7.3/10
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32 user 29 critic

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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Sergei Kowalski - the Polish
... Paco Roman
... Alfonso García
Franco Giacobini ... Pepote
Lorenzo Robledo ... Officer
... Ramón (as Alvaro De Luna)
Raf Baldassarre ... Mateo (as Ralph Baldassarre)
... Garcia's Brother
Vicente Roca ... Elias Garcia
... Lerkin
Franco Ressel ... Studs
Guillermo Méndez ... Captain
Enrique Navarro ... Notary
Simón Arriaga ... Simón
Ugo Adinolfi
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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 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:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

22 April 1969 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

A Professional Gun  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because he was contractually obliged to provide his voice for the English version, Franco Nero was initially cast as Paco Roman. James Coburn was hired for the role of the mercenary (who was originally intended to be an American) based on his role in Our Man Flint (1966), but eventually dropped out of the role due to disagreements as to whether he or Nero would be top-billed. Coburn's role was rewritten as Polish so that Nero could portray the character with an accent. Tony Musante was cast as Paco after Nero saw him in The Incident (1967). See more »

Goofs

Sergei Kowalski uses a Spanish Astra 400 pistol. The pistol was not introduced until 1921, after the Mexican Revolution. 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 Django: The One and Only (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Spanish-Italian co-production well directed by Sergio Corbucci with action, shootouts, humor and violence
6 February 2010 | by See all my reviews

This is a nice Zapata/Spaghetti Western set in Mexico during the confrontation Madero-general Huertas , including communist revolutionaries and mean bandits. Fate brought them together, greed made them inseparable, violence made partners. A Polish named Sergei Kowalski(Franco Nero) is a mercenary, he directs to do transporting silver to a mine , but he only finds a Mexican rebel (Tony Musante) has formed a Guerrilla and have taken control. Nevertheless, Sergei is contracted as hired hand and teaching the leader how to put his idealist fervor into practice. They are pursued by Curly (Jack Palance), a white-suited gay gunslinger.

It's a thrilling western with overwhelming showdown between the protagonists Franco Nero and Tony Musante and the enemies Jack Palance and Eduardo Fajardo. Tony Musante, such as Tomas Milian, puts faces, grimaces, crying and overacting, but he plays splendidly. Agreeable intervention of a beauty as Giovanna Ralli. Furthermore, appears usual secondaries from Italian Western as Franco Ressell, Raf Baldassarre, Jose Canalejas, Alvaro De Luna, Simon Arriaga,Lorenzo Robledo, Tito Garcia, and of course Eduardo Fajardo, Corbucci's ordinary. The highlights of the film are the Tony Musante 's burying edge neck similarly to Franco Nero's ¨The Professional ¨, the confronting at the bullfighting square and the Polish wielding a machine gun and shooting though with anachronism because is a modern model. The picture mingles violence, thrills, shootém up, comedy with tongue in cheek and it's fast moving and for that reason is quite amusing. This film belongs to the numerous group that are set during the Mexican revolution, called ¨Zapata Western¨ , like are the Italians: ¨ Duck you sucker¨, ¨The professional¨ ,¨Tetepa¨ and the Americans : ¨The wild bunch¨, ¨Villa rides ¨, and ¨The professionals¨. There are many fine technicians and nice assistants as the cameraman Alejandro Ulloa who makes an excellent photography with barren outdoors, dirty landscapes under a glimmer sun shot on outskirts of Cuenca and of course Almeria, Spain ; however it is necessary an urgent remastering because of the copy is worn-out. The musician Ennio Morricone creates a classic Spaghetti soundtrack and well conducted by his habitual collaborator Bruno Nicolai. Well produced by Alberto Grimaldi -PEA productions- famous producer of ¨The trilogy of the dollars¨ filmed by Sergio Leone. Sergio Corbucci's direction is correct ,he made several classic Italian western : ¨ Django¨, ¨The great silence¨, ¨Hellbenders¨ , ¨The specialist¨ and the ¨Compañeros¨ , the latter bears special resemblance to ¨ The mercenary ¨ and along with ¨ ¨What am I doing in middle of the revolution¨ belongs a Corbucci's trilogy about Mexican revolution. Rating : 6,5/10. Good Spaghetti Western.


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