|Index||7 reviews in total|
Long Live Your Death is a western comedy. This film tries to pin down
the staples of the genre while being funny, and it has to be said that
in doing so it pretty much misses both targets; but thankfully, Duccio
Tessari's film is entertaining in it's own right and the central cast
is just about talented enough to pull it through. The film takes
obvious influence from the greatest of all Spaghetti Westerns; The
Good, The Bad and The Ugly and it could be said in fact that the film
is basically a complete rip of the earlier film. The film takes place
during the Mexican revolution. Mary O'Donnell, an Irish journalist,
wants to inspire a revolt in Mexico and pays for a revolutionary to be
released from prison; but unfortunately the man in question is already
dead, so another Mexican is freed in his place. He escapes along with a
Prince Dmitri Vassilovich Orlowsky, who has designs on finding some
buried treasure. He teams up with the bandit and the two pursue the
treasure; one knows the town where the gold is buried, the other knows
It's the central pairing of Franco Nero and Eli Wallach that ensure the film works; neither one delivers their best performance, but the pair is constantly entertaining on screen together. They are joined by Lynn Redgrave (apparently Franco Nero's sister is law) and she dons an annoying Irish accent. Thankfully, her role in the film is rather short compared to the other two. The film does have a sense of humour, and at times it is rather funny (the location of the treasure maps, for example) but it's never overly funny, and I'd still call it more of a western than a comedy. Duccio Tessari (who also directed Giallo classic The Bloodstained Butterfly) packs his film with plenty of action and this does ensure that the film is entertaining. The film only runs for just over ninety minutes and it never gets boring enough to really start dragging, so that's a positive. It all boils down to a decent conclusion and overall, while I certainly wouldn't call Long Live Your Death a classic or a must see; it is at least worth a look.
"¡Viva la Muerte... Tua!" - Italy (original title) or "Don't Turn the
Other Cheek" - USA title or ¨Viva La Muerte Tuya¨- Spanish title , is
an amusing Western plenty of action , shoot'em up , humor and fun . A
radical journalist , A Russian prince , A Mexican bandit team up
seeking a cache of gold . They turned a fun filled fight for gold into
a riotous revolution . A spaghetti/Paella/Schnitzel western in which
three adventurers join forces during the Mexican Revolution . It deals
with a man calling himself Prince Dimitri Vassilovich Orlowsky (Franco
Nero) who claims to be a Russian prince as he is aware a treasure has
been hidden in Mexico territory , and along with a redheaded Irish girl
named Mary O'Donnell (Lynn Redgrave) who wants to foment a peasant
revolt in Mexico enlist other rogue character , a selfish bandit locked
in Utah . Both of them , reunite the help of a humorous Mexican outlaw
named Lozoya (Elli Wallach) , by saving him from a death sentence in
Fort Yuma . Wallach pretends to be a Mexican folk hero named El
Salvador . The trio teams up and crosses the border, the two men
seeking a loot while the Irish reporter goes after her Mexican
revolution . Lozoya has the key to the treasure , but Nero knows where
the other half of the map is , both of whom seeking a lost gold located
in Piedras Negras and confronting a cruel Mexican general (Eduardo
This Zapata Western displays noisy action , thrills , stirring adventures, shoot'em up , riding pursuits and is pretty amusing . There is plenty of action in the movie , guaranteeing some shots or stunts every few minutes . Funny and thrilling screenplay by Massimo De Rita and Juan De Orduña , also producer , and based on the novel titled "The killer from Yuma" by Lewis B. Patten . This is an acceptable S.W. full of action , shootouts , fist-play and some touches of humor in charge of Elli Wallach character . Wallach portrays similarly to his popular "Tuco" character from ¨The good, the ugly and the bad¨ . Elli Wallach is very fine, he ravages the screen as a seedy bandit , he hits , shots and runs ; plus jokes , laughs , he's a complete show . While Franco Nero as a Russian prince is a type of selfish adventurer of the West , an elegant and resourceful ¨Bon Vivant¨ , being stunningly played by Franco Nero . Eduardo Fajardo as a cruelly baddie role as Mexican general is terrific , subsequently the would play similar role in other Spaghetti , mainly directed by Sergio Corbucci . In the movie appears usual support actors as Spanish : Victor Israel , Lorenzo Robledo , Jose Jaspe , Jose Moreno , Tito Garcia , Rafael Albacin , as Italian players : Mirko Ellis , Marilu Tolo , Gisela Hahn and German : Horst Janson and Dan Van Husen who acted as secondary in many Spaghetti . It's a co-production Spanish-Italian-German and of course shot on location in Almeria and Incir De Paolis Studios, Rome, Lazio, Italy that is well photographed by Jose F. Aguayo , though is necessary a fine remastering because the film-copy is washed-out . There are many fine technicians and nice assistant direction and excellent production design , a magnificent scenario on the villages , ranch , forts and barren outdoors , dirty landscapes under a glimmer sun and fine sets filmed in Almería, Andalucía , Spain . As always , the musician Ennio Morricone, composes a nice Spaghetti soundtrack and well conducted and splendid leitmotif ; it's full of enjoyable sounds and lively score .
