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Deaf Smith & Johnny Ears (1973)

Los amigos (original title)
PG | | Western | 29 March 1973 (Italy)
Set in 1830's Texas just after the Republic won its independence from Mexico. The Republic's future is in doubt, with various factions and foreign powers hoping to sway matters to their own... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Johnny Ears
...
Erastus 'Deaf' Smith
Pamela Tiffin ...
Susie the hooker
Ira von Fürstenberg ...
Hester McDonald Morton
Adolfo Lastretti ...
Williams
Franco Graziosi ...
Gen. Lucius Morton
Antonino Faà di Bruno ...
The Senator
...
J.M. Hoffman
Francesca Benedetti ...
Mrs. Porter the Madame
Conchita Airoldi ...
Rosita McDonald (as Cristina Airoldi)
Romano Puppo ...
Bull, Morton's Goon
Franca Sciutto ...
Bess
Enrico Casadei ...
Barrett
Lorenzo Fineschi ...
James
Mario Carra ...
Corey
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Storyline

Set in 1830's Texas just after the Republic won its independence from Mexico. The Republic's future is in doubt, with various factions and foreign powers hoping to sway matters to their own advantage. President Sam Houston instructs one of his agents, deaf-mute Erastus "Deaf" Smith, to infiltrate and put down one of the growing rebel factions. Accompanying him is his friend Johnny Ears, who must not only do Smith's hearing for him, but must also conceal Smith's handicap, as the rebels have intercepted a message that a deaf-mute spy is in their midst. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The man who hears with his eyes and speaks with his gun...

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 March 1973 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Deaf Smith & Johnny Ears  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Frank Sinatra originally bought the rights as a vehicle for himself in 1969. See more »

Goofs

In one scene "Deaf" Smith, who is a deaf mute, turns and shoots a rooftop gunman, apparently after hearing the gunman run across the rooftop. See more »

Quotes

Johnny Ears: [as they are preparing to blow up a rockslide] It's too bad you can't hear the biggest explosion in Texas
Erastus 'Deaf' Smith: [points at his eyes and then mimics a gigantic explosion]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Red Dead Revolver (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Sonata #14 in C sharp minor (
Moonlight Sonata")" (uncredited)
By Ludwig van Beethoven
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nero stands out in watchable western
20 October 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Set in 1830's Texas, Erastus 'Deaf' Smith (Anthony Quinn) is an ageing but trusted spy for the president, despite the obvious handicap of being a deaf mute. His friend and companion is the sexually charged Spaniard Johnny Ears (Franco Nero), seemingly on a constant mission to obtain another notch on his bed post (or should I say, someone elses!). In fact, unlike your usual Spaghetti Western hero, he is probably more likely to be found in bed than in a bar brawl or gunfight.

The two have been sent by the president to halt the uprising down south, where a rebel by the name of Morton is rallying a rebellion to create independence and domination, with the help of German backing.

The whole emphasis of the story is the great bond between Nero and Quinn, which is quite enjoyable throughout. Comically, Johnny Ears is constantly throwing stones at the laid back Smith in order to get his attention. Ears' relationship with the luscious local whore Susie (Pamela Tiffin) is also a fine display of character play, as their interplay changes from flirtation to sexual tension, and from lust to love. Hell, by the end, Ears seems willing to quit his womanising ways and settle down with the blonde beauty.

There are entertaining one-liners throughout (all obviously left to Nero, who is in fine comic form). As for Quinn, the whole idea that a deaf gunhand can survive and be held in such esteem is entertaining in itself (as he walks away completely unaware of the explosions metres behind him, and sneaks up on opponents oblivious to the fact that the bells on a whores garter - given to him whilst he awaited the return of the promiscuous Ears from the local brothel - are jangling together).

Aside from these highlights, the film is fairly average fare. At times Smith's inability to communicate can be as frustrating to the viewer as it must be to Smith himself. The Director does however highlight this disability to some effect, with silence at any time when the story is shown from Smith's eyes. Too much weight is also placed on the final action-packed climax, which goes on for an age with a maximum explosion count (although it does contain a priceless moment when Ears is unable to operate the enemies' machine gun - a skill mastered to great effect by Nero's Django).

In summary, this is an entertaining little film, high on cheese but low on substance. And there are days when that is exactly the sort of "popcorn" movie that you want to watch. If you are in that mood (I was) you will probably enjoy it (I did!). But it is definitely more "watchable" than "recommended".


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