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Duck, You Sucker (1971)

Giù la testa (original title)
PG | | War, Western | 7 July 1972 (USA)
An I.R.A. explosives expert on the run in Mexico meets an amoral Mexican bandit; together they are drawn into the Mexican revolution.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Romolo Valli ...
Maria Monti ...
Adelita, Coach Passenger
Santerna (as Rick Battaglia)
Franco Graziosi ...
Governor Huerta
Antoine Saint-John ...
Gutierez / Col. Günther Reza (as Domingo Antoine) (as Jean Michel Antoine)
Vivienne Maya ...
Coleen, John's Girlfriend (as Vivienne Chandler)
David Warbeck ...
Nolan, John's Friend
Giulio Battiferri ...
Poldo Bendandi ...
Executed Revolutionary
Omar Bonaro ...
Roy Bosier ...
Landowner on stagecoach
John Frederick ...
American on stagecoach
Amato Garbini ...
Second Policeman on Train


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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Rod Steiger and James Coburn will blow you apart in "A Fistful of Dynamite" ("Duck You Sucker") by the master of adventure Sergio Leone


War | Western


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

7 July 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Fistful of Dynamite  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (initial US release) | (Laserdisc)

Sound Mix:


(Technicolor) (english version)| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


James Coburn had previously been considered for other Sergio Leone projects, including A Fistful of Dollars (1964) and Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). He had also previously been considered for a role in another United Artists-financed Zapata Western, Sergio Corbucci's Burn! (1969), but Franco Nero was later cast in what was originally his role. See more »


In the train, the automatic pistol that Juan Miranda uses is a Browning GP35. As its names suggests, this model has become available in 1935 (so contemporary of the mentioned MG42). See more »


John H. Mallory: [to Juan, who is lying on a map] That's your country you're lyin' all over.
Juan Miranda: [drowsily] Not my country. My country is me and my family.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Uncut English-language prints of the film use 'Duck You Sucker' as its title, while edited reissues use 'A Fistful of Dynamite', with 'Duck, You Sucker' in smaller print and in parenthesis underneath. See more »


Referenced in The Good, the Bad, the Weird (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Sergio Leone's Sad, Funny, Beautiful Epic Western
8 October 2004 | by (Savannah, GA) – See all my reviews

Coming off the triumphs of his "Man With No Name" series and his frustrations with the cutting of "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" and "Once Upon a Time in the West," Sergio Leone directed the big budget, epic western, originally titled, "Once Upon a Time in the Revolution". Since "...West" had been released by Paramount and United Artists was releasing "...Revolution," some executive decide the rename the movie "Duck! You Sucker!" after the phrase Sean (James Coburn) uses repeatedly before blowing someone or something up with dynamite. Likely the same executive choose an advertising campaign reminiscent of "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly," creating caricatures of Sean and Juan (Rod Steiger) adding the caption "...the master of adventure, Sergio Leone". Well, I doubt many theater audiences knew who Sergio Leone was, since he was yet to be recognized as a directoral genius the equal of John Ford or Howard Hawks. Worse, the advertising implied "Duck! You Sucker! was a laugh romp, a parody of Leone's early masterpieces. This impression was made even worse when the film failed to perform. In any event, "A Fistfull of Dyanmite" was a dismal failure at the box office and Leone never made another big budget western drama.It's too bad, because "A Fistfull of Dynamite" is Leone's trueist work, his most accurate vision of life, politics and revolution. Neither Rod Steiger nor James Coburn were strongly associated with westerns, even though both played strong roles in earlier films (Steiger in "Run of the Arrow" and "Jubal," Coburn in "The Magnificent Seven" and "Ride Lonesome". Worse, Steiger's Juan looked like something of a buffoon and the movies villains were bland and underdeveloped. However, I believe this was Leone's intention: corrupt politicians and Prussian officers are pretty well interchangeable. Kill one and another pops up. This isn't a very satisfying truth, but it is truth, nonetheless. Juan is a peasant, a bandit with a large family of bandits. Sean is a Irish Republican Army terrorist, an explosives expert. In Leone's world, or at least in all his films, there are only two types of people: predators and victims. His major characters are all predators. The only thing that distinguishes his protagonists from his antagonists is that his antagonists start with a large body count and his protagonists usually spare the innocent. That works with a taut enough storyline, but "...Dynamite" covers large areas of real estate and the goal is never clear. Juan didn't plan to become a hero of the revolution, and that is small payment for his losses. When one looks at history, the rewards of revolution and warfare are never worth the sacrifices, for just as we kill one bastard, another takes his place.

I think "A Fistfull of Dynamite" largely reflects Leone's fate as well. Leone proved he was the greatest western director in less than four years with only four major films. Yet, he was hardly appreciated during his short life and only a few films after his magnificent achievement. "A Fistfull of Dynamite" is also Leone's saddest movie. A beautiful, big budget metaphor for a man's talent wasted by underappreciate film executive and smug, self-serving critics.

Coburn should have won an "Oscar" for "Dynamite." With the exception of some tabletop model trains, the effects are convincing and exciting. The color cinematography is phenomenal, clearly the equal of "Once Upon a Time in the West. The sound and music (by Ennio Morricone) is phenomenal, as usual. While not as satisfying as Leone's best films, "A Fistfull of Dynamite" is an exemplary film. I give it a "9".

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