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California (1977)

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After the Civil War, Michael "California" Random, is released from prison and goes to Missouri with his partner William. He is killed by bandits. California decides to return the belongings to his family and help them against outlaws.



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Title: California (1977)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Giuliano Gemma ...
Michael 'California' Random
William Berger ...
Mr. Preston
Miguel Bosé ...
Willy Preston
Chris Avram ...
Paola Dominguín ...
Helen Preston (as Paola Bosé)
Claudio Undari ...
Eric Plummer (as Robert Hundar)
Malisa Longo ...
Dana Ghia ...
Mrs. Preston
Ferdinando Murolo ...
Franco Ressel ...
Piero Leri
Mario Novelli ...
Brother of northern soldier
Enzo Fiermonte ...
Father of northern soldier
Piero Morgia
Andrea Aureli


After the Civil War, Michael "California" Random, is released from prison and goes to Missouri with his partner William. He is killed by bandits. California decides to return the belongings to his family and help them against outlaws.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

16 September 1977 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Kalifornia  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

Blood, mud and leapfrog for dinner
27 November 2004 | by (Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

No, this Italian/Spanish production does not pretend to take place in California per se, it's just the nickname of our leading man, played by Giuliano Gemma. The man becomes an outlaw when released from a prison camp on account of the end of the civil war (tough break!) We can tell his heart is in the right place as he defends the honour of a little white kitty (and a plate of beans) in this dreary wet town. Young William Preston (singer Miguel Bose) also notices and being in the same predicament, keeps nagging California to take him on as a sidekick. Naturally California resists at first, but they soon bond during a spot of leapfrog catching in the mud with some other nondescript men. William wants to see his sister, who is actually played by the guys real sister Paola (a case of smart casting or of cheap family politics?). As always, there is also a bounty hunter on their trail who goes by the name of Rope Whitaker (not the singer).

You can tell this was made more than ten years after "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" by the fact that the three main characters are now "The Goodlooking, the Cute and the Handsome". Another dead giveaway is the disco beat accompanying the mouth organ heavy score. Just when you think the two heroes are getting a bit too close for comfort (they only have one horse between them), there is a shocking slow mo twist that I won't spoil here. This is followed by another thing I cannot mention without giving away the first one. Harumph. this is turning into "The Crying Game". Well anyway, revenge is in order and California takes it upon himself to eliminate the bad guys one by one (as you do). Whenever this guy gets into a fight, he literally tears the entire house down and leaves the other party lying in the rubble. The action also includes more tiresome slow motion work that only John Woo fans can truly appreciate. California eventually makes Whitaker sing his 'last farewell' and gets Williams' real life sister thrown into the bargain, but only at the cost of the decline of the Spaghetti Western.

4 out of 10

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