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Amigo, Stay Away (1972)
"Amico, stammi lontano almeno un palmo" (original title)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 229 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

When, after serving a three-year sentence, Ben Bellow is released from prison, Charlie Logan is waiting for him. Not to hug him. Not to welcome him. Just to let him know, a bit bluntly for ... See full summary »

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Title: Amigo, Stay Away (1972)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Giuliano Gemma ...
Ben Bellew
George Eastman ...
Charlie Logan
Vittorio Congia ...
Alan Smith
Giacomo Rossi-Stuart ...
Hawkins, Pinkerton detective
Luciano Catenacci ...
Kurt (as Luciano Lorcas)
...
Sarah
Remo Capitani ...
Charro
Nello Pazzafini ...
Butch (as Giovanni Pazzafini)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gioia Desideri
Vittorio Fanfoni ...
Betrayed Poker Player
Carla Mancini ...
(credit only)
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Storyline

When, after serving a three-year sentence, Ben Bellow is released from prison, Charlie Logan is waiting for him. Not to hug him. Not to welcome him. Just to let him know, a bit bluntly for sure, that he does not want to hear from him again. His wish will not be granted as the the two sworn enemies constantly reconnect, rob a bank together and go through a million adventures while hating each other's guts... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bank | fistfight | train | saloon | robbery | See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

4 February 1972 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Amigo, Stay Away  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Finnish censorship visas: 1) delivered on 14-12-1972 (cinema) 2) T-81210 (VHS), delivered on 11-12-1990. See more »

Quotes

Ben Bellew: Count the banknotes in the bag
Charlie Logan: Yep, Ben
Ben Bellew: Yes, did you count them?
Charlie Logan: Yeah.
Ben Bellew: How many are there?
Charlie Logan: About twenty.
Ben Bellew: Twenty? You crazy? Did you look well?
Charlie Logan: Yeah, about twenty HORSEMEN. We're in for it!
See more »

Soundtracks

Let It Rain, Let It Pour
Music by Gianni Ferrio
Lyrics by Stefan Grossman
Sung by Stefan Grossman
Produced by Cinevox Record
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Highly Recommended Italian Western
29 August 2008 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

People always gawk at me with incredulity when I tell them how much I enjoy European made westerns, specifically Italian spaghetti westerns. They ask, how can you make a western in Italy, of all places, and I tell them that I can do it even one better: Most of them were actually filmed in SPAIN and on soundstages back in Rome. They are 100% "fake" in terms of what most people might call "authenticity" and are more like playing cowboys when you were a kid. All they needed was to find the right looking locations (Almeria, Spain does quite nicely), rustle up some horses (plenty of horses in Europe), dig up the costumes + weaponry (ever hear of a props department?) and find the writers, producers, and directors with enough vision to cobble together an interesting little story + frame it properly, and there you go. Just like playing cowboy out back in the sandlot, except it's grownups and they film it.

With that out of the way, BEN & CHARLIE is a marvelous example of the "later period" of spaghetti westerns that came after the idiom had been established as a form unto itself. By 1972 the Italians had proved without a doubt they could make fine, sweeping westerns on the same level of effectiveness as the John Ford and Howard Hawks classics (see ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST for more information). So they were freed up, as it were, to sort of muck around trying to find new ways to make the form work, and one of the tangents they used was the comedy/slapstick approach, best epitomized by the "Trinity" films with Terence Hill and Bud Spencer. While the variant may not have caught on as strongly here in the new world, TRINITY IS STILL MY NAME was the highest grossing spaghetti western in Europe so naturally other Italian writers, producers and directors decided to have their own go at making more light hearted efforts.

BEN & CHARLIE is particularly effective because it eschews some of the more, shall we say, absurdist approach for a bit of grimness here & there, and boasts an impressive collection of talent both in front of and behind the camera. Genre favorite Giuliano Gemma -- best known for his "Ringo" spaghettis -- and seven foot tall George Eastman -- best known as a cult horror movie star -- are absolutely wonderful as the titular characters. Instead of sneering, laconic gunslingers these two are a pair of confidence hucksters traveling the old west doing their best to avoid an honest day's work. Gemma is the brains of the duo, a shyster galore who can turn nearly any mundane opportunity into a chance to scam a few dollars out of somebody. And Eastman is the brawn of the two, a big hulking sinister looking pistolero who unwittingly finds himself on the lam with Gemma with the always delightfully evil Aldo Sanbrell hot on their trail ... Eastman may be more associated with horror, but one of the movie's most laugh inducing segments finds him bone-dry thirsty and penniless leaning against a bar while mugs of fresh, foaming beer are passed back & forth. Doesn't sound like much? Watch Eastman's face. He is an overlooked genius of comic timing.

The supporting cast is also made up of heavyweight names from Italian gene cinema: good old Franco Fantasia, the deliriously sexy Marisa Mell, Luciano Catenacci (Max Lawrence, to all you Mario Bava fans), Nello Pazzafini, Roberto Camardiel, Cris Huerta, Luis Induni, the ever reliable George Rigaud, and my hero Giacomo Rossi-Stuart. I wish I could suggest an Americanized/Hollywood cast of analagous nature ... The names & faces will be instantly familiar to anyone who's seen more than two or three of these things. The whole affair is directed with restrained artfulness by genre veteran Michele Lupo, who had cut his teeth with spaghetti master Sergio Leone in the sword & sandal Peplum genre, with a gifted young cameraman named Aristide Massaccesi (better known to horror & Euro sleaze fans as Joe D'amato) provides the goings-on with a certain visual flair that is quite intriguing. The film was also masterfully written by George Eastman himself along with heavyweight name Sergio Donati, who also had worked with Leone on both FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE and, yes, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST.

Leone's influence is directly homaged in a scene lifted from THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY, where the filthy, flat broke Gemma pays a visit to a gun dealer and connives the guy into loading a pistol for him and looking carefully down the barrel to make sure he could see the bullet. You can make up the rest of the scene I am sure, which is a device seen as recently as THE TERMINATOR; Gemma even flips over the CLOSED sign on his way out the door, directly referencing Eli Wallach's message for one character in particular to keep his mouth shut. The film is filled with such moments and as Uncle Roger Ebert himself has pointed out, westerns pass or fail based on the strengths of their individual moments rather than necessarily relying on a specific story. The scene may be somewhat derivative, but then again ALL westerns are somewhat derivative once you get down to it, with horses, six- shooters, saloon brawls, gorgeous damsels, quick draw duels. It is the approach that differentiates one example from the other, and the approach here is amusing, witty, involving, and downright entertaining.

8/10: Available on DVD from Wild East Productions and both a must-have addition to the library of any devotee as well as a great addition to the collection of the novice. And downright entertaining to prove diverting to any fan of movies regardless of what kind they are.


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