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Alive or Preferably Dead (1969)

Vivi o preferibilmente morti (original title)
Two brothers, Monty and Ted, will inherit $300,000 if they manage to live together for six months.


Duccio Tessari


Ennio Flaiano (story), Giorgio Salvioni | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Giuliano Gemma ... Monty Mulligan
Nino Benvenuti Nino Benvenuti ... Ted Mulligan
Cris Huerta Cris Huerta ... James 'Bad Jim' Williams
Antonio Casas ... Mr. Barnes
Julio Peña ... Doctor
George Rigaud ... Mr. Scott
Arturo Pallandino Arturo Pallandino ... (as Arturo Palladino)
Brizio Montinaro Brizio Montinaro
Sydne Rome ... Rossella Scott


Two brothers, Monty and Ted, will inherit $300,000 if they manage to live together for six months.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Booze, Banks & Broads! They Had Their Hands in Everything! See more »


Action | Comedy | Western


PG | See all certifications »



Italy | Spain



Release Date:

17 September 1969 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Alive or Preferably Dead See more »

Filming Locations:

Cinecittà, Roma, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (VHS)

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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 »


Monty Mulligan: Where's the bathroom?
Ted Mulligan: There's a river. Eight miles away. I go once a week.
Monty Mulligan: I mean the toilet.
Ted Mulligan: Out back.
See more »


Yes Sir
Sung by Lilian Terry
See more »

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User Reviews

Hilarious and sympathetic but average Spaghetti/Paella Western co-produced by Italy/Spain
25 March 2017 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

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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