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
The chanting of "Shon shon shon" in Ennio Morricone's soundtrack were the suggestion of Carla Leone who thought it would sound better than the original "Wah wah wah" chants. Contrary to popular belief Morricone himself has said in interviews the chants do not represent the names of characters but are just part of the soundscape like the chants in all the other Sergio Leone westerns. See more »
Use of MG42s, a machine gun developed in Germany three decades after the Mexican revolution. See more »
American on wagon:
You'll pay for this, you bastards! I'm a citizen of the United States of America!
To me, you are just a naked son of a bitch. Understand, Yankee?
See more »
Antoine Saint-John is credited as 'Dominigo Antoine' on Italian prints, while English prints refer to him as 'Jean Michel Antoine'. 'Vivienne Maya' and David Warbeck are not credited for playing John's girlfriend and Nolan respectively on Italian prints, but are credited on English prints in that order (Maya was credited as 'Vivienne Chandler'). 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!
111 of 130 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?