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A Town Called Hell (1971)
"A Town Called Bastard" (original title)

R  |   |  Action, Comedy, Drama  |  1972 (USA)
4.8
Your rating:
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Ratings: 4.8/10 from 387 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 5 critic

A group of Mexican revolutionaries murders a town priest and a number of his christian followers. Ten years later, a widow arrives in town intent to take revenge from her husband's killers.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Don Carlos
...
The Priest
...
Alvira
...
Old blind man
...
The Colonel
Michael Craig ...
Paco
Dudley Sutton ...
Spectre
...
La Bomba
Paloma Cela ...
Paloma
...
Calebra
Maribel Hidalgo ...
La Perla
Cass Martin ...
Jose
...
Manuel
Francisco Marsó ...
Julio
John Clark ...
Quiet American
Edit

Storyline

In 1895, in a small town ravaged by the Mexican Revolution, the revolutionary leader Aguila and his men massacre the town's locals and the military garrison soldiers.Ten years later Aguila,now a reformed priest, sees a newly-arrived woman who is looking for those responsible for murdering her husband. The town is run by the corrupt Don Carlos who promises to help Alvira find those who killed her husband,in return for the gold reward Alvira is offering. Don Carlos has no idea where Aguila is or what Aguila looks like but he's prepared to do anything in order to collect the gold reward offered by Alvira. Everything is complicated by the sudden arrival of the Mexican Army led by a brutal Colonel whose face looks very familiar to the town priest. Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They called it HELL ... They called it VIOLENT and EVIL! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Town Called Hell  »

Box Office

Gross:

ESP 21,766,657 (Spain)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Craig writes in his memoirs that his character scenes were shot a couple of months after the rest of the film was finished. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hells Bells Presents (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

El Águila
Composed by Waldo de los Ríos
See more »

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User Reviews

Incomprehensible but enjoyable western with Tinker out "Lovejoy".
4 December 2002 | by (West Midlands, England) – See all my reviews

An incredibly confusing collaboration between Spain and Great Britain, starring Robert Shaw, Stella Stevens and Martin Landau. Stevens is the widow who arrives in the town of Bastard out to get the man who murdered her husband; Shaw is the priest who clearly knows more about the murder than is prepared to let on; Landau is the Mexican army Colonel, intending to have the murderer executed in Mexico City. The only lead the hunters have is a single name: Aguila. That said, the plot is really difficult to follow and the film needs at least two viewings.

"A Town Called Hell" contains some good, tense moments and striking images: Stella Stevens sleeping in a coffin, driven in a hearse through the Spanish desert by Dudley Sutton (Tinker from the BBC's "Lovejoy"). As with most foreign westerns, the dubbing is atrocious and there are some laughably awful moments - a dead soldier, killed with barbed wire, takes a few steps as the wire fence is pushed to the ground. The script is, unusually, quite intelligent with many possibilities, unexplored themes and good ideas. The relationship between Shaw and Landau is both well written and well played out. The music is simple but effective, especially the religious tones in the scenes with Shaw in the church.

Overall, the complexities of the plot aside, the film is very good. With strong performances from Shaw and Landau, it holds interest and is well paced by the director - and any film starring Telly Savalas (killed off early on here) as a Mexican bandit can't be all bad...


6 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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