A low-life bandit and an I.R.A. explosives expert rebel against the government and become heroes of the Mexican Revolution.


Sergio Leone


Sergio Leone (story), Sergio Donati (story) | 5 more credits »
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Rod Steiger ... Juan Miranda
James Coburn ... John H. Mallory
Romolo Valli ... Dr. Villega
Maria Monti Maria Monti ... Adelita, Coach Passenger
Rik Battaglia ... Santerna (as Rick Battaglia)
Franco Graziosi Franco Graziosi ... Governor Huerta
Antoine Saint-John ... Gutierez / Col. Günther Reza (as Domingo Antoine) (as Jean Michel Antoine)
Vivienne Chandler Vivienne Chandler ... Coleen, John's Girlfriend
David Warbeck ... Nolan, John's Friend
Giulio Battiferri Giulio Battiferri ... Miguel
Poldo Bendandi ... Executed Revolutionary
Omar Bonaro Omar Bonaro ... Revolutionary
Roy Bosier Roy Bosier ... Landowner on stagecoach
John Frederick ... American on stagecoach
Amato Garbini Amato Garbini ... First Policeman on Train


Packed with sticks of dynamite, the Irish rebel and explosives expert, John H. Mallory, finds himself in Revolution-torn 1913 Mexico, on the run from the British government. Riding a dusty, V-twin Indian motorcycle, John crosses paths with the short-fused Mexican bandit, Juan Miranda, and his gun-toting family of outlaws, and before long, his expertise in explosives becomes evident. Now, bent on putting Mallory's skills to good use, devious Juan forms an uneasy partnership with John to rob the impregnable Mesa Verde National Bank. Instead, what seemed like an unmissable opportunity to get rich will become a trap, enmeshing the unlikely duo in the Revolution, having no other choice but to fight together with the troops of Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata against the evil Colonel Günther Reza. Can John's dynamite get them out of the tight spot? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Two daredevils battle for a fortune in gold, and it will take an army to stop them! See more »


Drama | War | Western


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


It was the fourth most popular movie of the year in France. See more »


When Juan is robbing the 'bank' in Mesa Verde, when he shoots open the second door in the basement, we see what appears to be a soldier (khakis, long jacket, knee boots, Sam Brown belt) round the corner on the stairs and casually continue walking down them. See more »


[first lines]
Stagecoach driver: [shouts various commands to the horses in Spanish, eventually making theme stop near a water trough]
Juan Miranda: [runs to the stagecoach] Señor! Señor! Señor...
Yankee, Stagecoach Driver: [to the Mexican driver] Tighten up that girth.
Juan Miranda: Señor, I... I must go to San Felipe... my mother is dead!
Yankee, Stagecoach Driver: Straight down the road, about fifty miles.
Juan Miranda: [pats his shoulder, and hands him some money] Please?
Yankee, Stagecoach Driver: [pushes him] Eh, get outta here.
[Juan begins to walk away, crying]
Yankee, Stagecoach Driver: Hey. Hey, amigo. Come here.
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Crazy Credits

Antoine Saint-John is credited as 'Dominigo Antoine' on Italian prints, while English prints refer to him as 'Jean Michel Antoine'. 'Vivienne Maya' and David Warbeck are not credited for playing John's girlfriend and Nolan respectively on Italian prints, but are credited on English prints in that order. See more »

Alternate Versions

The standard version available until recently in both the UK and USA was the cut 138m version that was trimmed by the distributors both for length and to obtain a PG certificate. A version touted as the director's cut was released on laserdisc and has also been shown on UK TV and on TCM in the USA. This version runs 154m. The major differences are:
  • uncut version begins with a quotation by Mao Tse Tung about "the revolution" and is followed by the opening shot of Rod Steiger urinating over an ants' nest.
  • the scene in which Steiger prepares to rape the bourgeois woman goes on longer and has more dialogue.
  • an additional scene, lasting about 5m, now appears immediately before James Coburn escapes from Steiger on the train. This has Steiger trick Coburn into killing his German capitalist employer. This scene makes it clearer that Coburn was an ex-revolutionary and that his previous comment that "one was enough for me" were true until Steiger forced his hand.
  • the scene in which Steiger discovers his family massacred runs 3m longer and is differently edited. In this version you only see the corpses at the end of the scene - in the short version spliced-in inserts of the bodies (taken from a later shot) have been inserted at the beginning of the scene.
  • extra footage of Steiger and Coburn hiding in the train with more crying from Steiger and additional footage of executions occurring outside - about 2m of this.
  • the voice-over line "what about me" is missing from the end of the film. The climatic flashback scene runs about 30s on laserdisc but was missing from the US TCM presentation
  • throughout the film there are various additional extra shots of violence re-inserted (e.g. Coburn shoots the British soldiers with David Warbeck an extra time in a flashback scene) and dialogue in which Steiger uses the F word has been re-inserted (the F word is used about 10 times in the long version but not at all in the short version)
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References Jules and Jim (1962) See more »

User Reviews

One of the best Zapata western with lots of action n explosions.
29 May 2020 | by Fella_shibbySee all my reviews

Saw this for the first time recently, the original 157 mins with Eng subs. Honestly i did not enjoy this as compared to other Leone's films but the comic timings of Steiger n the screen presence of Coburn made it watchable. A rapist Mexican thief and an ex-Irish Republican Army revolutionary join hands to rob a bank but involuntarily gets inducted in the Mexican revolution. Although the last train blast scene looked very fake of that of a wooden train toy, but the film is loaded with action, specially the explosions n artillery guns' scenes reminded me of Rambo. The film is a lil tedious, apart from the two lead characters, none of the others r memorable, the villains r not given enuff time n ther r no showdowns like most western films. The flashbacks scenes were lousy as two men run behind a woman n later one by one they both smooch her, wtf man.

Steiger's role reminded me of Eli Wallach throughout the film but he acted good.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Italy | Spain


English | Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

7 July 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Fistful of Dynamite See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (initial US release) | (Laserdisc)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Stereo (original Italian prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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