6.7/10
1,160
20 user 10 critic

A Man Called Blade (1977)

Mannaja (original title)
A bounty hunter arrives in a mining town and is hired to track down the missing daughter of the town's crippled mayor and learns she has been kidnapped by the mayor's corrupt right-hand-man and a band of outlaws he is secretly working for.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

ON DISC
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Various factions, including a Half-breed Bandit, a gang of Homosexual Cowboys and a Priest, feud over stolen gold in a surreal town.

Director: Giulio Questi
Stars: Tomas Milian, Marilù Tolo, Piero Lulli
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Four petty criminals, three men and a woman, wander through the trackless terrain of the Wild West Utah and are hounded by a sadistic bandit.

Director: Lucio Fulci
Stars: Fabio Testi, Lynne Frederick, Michael J. Pollard
Keoma (1976)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A half-breed ex-Union gunfighter attempts to protect his plague-ridden hometown from being overridden by his racist half-brothers and a Confederate tyrant.

Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Stars: Franco Nero, William Berger, Olga Karlatos
Run, Man, Run (1968)
Adventure | Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Several competing groups and mavericks (including the lead character Cuchillo) are hunting a gold treasure of $3,000,000. The gold was reserved for the Mexican revolution.

Director: Sergio Sollima
Stars: Tomas Milian, Donald O'Brien, Linda Veras
Certificate: M Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A band of Mexican gun-runners employed by a revolutionary general lure an American mercenary into joining their gang, unaware that he is targeting their general.

Director: Damiano Damiani
Stars: Gian Maria Volontè, Klaus Kinski, Martine Beswick
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A grizzled ex-sheriff helps a man framed for murder to confront the powerful trio of brothers who want him dead.

Director: Giancarlo Santi
Stars: Lee Van Cleef, Alberto Dentice, Jess Hahn
Massacre Time (1966)
Certificate: M Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A prospector must fight a sadistic man and his son who have taken over his ranch.

Director: Lucio Fulci
Stars: Franco Nero, George Hilton, Linda Sini
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An uncompromising cop gets transferred to Naples on account of this city's atrocious crime levels. His no-hold-barred police methods are considered to be the perfect anti-dote.

Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Maurizio Merli, John Saxon, Barry Sullivan
Texas, Adios (1966)
Action | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A Texan sheriff and his younger brother travel across the frontier into Mexico to confront the man who killed their father.

Director: Ferdinando Baldi
Stars: Franco Nero, Alberto Dell'Acqua, Elisa Montés
Action | War | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Wrongfully imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, Minnesota Clay seeks revenge on the man who withheld evidence at his trial. There is a problem however, he is going blind.

Director: Sergio Corbucci
Stars: Cameron Mitchell, Georges Rivière, Ethel Rojo
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A returning Union Officer discovers that his home has been overrun by Mexican bandits, and infiltrates the gang to restore order and determine if his wife has been faithful to him.

Director: Duccio Tessari
Stars: Giuliano Gemma, Fernando Sancho, Lorella De Luca
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After a stagecoach is robbed and the passengers murdered, a long and tangled series of surprise attacks a murderous double-crosses leaves the coach's strongbox in the hands of the killer ... See full summary »

Director: Gianfranco Parolini
Stars: Gianni Garko, William Berger, Sydney Chaplin
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Maurizio Merli ...
Mannaja
...
Valler
Sonja Jeannine ...
Deborah McGowan
Donald O'Brien ...
Burt Craven
Salvatore Puntillo ...
Johnny Johnny, Impresario
Antonio Casale ...
Dahlman (as Nino Casale)
Enzo Fiermonte ...
Government Agent
Rik Battaglia ...
Gerald Merton (as Rick Battaglia)
Aldo Rendine ...
Stagecoach Traveller
Enzo Maggio ...
Oldtimer
Sergio Tardioli ...
Saloon Barman
Sofia Lombardo ...
Lucy Merton (as Sophia Lombardo)
Philippe Leroy ...
Edward M. McGowan
Martine Brochard ...
Angela
Edit

