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37�2 le matin (1986)
Annie Hall (1977)
Barry Lyndon (1975)
Being There (1979)
Blood Simple (1984)
Boot, Das (1981)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il (1966)
C'era una volta il West (1968)
Duck Soup (1933)
Forrest Gump (1994)
The Graduate (1967)
Groundhog Day (1993)
Hero (Zhang Yimou)
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
The Fugitive (1993)
Gone with the Wind (1939)
Life of Brian (1979)
Love and Death (1975)
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
Raise the Red Lantern (1991)
Salaire de la peur, Le (1953)
Schlafes Bruder (1995)
Sjunde inseglet, Det (1957)
The Third Man (1949)
Vamos a matar, compa�eros (1970)
What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
The Wild Bunch (1969)
Entertaining but lacking credibility
Toni arrives in Paris coming by train from Calabria. He enters an Italian restaurant and kills the owner who is member of the Minelli family. For no obvious reason he stays in Paris and meets an old man who is living in kind of an asylum because he murdered another Italian family many years ago. Only the mother of that family survived. The old man tells him that the Minelli family will seek revenge and try to kill him. Toni now meets the Minellis again and talks with them. He gets nervous and kills 3 more family members. He continues to talk with the old man who tells him that the killing was necessary and that Toni's family always considered Toni a bastard because he was an illegitimate child. Because of that they sent him to Paris to get rid of him. The only way to achieve reconciliation would be to kill a certain Buffo. After that his family would forgive him. Overall the story is entertaining to follow but it's the kind of story where you are not allowed to ask too many questions - like e.g. why doesn't Toni himself know anything about the bastard story. I haven't seen any real plot holes, though. I found the acting to be OK and the overall impression of the movie was mediocre. Besides the talky relationship between Toni and the old man there is some action and a little romantic subplot where a French girl falls in love with the Calabrian guy and surprisingly they talk without any language problems. The French authorities never interfere so that the murder plot can continue.
Recommended if you have some time to kill and like any of the actors.
Le hussard sur le toit (1995)
Love and a Lot of Death
Italian patriot Colonel Angelo Pardi is fleeing his country in 1832. He enters the cholera ridden French Provence. There he meets Pauline who is lovelessly married to rich Marquis de Théus. Together they will look for him. The road movie starts pretty slow and chaotic. More often than once I was confused about what was going on. A lot of swashbuckling, dead people, crows and crows again, some chases. There seemed to be no real plot or focus. Then after about one hour suddenly it got better and delivered what I was expecting. The romance between Juliette Binoche and Olivier Martinez gained momentum and the story got some direction. The ending was a bit melodramatic and lacked credibility but I won't ask for too much.
Both lead actors did a good job. Cinematography was good and benefited from the setup in France's beautiful landscape. There was an improvement to be seen after a rather bad start.
6 / 10
The Macahans (1976)
TV Soap Western
Unlike many other comment writers I'm only writing about the film and not the series. This entry of the IMDb refers to the pilot(?) film only.
The movie deals with the fortune of the Macahan family who underwent a life of strange and irrational decisions. Timothy(?) Macahan is tired of the life in Virginia and also fears the upcoming civil war and thus decides to go west. With a single covered wagon and his brother Zeb as a scout he soon arrives in Nebraska. Despite the availability of a telegraph line he starts to worry about his parents who have stayed back in Virginia and decides to ride back more than 2000 miles through territory of war. After nothing is heard about him one of his sons follows him to Virginia and is thereby recruited by the Unionists. In the middle of the Shiloh battle he meets his father who is just about to die in the same minute. Isn't the USA bigger than than the town where I'm living?!
There is a teaching narrative which gives the impression that the event-driven soap opera is meant as kind of a lesson. The actors could have been better and more natural, some more extras could have filled the scenes. The way the story is told lacks the necessary grit which is a typical flaw of TV-Westerns. Camera work and score are mediocre.
4 / 10.
Breakheart Pass (1975)
Thinking that I was going to see a Western helped ...
... to add to the mystery. The film starts slow without boring the customer. We are introduced to some of the characters who will enter a military support train from Arizona(?) to Fort Humboldt, California. The train will pass only wild mountain landscape so that there is no leave. Mysterious things start to happen and we don't know what's behind, a situation roughly comparable to A LADY VANISHES from Hitchcock. So it's more a Thriller and Murder Mystery located in the Old West than a real Western. Bronson does a good job and handles the increasing action well, the other actors give some good but not great performances. The film would be better and more credible with some less mystery events and particularly less carcasses on the train. Why not dump them in the wilderness!? It must have smelled. But overall good and well shot entertainment.
Quite popular in Germany.