This Italian writer / filmmaker Duccio Tessari so consistently mixed the good with the mediocre that it became quite impossible to know what to expect from him next . He wrote several Western as ¨A fistful of dollars ¨, ¨A train to Durango ¨Seven guns for McGregor¨ , ¨The return of McGregor¨ . He directed five Western with abundant touches of humor as ¨Vivi o Preferibilment Morti¨, ¨Don't turn the other cheek¨ and ¨Zorro¨ with Alain Delon and of course ¨Ringo ¨and sequel , mostly starred with his fetish actor Giuliano Gemma . Rating : 6 , acceptable and passable movie that will appeal to Spaghetti Western buffs .
Bandit Eli Wallach and European con-man Franco Nero are in turn, set
up, mistaken for, and masquerade as a flamboyant Mexican revolutionary
and his military adviser, a Russian prince! The two know the partial
whereabouts of a stashed fortune, but find it hard to get away from
radical Irish journalist Lynn Redgrave long enough to go look for it.
A typical, quirky Italian political western, Don't Turn The Other Cheek isn't as good as Sergio Corbucci's Companeros (also with Nero) or the fantastic (and non-comedic) A Bullet For The General starring A Fistful Of Dollars Gian Maria Volante.
It's still a lot of fun though, with loads of action. Wallach and Nero have great comedic chemistry and should have been in more pictures together. On the other hand, with the exception of a few key scenes, Redgrave doesn't really have much to do.
One other familiar face is Nero's Django nemesis Eduardo Fajardo playing the film's number one heavy.
This one really needs a good DVD release. To my knowledge it's only available on an old VHS tape called DON'T TURN THE OTHER CHEEK, with animated asses (donkeys) wiggling their behinds, totally out of character with the film, which is an action filled Eurowestern by the director of the popular Ringo films, Duccio Tessari. Franco Nero plays another of his European adventurers, this time a Russian, who is seeking a lost treasure. Eli Wallach portrays another version of his popular "Tuco" character, this time once more a Mexican after playing the Greek version in ACE HIGH. Throw in Lynn Redgrave (slightly out of place in a spaghetti) as an Irish revolutionary and you have a film that is reminiscent of Sergio Corbucci's two popular political westerns THE MERCENARY (1968) and COMPANEROS (1970), both of which are superior to this. However there's a lot to be said for LONG LIVE YOUR DEATH, especially since it's so hard to find; you'll find the search worthwhile, and in the meantime let's hope Anchor Bay, Wild East, or Blue Underground release a definitive DVD version.
This movie shares a lot of elements with other Euro-westerns. Those who
are very familiar with the genre will recognize similarities to films
such as The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, The Mercenary, Fistful of
Dynamite, The Stranger and the Gunfighter, and other spaghetti
westerns. Recognizing these common themes is part of the fun of
watching this movie.
The story is full of spaghetti western clichés presented in a fun, tongue-in-cheek manner, yet it still delivers in the violence and action departments as well. We even get to see some of Franco Nero's trademark machine gun wielding slaughter.
The music score is very good. It matches the tone of the film, seems right for a slightly off-beat Euro-western, and definitely works in this movie.
The movie boasts a phenomenal cast with Franco Nero, Eli Wallach, Lynn Redgrave, and Eduardo Fajardo. It would be hard to make a bad spaghetti western with those four playing the main characters, but I do have to say that although this movie was good, I think it could have been better. The acting and direction just seem a little bit sloppy. I suspect that either they were having so much fun making it that they were too relaxed to take their work seriously, or that they just didn't care all that much about the film. I prefer to think that it's the first reason. The US release (which is the version that I saw) also seems to have been edited way too much, probably to make the film shorter. My guess is that the movie is much better in its complete form.
