Branded a coward for surrendering his New Mexico fort to the Confederates without firing a shot, a Union colonel attempts to redeem himself by leading a band of condemned prisoners on a suicide mission to recapture it.
Two nice guys, a wrestler (Bud Spencer) and an Ice-cream vendor (Giuliano Gemma) are mistaken for dangerous killers by an important local gangster, whose nickname is "Sorriso". With the ... See full summary »
Two missionaries (Bud Spencer and Terence Hill) come into conflict with the authorities when they turn their missionary into a parrot farm. The Bishop of Maracaibo calls them his 'black ... See full summary »
Police Commissioner Rizzo, Bigfoot (Piedone by nickname) and Marshal Caputo go to Egypt and look for Professor Cerullo, who is missing. The professor has discovered an insect that can smell... See full summary »
Commissary Rizzo in Napoli gets a message from a policeman from South Africa who wants to meet him. Immediatlz before this meeting the south African policeman is killed. Dying he shows ... See full summary »
Medieval soldier of fortune Ettore is travelling through Europe with his partners looking for fight where they can earn some money. When they come across a Spanish castle under siege by the... See full summary »
The spaghetti western sub-genre might have grown rancid by this period, but there are no doubts their titles were striking and creative, when which said simply rolled of your tongue. Tell me that this title isn't a lyrical joy. No stranger to the sub-genre with "My Name is Nobody" and "Day of Anger", director Tonino Valerii's 'A Reason to Live, A Reason to Die!" would be a hardy old-fashion western variation of "The Dirty Dozen". While it might be only half of that film, its remains an amusing fare thanks largely to the three central performances of Bud Spencer, James Coburn and Telly Savalas. The latter might not make an appearance until the hour mark, but it's the combination between the buoyant Spencer and low-key Coburn which drives it. The humour seems to come off thanks to Spencer timing and presence. Even though the greying Coburn and swaggering Savalas get top billing, it's Spencer who's really the star.
Like most films of this ilk, it's systematic with its staples as the theme of vengeance and redemption looms prominently. There's no real change of route, as it keeps it gritty and the straight-forward narrative never loses focuses, especially that of the character's motivations with it to throw up a sudden revelation (which my DVD synopsis' spoiled). The expandable characters are clichés, but workable as they serve their purpose with it ending on a bang. It actually starts with the end, to only retell the story from Spencer's character's point of view. This gives it like a mythical tale-like quality. It's well shot with a commendable music score. Valerii does a serviceable job behind the camera letting it move at a fair pace while constructing few intense scenes and cracking action sequences, like the delirious climatic showdown at the hillside forte (with it vivid locations), which had me thinking of "The Wild Bunch" (in which case Coburn would star in Peckinpah's "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid" the following year), but in the end you feel like there just wasn't enough going on. Some moments should have been much stronger than they were, like the personal battle between Coburn and Savalas.
Contrived, but tough and dirty entertainment.
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