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The Mercenary (1968)

Il mercenario (original title)
A greedy Polish mercenary aids a mine worker and peasant girl as they lead a revolution against the oppressive Mexican Government, and are pursued by an American rival.

Director:

Sergio Corbucci

Writers:

Franco Solinas (story), Giorgio Arlorio (story) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Franco Nero ... Sergei Kowalski - the Polish
Tony Musante ... Paco Roman
Franco Giacobini Franco Giacobini ... Pepote
Eduardo Fajardo ... Alfonso García
Franco Ressel ... Studs
Álvaro de Luna ... Ramón (as Alvaro De Luna)
Raf Baldassarre Raf Baldassarre ... Mateo
Joe Kamel Joe Kamel ... Sebastian
Ugo Adinolfi Ugo Adinolfi
Jack Palance ... Ricciolo - 'Curly'
Giovanna Ralli ... Columba
Edit

Storyline

While a Mexican revolutionary lies low as a U.S. rodeo clown, the cynical Polish mercenary who tutored the idealistic peasant tells how he and a dedicated female radical fought for the soul of the guerrilla general Paco, as Mexicans threw off repressive government and all-powerful landowners in the 1910s. Tracked by the vengeful Curly, Paco liberates villages, but is tempted by social banditry's treasures, which Kowalski revels in. Written by David Stevens

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He aims for the money... his gun does the rest! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | Spain | USA

Language:

English | Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

22 April 1969 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

A Professional Gun See more »

Filming Locations:

Madrid, Spain 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

The original draft of the screenplay was written by Franco Solinas and Giorgio Arlorio, and was largely inspired by Bertolt Brecht's "The Exception and the Rule". Gillo Pontecorvo was the intended director. The screenplay was, however, largely rewritten by Luciano Vincenzoni and several others, who re-conceived the film as a Mexican Revolution-based Spaghetti Western. Solinas and Arlorio disowned the new script, and Pontecorvo stepped down as director, believing he did not have enough experience with Westerns. He instead directed Burn! (1969), a film with a similar concept. Alberto Grimaldi then hired Sergio Corbucci to direct because of his experience with Spaghetti Westerns. See more »

Goofs

A plane is used to bomb Paco's fort. However planes did not begin to drop bombs until the late stages of WWI, in which they were dropped by hand. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Kowalski aka the Pole: [narrating] So, Paco Roman is a clown. Well, better a live clown than a dead hero. As I, Sergei Kowalski, Polish emigrate to the New World, always realised...
[fade-in to flashback of Paco working in a mine]
Kowalski aka the Pole: When our story began, Paco was only a peon. But one... with a difference.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Western, Italian Style (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A great revolutionary epic with awesome music
13 June 2004 | by tarantinoarchivesSee all my reviews

I was totally knocked out of my socks when I saw that this masterpiece was on TV. One of those many titles this movie has makes it hard to identify it in my TV magazine but still...

Why was I so curious about this movie? First, its famous for its music, composed by Ennio Morricone. Mainly, it's "L'Arena", the tune that was used in Kill Bill Volume 2, which gives me goes bumps every time I hear it. So that was the main reason I wanted to see it. The other: Directed by Sergio Corbucci (Django), starring Jack Palance and Franco Nero (Django). Produced by Alberto Grimaldi....

And what did I get? A high-quality, well-written, nicely filmed epic set in the Mexican revolution. The music perfectly fits the movie. Nero and Palance each have their own theme tunes, and there is a lot of Mexican tunes in the film. The movie as an awesome pace and its very nice to watch. I can really not understand why this movie hasn't gotten a proper DVD release yet. The available Full Screen DVD is really not worth wasting a buck on it, I even got to see the widescreen version on free-TV... This is one of Corbucci's finest works, and one of the best spaghetti westerns ever made, with incredible music, cinematography and mood. Don't miss this. Write down all those alternative titles so you don't miss it when it's on TV.


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