At any rate, I highly recommend this movie to those like me who have seen and liked lots of spaghetti westerns. To them it will be a fun movie. Others might not get very much out of this film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie rarely crack me up. Director Duccio Tessari at least, gave it a try. Long Live Your Death AKA Don't Turn the Other Cheek! Originally titled Viva la muerte... tua! is a 1971 Italian spaghetti western comedy that mostly a send up to more "political" Spaghetti Westerns called Zapata Westerns. Zapata Westerns is the nickname given to a subgenre of "Spaghetti Westerns", dating largely from the mid-1960s to early 1970s, which were set in and around Mexico during the Mexico Revolution (1910 to 1920s), hints the name, Zapata, named after Mexican Revolution leader, Emiliano Zapata. The movie often dealt with overtly political themes of that era. Based on the novel titled "The killer from Yuma" by Lewis B. Patten, and screenplay written by Massimo De Rita and Juan De Orduña, the movie tells the story of a Russian con artist, Dmitri Vassilovich Orlowsky (Franco Nero) whom dress up as a priest, hears from a last confession about a village where a treasure is hidden. He seeks out a Mexican Bandit and mistaken war hero, Max Lozoya (Eli Wallach) who knows more about its precise location. The movie isn't anything new, as there has been a lot of treasure hunting Spaghetti Westerns over the years like 1966's Sergio Leone's masterpiece film, 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly'. If you replace the American Civil War with the Mexican Revolution, replace the great actor, Clint Eastwood with mediocre, Franco Nero who sounds like he imitates Peter Lorne throughout the film, replace Angel Eyes with pretty, but annoying young red head angel eyes, Lynn Redgrave, replace the amazing music from Ennio Morricone with lousy Elevator music from Gianni Ferrio, then you got this movie. Eli Wallach's Max Lozoya is just a mirror image of plain old, Tuco Ramirez. He just under another name. He adds nothing new to his performance. Even the bait and switch execution mirrors that of Tuco and Blondie. It really feels like rehash stuff. The movie does have some interesting things that were later use or help influence other works such as the priest disguise that came to be used in films like 1974's The Gun and the Pulpit, and 1975's God Guns. Another weird idea taken from this film is the map instructions tattooed on people's bottom; that was used in 1974's Blood Money. The movie is mostly a comedy, as most of its jokes were misses than hit. There were a few funny jokes that I happen to laugh at. Too bad, the movie took its concept way too serious at times, and the film got really dark. Lots of violent deaths, and women and children dying here. How are war atrocity, funny? The action is pretty over the top with examples of people shooting three opponents with only one bullet, people knocking out five opponents with one punch, and a soldier walking off with a toothache after being hit by a bullet. It's cheesy, but entertaining. The movie also has a lot of sub-plots that really goes nowhere. I don't even know, why the writers made Dmitri Vassilovich Orlowsky into a prince. It's hints at his past, with the Russian music playing in the watch, but it's never explain, why he left Russia, and became a con artist. Who knows, if he was really a prince? Another message that kinda get lost is the William Randolph Hearst type yellow journalism as shown by the Mary O' Donnell character. The movie goes have some faults. The movie could had benefited some better landscapes. Jose F. Aguayo's cinematography is average. The camera production are bad, with the camera zooming and out. I can do without the stop-motion beginning with Gisela Hahn. It was annoying as hell. I thought my DVD was skipping scenes. The movie is known for cutting scenes. For the U.S. theatrical release, the film was edited down to 93 minutes, cutting out nearly 17 minutes of footage. Try to find the DVD that contains the full uncut version containing 17 minutes of extra footage not seen in the U.S. theatrical version. Too bad, the uncut footage was never dubbed into English so this footage is presented on the DVD in Italian with English subtitles. The DVD also contains alternate title sequences that is better than the stop-motion, one. The movie might be hard to find, due to how rare it is. It doesn't help that the movie go under many titles. Star Eli Wallach came up with the title "Don't Turn the Other Cheek!" for the U.S. release as he did not like the Italian title. Overall: I can't recommend this movie, unless you liked lots of stupid spaghetti westerns. It's not the worst, but clearly not the best.
