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The 5-Man Army (1969)

Un esercito di 5 uomini (original title)
Spaghetti western about a group of bandits, led by Peter Graves, who plan on robbing a train transporting gold for the Mexican army.


Marc Richards (screenplay), Dario Argento (screenplay)


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Complete credited cast:
Peter Graves ... Dutchman
James Daly ... Augustus
Bud Spencer ... Mesito
Nino Castelnuovo ... Luis
Tetsurô Tanba ... Samurai
Claudio Gora ... Esteban
Daniela Giordano ... Maria
Annabella Andreoli Annabella Andreoli ... Mexican Girl - Perla
Carlo Alighiero Carlo Alighiero ... Gutierrez
Giacomo Rossi Stuart ... Mexican Officer
Marino Masé ... Railroad Man (as Marino Mase)
Dan Sturkie Dan Sturkie ... Carnival Barker
José Torres ... Mexican Spy (as Jose Torres) (credit only)


Set during the Mexican Revolution, a man known only as "The Dutchman" has a plan, and brings in four of his old acquaintences, including an old army buddy and a silent Japanese swordsman, to help him out by promising a $1000 reward if it succeeds. The plan turns out to be a fool's mission: rob a train carrying $500,000 in gold that's guarded by dozens of heavily armed soldiers and passes through a steady stream of military checkpoints. Naturally, his friends agree to go along with the scheme. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


...heists a fortune in Mexican gold


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Release Date:

20 February 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The 5-Man Army See more »

Filming Locations:

Italy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tiger Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In addition to writing the screenplay, Dario Argento directed some of the scenes uncredited. This was before his official directorial debut the following year with "The Bird With the Crystal Plummage" (1970). See more »


One of the soldiers killed on the train opens his eyes as they set up his body to make it look like he is still alive. See more »


Dutchman: Some men die for money, some die for causes. They're gonna die for us.
See more »


Referenced in Agent Vinod (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

A misfit group led by Peter Graves who scheme on robbing a heavily armed train transporting gold for the General Huertas.
2 May 2013 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Set during the Mexican Revolution and ruling General Huertas , a two-fisted man known only as "The Dutchman" has a scheme , to carry out a huge robbing in a train for the Mexican Army , as he teams up a motley bunch , including a veteran captain and other three colleagues to help him out by promising a $1000 reward if it succeeds . The plan turns out to be a fool's mission : rob a train carrying $500,000 that's guarded by dozens of heavily armed soldiers . Naturally, his friends agree to go along with the scheme . They must pull off the dangerous objective , as Dutchman and the ambitious drifters join forces to rob a lot of money located into an impregnable train . In the hands of hardboiled director Don Taylor and a tough-as-leather cast headed by Peter Graves of ¨Mission : impossible¨ , that's all the plot that's needed to make one rip-roaring Spaghetti Western flick . Peter Graves 's mission is two-fold and in ¨Dirty dozen¨style : first an unexpected reunion among ex-colleagues turned into a fighting unit and then turn them loose on a heavily armored train occupied by Mexican soldiers . Dutchman brings four of his old acquaintances , his crime-minded characters include Bud Spencer as a bouncing thief , the old army buddy (James Daly) expert on explosives , an escaped acrobat (Nino Castelnuovo) , and a swordsman samurai (Tetsuro Tamba , who acted in ¨ James Bond's You Only Live Twice¨ also playing a Samurai) expert on daggers . The first half of the film allows the colorful cast of character actors to have their fun as they get their tails whipped into shape and develop shaky relationship with their leader . It will be a long and dangerous mission with continuous risks , as the final part is all action, as the motley group aboard a train , there wreak havoc , passes through a steady stream of military checkpoints and then run for their lives .

Pretty good S.W. about a relentless and exciting caper set against spectacular scenery of Almeria . The dangerous assignment is set against stark environment , risked railway and hazardous trails . This Western is superior than subsequent Spaghetti entries because it displays stirring adventures, shootouts, riding pursuits , some touches of humor and is pretty amusing . The picture mingles violence , thrills , fights and it's fast moving and for that reason results to be entertaining . This film belongs to the numerous group that are set during the Mexican revolution , called ¨Zapata Western¨ , like are the Italian films : ¨ Duck you sucker¨, ¨The professional¨ ,¨Tetepa¨ , ¨Il Mercenario¨ , ¨Compañeros¨ , ¨What am I doing in middle of the revolution¨ and the American movies : ¨The wild bunch¨, ¨Villa rides ¨, and ¨The professionals¨. There are many fine technicians and nice assistants as the cameraman Enzo Barboni (who subsequently directed Trinity movies : Terence Hill and Bud Spencer) makes an excellent photography with barren outdoors, dirty landscapes under a glimmer sun shot on outskirts of Rome , Lacio , Elios studios and of course Almeria, Spain . And partially shot on ¨Once upon the time the West¨(1968) location as the railroad and the farmhouse . The musician Ennio Morricone creates a classic Spaghetti soundtrack and perfectly conducted by his habitual collaborator Bruno Nicolai.

Well produced by Italo Zingarelli , the famous producer of ¨Trinity series¨ and being well directed by Don Taylor . Don was a notorious secondary actor who sometimes played top roles as in the trend-setting crime drama ¨The naked city¨ (1948) , ¨Battleground¨ and ¨Stalag 17¨. In later years Taylor became a film and TV director, being nominated for an Emmy for his direction of an episode of "Night Gallery" (1969). Taylor met his wife Hazel Court when he directed her in a 1958 episode of "Alfred Hitchcock presents¨ and he went on directing films as the successful ¨The final countdown¨ , ¨Damien , omen 2¨, ¨Escape from Planet of Apes¨ and ¨Island of Doctor Moreau¨, his only Spaghetti Western is this "The Five Man Army¨. Rating : Above average Ravioli Western , it will appeal to Spaghetti aficionados .

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