IMDb > A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die (1972)

A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die (1972) More at IMDbPro »Una ragione per vivere e una per morire (original title)


Overview

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6.2/10   896 votes »
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Down 58% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
27 December 1972 (West Germany) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A handful of condemned men on an impossible mission, against hopeless odds...
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
The Dirty Seven. See more (16 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

James Coburn ... Colonello Pembroke

Telly Savalas ... Maggiore Ward

Bud Spencer ... Eli Sampson
Georges Géret ... Sergente Spike
Reinhard Kolldehoff ... Sergente Brent (as Rene Kolldehoff)
Guy Mairesse ... Donald MacIvers
José Suárez ... maggiore Charles Ballard (as Jose Suarez)
Ugo Fangareggi ... Fred
Benito Stefanelli ... Samuel Pickett un ex condannato
Adolfo Lastretti ... Will Fernandez / Will Culder (as Guy Ranson)
Fabrizio Moresco ... Ward's Assistant
Francisco Sanz ... Farmer (as Paco Sanz)
Carla Mancini
Joe Pollini ... Jeremy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Andrew Dean
Carson Drew
Don Getzson
Christopher Hill
David Landau
Graig Nicol
Bill Norden
Sharin Sher ... April
Rudolf G. Boevini ... (uncredited)
Joseph P. Persaud ... Apache (uncredited)
Turam Quibo ... (uncredited)
Ángel Álvarez ... Scully the Monger (uncredited)
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Directed by
Tonino Valerii 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Rafael Azcona  screenplay
Ernesto Gastaldi  screenplay
Ernesto Gastaldi  story
Tonino Valerii  screenplay
Tonino Valerii  story

Produced by
Michael Billingsley .... producer
Tullio Odevaine .... producer
Alfonso Sansone .... producer
Arthur Steloff .... producer
 
Original Music by
Riz Ortolani 
 
Cinematography by
Alejandro Ulloa  (as Alexander Besch)
 
Film Editing by
Franklin Boll  (as Franklin Brill)
Franco Fraticelli 
 
Production Design by
Elio Micheli 
 
Costume Design by
Elio Micheli 
 
Makeup Department
Luciano Giustini .... key makeup artist
 
Production Management
Enrique Bellot .... production supervisor
Alfredo Cuomo .... production manager (as Alfred Cuomo)
Nino Milano .... production manager
Antonio Paoletti .... production supervisor (as Tony Paoletti)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tony Brandt .... assistant director
Joe Pollini .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Kurt Doubrowsky .... sound
 
Special Effects by
Eros Bacciucchi .... special effects
Giovanni Corridori .... special effects
 
Stunts
Miguel Pedregosa .... stunt performer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Divo Cavicchioli .... still photographer
Eduardo Noé .... camera operator
Pasquale Rachini .... camera operator
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Osanna Guardini .... assistant costume designer
 
Editorial Department
Anna Maria Rocca .... assistant editor (as Anna Maria Roca)
 
Music Department
Riz Ortolani .... conductor
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Una ragione per vivere e una per morire" - Spain (original title)
"A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die!" - USA (DVD box title)
"Dirty Seven" - Japan (English title) (video title)
See more »
Runtime:
Germany:79 min | USA:92 min | Norway:109 min (theatrical version) (1973) | 113 min (Northern Countries PAL DVD) | 119 min (original uncut version)
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:M | Finland:K-16 | Germany:12 (DVD rating) (cut version) | Germany:16 (DVD rating) (uncut version) | Iceland:12 | Norway:16 (original rating) | Norway:15 (re-rating) | Sweden:15 (cut version) | USA:PG | West Germany:16 (nf)

Did You Know?

Goofs:
Anachronisms: The film is set in 1862 but features Gatling guns that, presumably, formed part of the fort's arsenal when it was in Union hands.The gun was designed by Dr Richard J Gatling in 1861 and patented on November 4, 1862. Though two examples were employed near Petersburg and eight fitted on gunboats, it was not accepted by the American Army until 1866. So it's most improbable that it would have been available in a remote theatre of the Civil War.See more »
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FAQ

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The Dirty Seven., 24 February 2011
Author: JohnRouseMerriottChard from United Kingdom

Una ragione per vivere e una per morire (AKA: A Reason to Live, A Reason to Die & Massacre at Fort Holman) is directed by Tonino Valerii, who also co-writes with Rafael Azcona and Ernesto Gastaldi. It stars James Coburn, Telly Savalas & Bud Spencer. Cinematographer is Alejandro Ulloa and the music is scored by Riz Ortolani. Plot sees Coburn as Union Colonel Pembroke, who during the Civil War is given a rag-tag group of criminals to go win back the fort he lost to Confederate Major Frank Ward (Savalas). For him it's a chance to regain his honour, for them it's a chance to avoid execution for their crimes.

Joplin Gazette, Joplin Missouri, April 10, 1872

---Today I walked through the ruins of what was once Fort Holman. 10 years ago, this Civil War fortress, thought to be impregnable, was destroyed by a wild bunch of marauders. Eli Sampson, a survivor of that massacre, revealed in an interview that the raid was the result of a blood feud between two bitter men: Colonel Pembroke, a Union officer, thought to be a traitor and a coward, led the mission to recapture the fort he had once surrendered. Major Ward, a ruthless "Mad Genius," who joined the Confederacy solely to gain command of Fort Holman, so that he could rule the vast surrounding Santa Fe territory after the war. But what motivates these two men and what caused this incredible blood bath, was explained by Eli Sampson in the story that follows---

It's a written opening that grabs the attention straight away, it has all the promise of a spaghetti western done Peckinpah style. Then early in proceedings a grizzled James Coburn walks along a line of men about to be hanged, being introduced to them and calmly wondering if said scum-bags would like to stave off execution by accompanying him on a suicide mission? OK, it's derivative of The Dirty Dozen five years earlier, but if this is blending Peckinpah with Robert Aldrich at his best then it will be worth every second spent with it. Sadly it doesn't come close to living up to that particular promise. But it does have points of worth within.

If you are willing to invest some patience with the slow narrative and get to the carnage finale unscathed? Then it's actually worth the wait as regards action. There's also some fine photography from Ulloa around Almeria in Spain, while Ortolani's soundtrack score blends well in context to the story. However, away from Coburn the acting is sub-standard, especially from Savalas who is miscast, while some suspension of disbelief is needed once the group reach the fort. But all in all it's a safe recommend to fans of Westerns, spaghetti or otherwise. And certainly a must for Coburn fans. 6.5/10

Footnote: The full cut of the film now runs at just shy of two hours in length, film buyers should ensure that they buy home format discs that run at around the 113/114 minute mark.

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