7.1/10
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74 user 31 critic

Death Rides a Horse (1967)

Da uomo a uomo (original title)
A young gunfighter plans to track down and eliminate the bandits who killed his family, and forms a tenuous alliance with an aging ex-outlaw, till the surprising end.

Director:

Giulio Petroni

Writer:

Luciano Vincenzoni (script)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lee Van Cleef ... Ryan
John Phillip Law ... Bill Meceita
Mario Brega ... Walcott's Henchman in Waistcoat
Luigi Pistilli ... Walcott
Anthony Dawson ... Burt Cavanaugh
José Torres ... Pedro (as Jose Torres)
Franco Balducci Franco Balducci ... Sceriffo
Bruno Corazzari ... Walcott's Bartender
Felicita Fanny Felicita Fanny ... Martita
Ignazio Leone ... Ex-pastore
Carlo Pisacane ... Capostazione
Angelo Susani Angelo Susani ... Paco
Guglielmo Spoletini Guglielmo Spoletini ... Manuel
Vivienne Bocca Vivienne Bocca ... Sorella di Bill
Walter Giulangeli Walter Giulangeli ... Sr. Meceita
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Storyline

Before his very eyes, a young boy watches the cutthroats of a small gang raid his humble home, rape and slaughter his whole family. Fifteen years later, Bill Meceita, the once-helpless boy and the sole survivor of the massacre, has now become a cool and skilful sharpshooter, seeking revenge against the band of unknown killers. In the meantime, the seasoned gunslinger and freshly out of prison, Ryan, has already embarked on a journey of sweet retribution, unaware that before long, he will cross paths with Bill, sharing the same desire for justice. But what could possibly unite the two unlikely companions? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When You've Waited Fifteen Years To Find A Man... It's A Shame You Can Only Kill Him Once! See more »

Genres:

Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some western violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

31 August 1967 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

As Man to Man See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bollywood hit Zanjeer starring Amitabh Bachhan,Jaya Bhaduri n Pran is inspired by this movie. See more »

Goofs

At about 38 minutes the barman is thrown out of window and when he re-enters the saloon he is shot, after which he falls into the street. He is then seen being thrown out of the bar a second time almost immediately afterwards. See more »

Quotes

Ryan: [Sees Bill buried to his neck] You had to get here ahead of me didn't you?
[One of Wolcott's henchmen appears from his hiding, only to be swiftly gunned down by Ryan]
Ryan: Idiot. Are you on your way in or out of that hole? You remind me of a groundhog that couldn't make up its mind.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some versions, including the Japanese DVD release from SPO, are missing a single shot of a person being stabbed (in the opening sequence), cut by the censors on the film's first English language release in the 1960s. Subsequent DVD releases from MGM in Europe contain the uncut version, with the shot of the stabbing included in the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Alfonso Sansone produttore per caso (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Death Rides A Horse (Vocal version)
Composed by Maurizio Graf (as Attansio) and Ennio Morricone
Performed by Raul Lovecchio (as Raoul)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Far from ordinary.
20 August 2005 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

When Bill (John Phillip Law) was a young child he witnesses a gang kill his father, and rape and kill his mother and sister, while he was spared. Now Bill is a young man who is now intent on exacting revenge on those who were responsible for killing his family. He also meets a gunslinger/ex-con Ryan (Lee Van Cleef) who has just been released from jail and who's out to even the score with those exact outlaws, which betrayed him. So, now the two, tussle with each other to see who'll get to them first, but with the time they spend with each other, Bill also learns some valuable tips from Ryan.

As a kid growing up I loved my Westerns, but they had to be Cowboys and Indians, if there were no Indians, I just didn't give a damn. But how have times changed. I have just started to get back into the genre (and no, I don't care if there ain't no Indians), and lately the spaghetti western sub-genre. I'm a big fan of Sergio Leone' s Dollar films, which people say are the catalyst for spaghetti westerns. I didn't know anything of this film and probably wouldn't have paid much attention to it, but since I read some positive comments about it on a thread (in the horror board, of all places), I thought it would definitely be worth a look. But, I didn't have to go out of my way to find it, as it pop up on TV a week or two later. Anyhow, I've babbled enough about my personal experience, back to the film.

What gripping stuff! It surly was better, than I expected. A lively spaghetti western that had plenty of surprises along the way and it just wasn't a shoot-'em-up story with plenty of violence, but the cleverly laid out plot, builds on the revenge tale with some mystery and panache and kept the violence within the story's limits. Everything comes together rather perfectly with such a dark and macabre opening to its fitting finale. The story did kind of reminded me off Leone's "For A Few Dollars More", which Luciano Vincenzoni who penned this film, was also co-writer in the last two Dollar films. As for the script, there is lot spite, wit, but also it was rather standard and stiff dialogue. There probably could've been a bit more flair, especially from American actor John Phillip Law who was basically dead as wood in delivery and probably the film's weakest point. But the same can't be said of legendary actor Lee Van Cleef's performance. He brought a hard-boiled character that also added some dry humour and sizzling skills that ideally fitted in the overall tone. Combination between Cleef and Law goes down quite well and adds another dimension into the film (father and son figure). The rest (especially, the villains) gave your usual mean performances. Though, throughout the film, those Mexican outlaws seem to find the funny side of things, out of really nothing. I just find it rather amusing, especially because of the irony of it all. Ennio Morricone (also from the Dollar films) came up with a standout music score, which mixed some soothing Mexican music with an uplifting and rousing western score. The camera-work isn't that potent, but it still gets some flashy treatment. With its sharp and encroaching shots. It also captured the vastly desolated landscape that sprawls on the screen. Direction by Giulio Petroni keeps the film grounded and keeps a rather brisk pace. He creates some well-designed shootouts and sequences. One being the eerie opening and another an explosive showdown amongst an empty town during a dust storm. By the way, it's a great title isn't it?

A must-see for any Western or Lee Van Cleef fan.


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