6 user 13 critic

Shoot the Living and Pray for the Dead (1971)

Prega il morto e ammazza il vivo (original title)
PG-13 | | Western | 13 August 1971 (Italy)
After Dan Hogan and his gang rob a bank, they hire a mysterious man to guide them across the Mexican border in return for half of the loot.


Giuseppe Vari (as Joseph Warren)


Adriano Bolzoni




Cast overview:
Klaus Kinski ... Dan Hogan
Victoria Zinny ... Edith
Paolo Casella Paolo Casella ... John Webb (as Paul Sullivan)
Dino Strano Dino Strano ... Reed (as Dean Stratford)
Antonio La Raina Antonio La Raina ... (as Anthony Rock)
Dante Maggio Dante Maggio ... Jonathan (as Dan May)
Fortunato Arena Fortunato Arena ... Coachman (as Ares Lucky)
Anna Zinnemann Anna Zinnemann ... Daisy
Adriana Giuffrè Adriana Giuffrè ... Sandy
Gianni Pulone Gianni Pulone
Aldo Barberito Aldo Barberito ... Greene
Giangiacomo Elia Giangiacomo Elia ... Dick (as John Ely)
Patrizia Adiutori ... Senta


Dan Hogan and his gang have held up a bank for $100,000 in gold bars. They meet up at Jackal's Ranch, a weigh station for stage coaches. While waiting for the gold to arrive they encounter a stranger, John Webb, who wants half the gold in exchange for guiding them safely to Mexico. Reluctantly, Dan agrees and they set across the brutal desert for a race to the border with the Rangers hot on their tail. Is John who he says he is? Is he really after the gold or does he have an ulterior motive? Written by jimthemoviefreak@gmail.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for western violence | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


It was filmed in parallel with another spaghetti western, The Last Traitor, which also was directed and written by Vari and Bolzoni in 1971. See more »


Eleanor: Now you can't buy anything with your money. Hahahahahaha!
Oswald (Eleanor's husband): I'm used to getting nothing for my money, especially where women are concerned.
See more »


Referenced in The Spaghetti West (2005) See more »


That Man
Performed by Ann Collin
Written by Mario Migliardi
See more »

User Reviews

A quite different spaghetti western!
4 May 2003 | by Wizard-8See all my reviews

From the opening credits you get your first clue that this spaghetti western is going to be much different that what you typically get. The Mario Migliardi score is subdued, sounding quieter and playing at a much slower pace than in your typical spaghetti western. It continues this way for the rest of the movie, with the occasional addition of odd non-musical sounds.

As it turns out, this score fits this particular western very well. The focus isn't on action, but more on the various conflicts between the characters. The first half of the movie almost exclusively takes place in a coach stop building and its adjacent barn, where most of the players first meet up and start all the conflicts. This half of the movie actually comes close to being a kind of thriller, with various characters getting the upper hand at various moments, people with secrets, and an underlying feeling of tension.

All these going-ons played out with the odd score actually make the movie kind of creepy, and this feeling continues in the second half when the characters hit the trail and cross the desolate landscape. Director Giuseppe Vari keeps a feeling of mystery and uncertainty right to the end, adding some unusual camera angles to highlight this kind of disorientation. He also has a great assett with having the great Klaus Kinski as the chief villain. Though Kinski is dubbed (and with a voice that sounds far from what he sounded like in real life), he still proves a powerful villain with his creepy facial expressions and movements. Even when he simply stretches out, he does it in a way that gives you the creeps!

Highly recommended, if you can find it.

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Release Date:

13 August 1971 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Pray to Kill and Return Alive See more »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Castor Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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