Storyline

Arriving in the mining town Suttonville, after claiming the bounty of a outlaw known as Burt Craven, a bounty hunter named Blade (armed with a hatchet instead of a gun) is hired by the town's wheelchair bound mayor McGowan and his corrupt associate Voller to track down McGowan's daughter Debra who has gone missing. Blade is unaware that Voller kidnapped Debra and is secretly working for a group of outlaws who are looting shipment of silver from the silver mines that are run the mine owner McGregor. Caught up in Suttonville's affairs, Blade not only has Voller and the outlaws to deal with, he also goes to settle a score with McGowan (who was responsible for the death of Blade's father) and takes on Voller and his gang who are out to gun him down. Written by Daniel Williamson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 August 1977 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

A Man Called Blade  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was banned in Sweden. See more »

Connections

References Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Wolf
Written by Guido De Angelis & Fabrizio De Angelis
Performed by Cesare De Natale (as Dandylion)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The spaghetti western genre goes out with a bang...
20 June 2008 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

By 1977, the spaghetti western was already on its death throes and if I'm not horribly mistaken, Mannaja is the last major release in the genre. These latter day spaghetti westerns are all visibly different from the 67-71 ones in that they tried to push the envelope in different ways. Ironically the vast amount of tired, quickie Django and Sartana clones that sprung in the late 60's weren't the final nail in the coffin. It seems that after westerns like Mannaja the genre had nowhere to go, having explored every nook and cranny of the old west and milked every bit of potential in the process.

Sergio Martino was not a regular spaghetti western director. He made his name through a series of fantastic giallo thrillers in the early 70's (All the Colours of the Dark, The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh etc) but he was generally a genre director who dabbled with anything that came his way. As a testament to his talent, he was usually successful, often with stunning results. He had tried his hand on the western once more in the Anthonio De Steffen vehicle Arizona Colt Returns, which was a pleasurable entry but business as usual for the most part. Mannaja is markedly different in that it strives for more. It has ambition and the means to pull it off.

Strangely, Mannaja takes its cue from Enzo G. Castellari's incredible Keoma (or as it was retitled for commercial purposes, Django Rides Again) from one year earlier. Maurizio Merli's Mannaja bears more than a passing resemblance to the dirty and grim looking Keoma played by Franco Nero, there are several beautiful slo-mo shots, a dream-like atmosphere in places, it's quite brutal (a hand is chopped, a woman is whipped, a man gets an axe in his head, old ladies and other innocent bystanders are shot and killed) and the score is very weird by spaghetti western standards and it can be as annoying as Keoma's (although I didn't mind the latter). Just as Keoma, it doesn't shy away from taking risks and luckily it pays off, no least thanks to Martino's skillful directing. There's visual awesomeness to be found throughout the movie. Striking compositions are enhanced by great set design lending a gritty feeling to everything from the dilapidated town to the dirty clothes to the muddy streets. Nature plays a big part in how the movie looks: rain, mud, fog are all used to great effect, the last shootout in the fog adding a surreal, ghost-town quality to it. The look of the first half hour reminded me of Altman's McCabe and Mrs. Miller for some reason, with a dash of Django. It also appears to be very much influenced by the work of Sam Peckinpah, whom Sergio Martino himself cites as an inspiration. Generally it's equal parts gritty and atmospheric and with enough budget to hold everything on the seams.

Maurizio Merli made his name in the Italian movie business by playing violent Dirty Harry-esquire cops in polizioto crime flicks and was quite successful as a genre actor. He can play the mean machine effortlessly and it's a real pleasure to watch him as a badass bounty hunter here. A real shame that he didn't do more westerns and even more so that he passed away 4-5 years after making this one. The rest of the cast all turn in fine performances.

Mannaja might have come during the twilight of the spaghetti western but it's easily one of the best it has to offer. A must-see for fans.


7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What? FreakinHungles
Spelling of cast members name normhewittnz
Great film dan-willi84
Discuss A Man Called Blade (1977) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?