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A Man Called Blade (1977)
"Mannaja" (original title)

6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,044 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 11 critic

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.

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Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Maurizio Merli, Arthur Kennedy, Giampiero Albertini
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Maurizio Merli ...
Mannaja
John Steiner ...
Valler
Sonja Jeannine ...
Deborah McGowan (as Sonya Jeannine)
Donald O'Brien ...
Burt Craven
Salvatore Puntillo ...
Johnny Johnny - the impresario
Antonio Casale ...
Dorman - bandits' head (as Nino Casale)
Enzo Fiermonte ...
The government Envoy
Rik Battaglia ...
Gerald Merton - Mannaja's father (as Rick Battaglia)
Aldo Rendine ...
The Fat Passenger in the Stagecoach
Sergio Tardioli ...
The Saloon Barman
Sofia Lombardo ...
Mannaja's Mother (as Sophia Lombardo)
Philippe Leroy ...
McGowan
Martine Brochard ...
Angela
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Enzo Maggio
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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:

 »
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Maurizio Merli did most of his own stunts. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Winter in Wartime (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Blade In The Gut
14 August 2006 | by (Salzburg, Austria) – See all my reviews

One of the later Spaghetti Westerns, and often compared to Enzo G. Castellari's "Keoma" from 1976, Sergio Martino's "Mannaja" aka. "A Man Called Blade" is a very stylish, and pretty brutal movie with some minor flaws. The comparisons to Keoma are quite plausible indeed, Mannaja was made only one year after Keoma, both soundtracks were composed by Maurizio and Guido De Angelis, and the leading actor Maurizio Merli actually looks a lot like the great Franco Nero, who played the title role in Keoma. It is often stated that Maurizio Merli only got bigger roles due to his resemblance to Franco Nero. Anyway, Merli's performance as Mannaja is great. Comparing Mannaja to Keoma, Mannaja had a smaller budget, but it makes up for this with graphic violence and genuine nastiness. The performances in Mannaja are great, even though it's pretty hard to come up to Franco Nero, Woody Strode and William Berger. The music composed by the De Angelis Brothers, which some folks seem to have disliked in "Keoma" (I'm not one of them), actually fits into Mannaja very well.

Mannaja, an occasional bounty hunter and gunslinger who is fast with both his gun and his tomahawk, comes to a small town to collect the reward for a bandit he has caught. The town, which doesn't have a Sheriff, is ruled by an aging rich landowner named Mc Gowan, who treats the laborers at his silver mine like animals. Mc Gowan's right hand man, a ruthless killer named Voller, however, even makes his boss look like a nice guy in his sadism and unscrupulousness.

Mannaja has, apart from its resemblances to Keoma, many resemblances to earlier Spaghetti Westerns. Mannaja's back-flashes, for example, remind of movies like Sergio Corbucci's "The Great Silence", or Sergio Leone's "Once Upon A Time In The West". Since these resemblances are only occasional, however, they don't make the movie worse. The performances are good, I especially liked John Steiner as the villainous Voller and Maurizio Merli as Mannaja. The character of Mannaja (according to the movie 'Mannaja' means 'blade' in a Native American language) is generally very cool, the fact that he kills with his tomahawk as frequently as with his gun (if not more frequently), makes the whole movie very stylish. All things considered, Maurizio Merli, who is best known for his roles in ultraviolent Italian crime flicks, is probably not as versatile an actor as Franco Nero, but he definitely made a great Mannaja. A nasty, ultra-violent and gripping Spaghetti Western, "Mannaja" is a must see for genre-fans!


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