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By his dying father's last wish Joe is sent to the Wild West to become a real guy. The dreamy young man despises guns and fights, likes poems and prefers bicycles to horses. Now his three teachers, footpads all of them, shall teach him otherwise. This doesn't work, until Joe has to defend himself against gunman Morton, who's jealous of Joe's love to rancher Ohlsen's beautiful daughter. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
This is, except perhaps for Peckinpah's "Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid", my favorite movie at all. It's biggest quality is its completeness in almost every respect. Completeness in its themes, in its means, and a glorious cast.
It's a film most of all about friendship (I most often think of the scene where monkey, usually the most 'rude' of the protagonists, eagerly grasps the last letter of their dead friend, and then, realizing he can't read at all, is forced to pass the letter to Holy Joe, but in fact the friendship theme is present in the whole movie), about the antagonism of freedom and civilization, about the need and the struggle to find and defend your own position towards everything surrounding you (the 'star' to follow), about how dreams and reality can influence each other (remember the scene of Candida experiencing the man of her dreams riding towards her in a gracious slow motion, while Terence Hill in fact cusses his half-dead horse), about technological progress, it's consequences, and about almost every other theme that has ever been dealt with in 80 years of western history.
The movie's means are comedy, satire, drama, buddy movie, a really great musical score by Guido & Maurizio de Angelis, and all style elements of the classical western.
The cast is superb, creating at least half a dozen unique characters you can root on; unfortunately with one exception: Yanti Somer's lousy performance as Candida.
Another wonderful thing about this movie, is that it doesn't condemn any of its characters; everyone has his place in the film's world and gets his respect by script, direction and cast: the protagonists as well as the whores, the 'villains', the bounty hunters and the jailers. By the way: This quality also characterizes most films by Sam Peckinpah.
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