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
The newspaper that John Mallory is given in the "surgical operation" scene reads in the right column "Y el mundial lo ganó Pelé...que es el rey.. balón", which would be translated as "And the Soccer World Cup was won by Pelé...who is the king... soccer ball". Famous soccer player Pelé was not even born in the 1910's. See more »
[alternate opening title card]:
A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; It cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows the other. -MAO TSE TUNG
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!
119 of 139 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?