Lo voglio morto (1968)
Simple Story, Simple Characters
"Who cares about the death of your sister, I want my drink!". This is what the brother of the sheriff tells Clayton in a bar. Clayton doesn't really like to hear this, starts a brawl and when the other draws the gun he shoots and kills. Then he goes to the sheriff to complain about the murder of his sister and the sheriff who doesn't care starts the next brawl. Clayton escapes and hunts the murderers by himself. Not much killing but many fistfights. Everything (and everyone) is simple and somewhat solid but neither the story nor the film ever excel. The three actresses in this sometimes misogynistic story are handsome and particularly Lea Massari does a good job.
Yet Another Roadish Treasure Hunt
The film starts with a road and a covered wagon that apparently has all kind of household goods. The owner probably provides distant ranches with convenience products. For $10 he has accepted a passenger who will kill him soon. The passenger turns out to be a criminal Confederate colonel who has a map of a hidden treasure. In a conflict with outlaws he gets killed and a little boy and a "stranger" without a gun get hold of it. A typical treasure hunt with only partial knowledge about the location by each of the searchers through a wild mountain landscape is about to start. Gilbert Roland and Richard Harrison together with a mixed bunch including the outlaws are able to entertain the viewer and deliver both a good performance. There are a lot of nice and wild landscape shots and the score has at least average quality. On the downside there is a certain lack of credibility in more than one situation. E.g. before starting a treasure hunt I'd try to get rid of outlaws.
Recommended for Western and Adventure genre enthusiasts.
Gunfighter's Moon (1995)
Strange Blend of Cartoonish Parody and Family Drama
The film opens with a sunset and a red sky and there are riders who ride in slow-motion. This is quite unusual because normally it's the way a Western ends and rides are often accelerated by fast-motion. Soon we are in a Mexican-lead barroom where the superhero (a good Lance Henriksen as a squint-eyed Eastwood lookalike who looks almost as old as Eastwood himself in the nineties) is challenged by some minor gunslingers. Later he enters the town where the husband of his former love is a replacement sheriff because the real sheriff got killed by badmen. Surprisingly he also meets his daughter who doesn't know about this fact. A strange relationship with contradictive feelings develops. What could be a good drama is mostly hurt by the contrasting cartoonish Western cliché inserts. All that is related to the Old West lacks credibility here. The characters as presented feel way to modern. They just try to be Westerners.
Recommended to those who are deeply interested in Westerns. There weren't that many made in the nineties.
5 / 10
I crudeli (1967)
Corbucci on the Road
After the Civil War a dedicated ex-Confederate officer leads a hearse with a coffin full of money to New Mexico where he wants to revive the Confederation. His company is formed by his three very different sons and an alcoholic women. After the woman gets killed she is replaced by a seasoned female gambler who is well played by Norma Bengell. The whole story unfolds in the way of a road movie where the characters are passing through the typical obstacles of a Western environment. Due to a massacre the bunch committed in the beginning they are hunted by unionists and government officials. Corbucci manages to make the characters who are basically all criminals very likable and I was more often than not at the edge of my seat when the bunch run into trouble. Probably THE WILD BUNCH from Peckinpah got some inspirations from here and Corbucci's COMPAÑEROS can be considered a later variant with a different mood.
The mood of the film is excellently supported by Morricone's score which belongs to his best. Cinematography is above average. The Spaghetti Western Web Board rated this film at #24 of all SW in 2005.
7 / 10
Odia il prossimo tuo (1968)
More Holes than Plot
Ken Dakota seeks revenge for the killing of his brother Bill and wife. In his search for the murderers he runs into conflict with the evil Mexican land owner Chris Malone (Horst Frank) who lets peasants fight against each other for pure pleasure. The plot isn't straight and simple and more often than not it is difficult to find any serious reason for what is going on. E.g. why putting Eastman over a snake pit. If he dies everything is lost and he won't talk anyways. Well, there is the reason of maintaining a constant flow of carcasses. Despite the rather violent and dark plot with various scenes of torture the film is beautifully shot in a nice landscape with lakes and waterfalls in front of a blue sky. Often the violence is accompanied by nice music and even the villains prove to be skilled musicians. This generates a strange contrast. George Eastman acts with pleasure and Horst Frank plays a credible villain. Nicoletta Machiavelli has definitely some problems with her role.
The film is pretty long for a Spaghetti Western and able to entertain as long as the viewer doesn't care about the plot. It seems to be filmed in 4:3 format.
A Taste of Zorro
Unlike all those mavericks who populate the Spaghetti Western genre Quintana has a family and we meet his parents in the second scene of the film. His real name is José and his girlfriend is Esmeralda. Setup is in Mexico where the province is oppressed by the evil Don Juan de Leyra. José puts a mask on his face and converts into a zorro-like avenger who is always in place when injustice occurs. He is supported by priest Mansueto (wellknown genre actor Ignacio Spalla) who hides the pursued ones. "George Stevenson" who plays Quintana is probably an alias name. I have never seen him before and he is lacking the energy needed for the leading job. Overall this story unfolds quite coherent and logical, the characters however remain flat. There are different romances which also develop within expectations.
Camera work is OK, the notable score is better than the film.
4 / 10