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Walter George Alton,
Miguel Ángel Fuentes
The U.S. dubbed version, Alive or preferably dead, was promoted as "Sundance Cassidy and Butch the Kid", a rip-off of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), and the director and top actors were billed with English names re-sounding those of American the same film: Giuliano Gemma as John Wade; Nino Benvenuti as Robert Neuman; Sydne Rome as Karen Blake; director Duccio Tessari as Arthur Pitt. See more »
Hilarious and sympathetic but average Spaghetti/Paella Western co-produced by Italy/Spain
This Chorizo/Pasta Western displays noisy action , thrills , stirring adventures , shoot'em up , slapdash , and results to be pretty amusing . Two brothers , Monty (Giuliano Gemma) and Ted (Nino Benvenutti) , will inherit $300,000 from the valuable inheritance of their deceased uncle if they manage to live together for six months . This is an amusing film including booze , banks & broads! . The roguish brothers have their hands in everything , but especially on a beautiful young (Sidney Rome) who is kidnapped , she is daughter of a banker (Jorge Rigaud) to pay a huge rescue . Meanwhile , the funny couple helped by Barnds (Antonio Casas) carry out bank hold-up , assault stagecoaches , take on their nasty enemy Jim (Cris Huerta) and hoodlums (Alvaro De Luna , Simón Arriaga , Dan Van Husen , José Canalejas , among others) .
This amusing , engaging movie is crammed of fist-fights , punches , kicks , moving stunt-work , colorful outdoors and lots of humor . ¨Alive and preferably dead" or "Sundance Cassidy and Butch the Kid" is just a mildly amusing action comedy Western , about on the level of a lesser Bambino/Bud Spencer - Tritinity/Terence Hill movie . Giuliano Gemma is top-notch as a likable freewheeling rogue , meanwhile taking on an ominous villain , Chris Huerta . This is a nice and funny juvenile story for Giuliano Gemma fans , as he's delightful and attractive . It packs action , fist-play , slapdash , humor with tongue-in-cheek and is quite bemusing . This is an acceptable S.W. full of action , shootouts , fist-play and some touches of humor in charge of Giuliano Gemma/Monty Mulligan and Nino Benvenuti/Ted Mulligan characters . They are very fine , they ravage the screen , they jump , bounds and leaps , hit and run ; plus , lots of jokes , laughs , they are a complete show , delivering a nice chemical . Gemma starred several films of all kinds of genres as ¨Master touch¨ with Kirk Douglas , ¨Stay away¨ with Amidou , as well as ¨Africa Express¨ and ¨Safari Express¨with Ursula Andress and with similar artist and technician team , but especially Westerns as ¨Arizona Colt¨ with Fernando Sancho and Nello Pazzafini and ¨California ¨ with William Berger and Romano Puppo . This release ¨Vivi or Preferibilmente Morti (original title)¨ or ¨Alive or preferably dead¨ has some cool moments and a great number of hilarious scenes , adding a wonderful Sidney Rome as the kidnapped lady in mystery . The film isn't always good , sometimes is fresh and diverting and on a couple of memorable occasions , it's frankly delicious . The movie displays innumerable laughs , jokes and slapstick . In this very mild entertainment picture appears usual secondaries seen in several Spaghetti/Tortilla Westerns , many of them uncredited in brief appearances , such as : Antonio Casas , Julio Peña , Alvaro De Luna , José Canalejas , Simón Arriaga ,Luis Barboo , Victor Israel , Dan van Husen , Julio Pérez Tabernero , Miguel Del Castillo , Rafael Albaicin and special mention for the fatty Chris Huerta . It's a co-production Spanish-Italian and , of course , shot on location in Manzanares Del Real , La Pedriza , Colmenar Viejo and Madrid surroundings , that is well photographed in Eastmancolor by Manuel Rojas , though a perfect remastering is necessary because of the film-copy is washed-out . There are many fine technicians and professional assistant direction and decent production design by Antonio Cortés , a magnificent scenario on the villages , ranch , an spectacular assault on a train and barren outdoors , dirty landscapes under a glimmer sun and fine sets . The musician Gianni Ferrio -Spaghetti Western's usual-, composes an agreeable soundtrack and well conducted and splendid leitmotif ; it's full of enjoyable sounds and lively score , including catching ballads .
The motion picture written by Ennio Flaiano was middlingly directed by Duccio Tessari . This Italian writer/filmmaker Duccio Tessari so consistently mixed the good with the mediocre that it became quite impossible to know what to expect from him next . He wrote several Westerns as ¨A fistful of dollars ¨, ¨A train to Durango¨ , ¨Seven guns for McGregor¨ , ¨The return of McGregor¨ . He directed five Westerns with abundant touches of humor as ¨Vivi o Preferibilment Morti¨, ¨Don't turn the other cheek¨ and ¨Zorro¨ with Alain Delon and , of course , ¨Ringo¨ and sequel ¨The return of Ringo¨ at his best , mostly starred with his fetish actor Giuliano Gemma . This is a passable entertaining juvenile that will appeal to Italian comedy buffs . Rating : Average , only for Giuliano Gemma and Spaghetti/Paella Western fans.
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