Based on the Edward Bulwer-Lytton novel. Set in the shadows of Mt. Vesuvius just before its famous eruption, the film begins with Glaucus, a Roman legionnaire, returning to his home from ... See full summary »
In Mexico at the time of the Revolution, Juan, the leader of a bandit family, meets John Mallory, an IRA explosives expert on the run from the British. Seeing John's skill with explosives, Juan decides to persuade him to join the bandits in a raid on the great bank of Mesa Verde. John in the meantime has made contact with the revolutionaries, and intends to use his dynamite in their service. Written by
Sergio Leone offered the role of Juan Miranda to Eli Wallach, but Wallach had already committed to another project. After Leone begged Wallach to play the part, he dropped out of the other project and told Leone he'd do his movie. However, the studio already had Rod Steiger signed. Leone offered no compensation to Wallach, and Wallach subsequently sued. See more »
The dynamite Sean hands Juan before the bank raid is several sticks in a bundle, with a single fuse and cap in the center, but when Juan dynamites the vault door, he uses two single sticks, individually fused and capped. See more »
John H. Mallory:
Where are you going, for Christ's sake?
I don't know. I don't know, but something's wrong. I went into the bank. But when I go in the bank, there's nothing there, no money, nothing.
John H. Mallory:
Oh, well, the bank and the money were transferred to Mexico City over a month ago. Well, they've been using this place for a political prison ever since.
What? What do you mean a political prison?
John H. Mallory:
Well, I never said a thing about money. All I asked you was if you wanted to get inside.
But you know that this bank is ...
[...] See more »
A relatively small number of major and supporting cast members are credited at the beginning of the film. Other actors from the film are credited at the end in alphabetical order, without stating the roles that they played. See more »
Here is a tragedy -- a great film doomed by a terrible title.
I saw this movie as "Duck, You Sucker" in the theater in 1972 or '73. I still have images and haunting music burned in my brain from it. It has, for one thing, one of the biggest real explosions ever filmed, an absolutely awesome blast using real high explosives that makes today's fiery spectacles pale. I think the whole production company was stunned by it, certainly Sergio Leone was, because he gives it the full treatment: multiple cameras and angles, wide shots, lots of screen time giving us lots of looks. And it's worth it. If you're not a war veteran, you've never seen anything like this.
But this film is much more than its fx. It's a deep, moving story told on the grand scale, with Oscar-class cinematography. It is both a major outdoor adventure and a small, intimate story. It has some of the quirkiest scenes, blackest humor and darkest betrayals, too.
Don't look for it on TV, unless Turner Classic Movies shows it "uncut." It was horribly mutilated in editing for television, and therefore unpopular and rarely shown. Get the original theatrical version, and watch it undisturbed. A party atmosphere would ruin it for you.
It's on my top-20 all time list!
107 of 126 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?