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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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He sells death to the highest bidder! Buy or die! 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 City Slickers (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent fun western
14 November 2002 | by funkyfrySee all my reviews

One of Corbucci's better westerns. The story concerns a bandit (Musante) who wants the legitimacy of being a "revolutionary", but needs the help of a hardened professional (Nero) to do it. Palance gives the movie some of its best moments as a gay gunslinger ( a rival mercenary) out to revenge himself on Musante for humiliating him. Not much plot, but Corbucci's fluid direction keeps it from growing stale and the god performances from the stars make it worth watching. Also look for fun, cynical dialogue and story elements from genre expert Vincenzoni. Contains the dark undertones present in other Corbucci (and Leone) westerns, but not to as great an extent as his masterpiece, "The Great Silence".


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