So the Spaghetti Western as a comedy. You know whatever, there are some
great examples of the approach; the TRINITY films, the priceless TOO
MUCH GOLD FOR ONE GRINGO, Giulio Petroni's under-appreciated TEPAPA,
various parts of DUCK YOU SUCKER ... The formula works best when the
filmmakers don't try too hard, simply allowing the conventions of the
genre to be as absurd as they are naturally. Terence Hill's bottomless
plate of beans from THEY CALL ME TRINITY comes to mind. Beans. Eating.
Cowboys. Get it? LONG LIVE YOUR DEATH tries to announce itself as a
"funny" movie from the first frame with an oddball musical score and
still images of Franco Nero yukkin' it up as a Russian Prince
pretending to be a minister and holding up the congregation at a
wedding ceremony for what turns out to be proceeds to help fund the
Mexican Revolution. He drives a car instead of riding a horse, packs an
automatic pistol instead of a six-shooter, and after his automobile is
wounded during a shootout he puts it out of it's misery with another
bullet to the engine block.
Eli Wallach was of course hilarious as THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY'S "Tuco", the poster child misfit Spaghetti Western serio-comic leading man, and is probably the film's greatest asset. Here he plays a two bit Mexican chicken thief who may or may not know the location of a fortune in gold, but finds himself sprung from jail by a pretty, perky Lynne Redgrave, who wants to find the revolutionaries a hero to lead their struggle & write a Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper story about it. Nero and Wallach are good, but Redgrave is excellent and took her only Spaghetti Western performance to heart, trying a bit too hard, but we appreciate the effort.
So already we have several "fish out of water" plot threads, a couple of "mistaken identity" skeins, and ample opportunities for Wallach to mug for the camera while he eats food, tries to proposition Redgrave, and form an uneasy buddy alliance with Mr. Nero to find the gold. Just for added effect, Horst Jansen apes his rather wooden cinematic persona as a corrupt sheriff with back problems, Victor Isreal pops up as a mining executive with some rather eye opening thoughts about the Mexican workforce, and Eduardo Fajardo wanders in from some other film as an unscrupulous cavalry officer bent on capturing the mischievous trio & keeping the gold for himself. As usual.
A musical stopwatch gives composers Gianni Ferrio & Ennio Morricone an excuse to work yet another glockenspiel theme into their somewhat rushed sounding musical score, a sexy mute Spanish supporting actress gives Franco Nero someone to make googlie-eyes at, and director Duccio Tessari had a stable filled with scriptwriters to come up with all sorts of double-entrade laden dialog for Eli Wallach to belt out as quickly as possible when not running around jabbering excitedly and waving his arms in the air trying to be funny instead of just standing there being himself, which is hilarious all on it's own. What is amazing is that he manages to be constantly upstaged by Lynn Redgrave even though she never displays her breasts.
I am fairly certain the filmmakers had good intentions and talent to spare when cobbling this movie together and if it seems like I am just not getting into the spirit of things you are correct. I have nothing but respect for everyone involved in the production, which is a nearly tactless, transparent attempt to cash-in on the notoriety of DUCK YOU SUCKER, TEPAPA, ARRIVA SABATA!, HEADS YOU DIE TALES I KILL YOU: THEY CALL HIM HALLELUJA and every other would-be gonzo Mexican Revolutionary Spaghetti Western made between 1968 and 1974 or so.
The problem is that the number of jokes to be had about that conflict and it's ramifications was pretty much tapped out before DUCK YOU SUCKER entered it's fifteenth reel (I personally prefer TEPAPA with it's outrageous Thomas Millian performance as a prime example of the comic possibilities of the genre). And come to think of it, why do these Mexican Revolution Spaghettis all turn out to be social satires with gonzo comedy broken up by spats of war atrocity scenes? Are the Italians trying to tell us something about Mexico or the Mexicans that perhaps my liberal Eastern education failed to point out? Don't get me wrong, LONG LIVE YOUR DEATH is a fine movie with some entertaining parts, including another great Eli Wallach meal as he scarfs down some form of stew while describing his childhood kills to Nero in his cell. The problem is that this exchange -- the funniest in the movie -- happens in the first twelve minutes, and ninety minutes of additional "repeat and rinse" developments becomes nothing more than a bunch of Euro genre actors running around waving their arms & jabbering excitedly after a while. It gets old quickly, and as such this rather tired example of the later period of the Spaghetti boom is perhaps as obscure & hard to find as it deserves to be. Recommended for die-hard fans of the genre or those who have never seen one of the other examples. They shouldn't care.
4/10; You know your Spaghetti Western is in trouble when your best asset is upstaged by Lynn Redgrave with her shirt on.
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