late-night Italian TV), it ran for a mere 97 minutes...though, since it's been a while, I can't discern any of the new footage - Petroni does remark, however, that the cuts effected Morricone's compositions quite severely; as for myself, I recall being underwhelmed by that preliminary experience!

Among the extensive bonus features are offered a number of mostly complimentary reviews from the time of its original release and publicity shots with the stars and director, where the film was still being advertised under its working title of VIVA LA REVOLUCION! The Audio Commentary, however, turns out to be a disappointment: advertised as being full-length, it only runs for 73 minutes (jumping to relevant scenes but, even then, there are a few gaps which sometimes run for several minutes at a stretch!); still, even if Petroni seems to be hazy about many details, his comments - urged by a moderator - make for an interesting listen nonetheless. Apparently, Solinas clashed with the director over the ending (which he didn't write and consequently hated) with the face of the deceased Tepepa superimposed on a shot of the revolutionaries riding off into the sunset (led by the young kid who plays an important part in the film, particularly in relation to the John Steiner character and who utters the great final line; weirdly enough, the child actor himself grew up to be a mafioso!). Ironically, too, Welles' involvement seems to have worked against the film because, like one of his own projects, it's been butchered and released over the years in various forms!

This has resulted in TEPEPA being largely neglected in discussions of the more significant Spaghetti Westerns; with this 'new' version, where its essential quality is more than evident, it's definitely ripe for reappraisal...


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