7.2/10
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72 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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Ryan
... Bill Meceita
... Walcott's Henchman in Waistcoat
... Walcott
... Burt Cavanaugh
... Pedro (as Jose Torres)
Franco Balducci ... Sceriffo
... Walcott's Bartender
Felicita Fanny ... Martita
Ignazio Leone ... Ex-pastore
Carlo Pisacane ... Capostazione
Angelo Susani ... Paco
Guglielmo Spoletini ... Manuel
Vivienne Bocca ... Sorella di Bill
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:

This is revenge... And there's nothing sweet about it! See more »

Genres:

Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some western violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 August 1967 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

As Man to Man  »

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

The original title of the film was "Duel in the Wind." Lee Van Cleef came up with the Italian title while discussing the movie with John Phillip Law, who saw the film as a "man to man" story. Van Cleef remarked, "Why don't they call it 'From Man to Man'?" The Italian producers liked how it sounded in Italian ("Da Uomo a Uomo") so much they used it. Then the film was subsequently retitled "Death Rides a Horse" in English-speaking markets, which Law said he never liked. See more »

Goofs

When Bill talks to the girl in the inn, before the bandits arrive, the long shot shows her face in shadows. When it goes to a closer shot, her right eye has was highlighted by sunlight. See more »

Quotes

Bill: I can pay for the information, with his five hundred.
Ryan: He's worth more than that to me. Fifteen thousand. So I suggest you keep your distance. 'Cause if you don't, I might get MAD.
See more »

Connections

References Rio Bravo (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Death Rides A Horse
Composed by Maurizio Graf (as Attansio) and Ennio Morricone
Performed by Cantori Moderni Di Alessandroni
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Far from ordinary.
20 August 2005 | by See 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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