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A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die (1972)

Una ragione per vivere e una per morire (original title)
PG | | Western | 6 August 1973 (Spain)
Branded a coward for surrendering his New Mexico fort to the Confederates without firing a shot, a Union colonel attempts to redeem himself by leading a band of condemned prisoners on a suicide mission to recapture it.

Director:

Tonino Valerii

Writers:

Rafael Azcona (screenplay), Ernesto Gastaldi (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Coburn ... Colonello Pembroke
Telly Savalas ... Maggiore Ward
Bud Spencer ... Eli Sampson
Georges Géret ... Sergente Spike
Reinhard Kolldehoff ... Sergente Brent (as Rene Kolldehoff)
Guy Mairesse Guy Mairesse ... Donald MacIvers
José Suárez ... maggiore Charles Ballard (as Jose Suarez)
Ugo Fangareggi Ugo Fangareggi ... Fred
Benito Stefanelli Benito Stefanelli ... Samuel Pickett un ex condannato
Adolfo Lastretti ... Will Fernandez / Will Culder (as Guy Ranson)
Fabrizio Moresco Fabrizio Moresco ... Ward's Assistant
Francisco Sanz Francisco Sanz ... Farmer (as Paco Sanz)
Carla Mancini Carla Mancini
Joe Pollini Joe Pollini ... Jeremy
Mario Pardo ... Roger, Farmer's Son
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Storyline

A dishonoured army officer saves the lives of some hardened criminals on condition that they help him regain his honour. Will they live up to his expectations? Written by Hector Farrugia <hector.farrugia@magnet.mt>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A handful of condemned men on an impossible mission, against hopeless odds...

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France | West Germany | Spain

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 August 1973 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die! See more »

Filming Locations:

Almería, Andalucía, Spain See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(1973) (theatrical) | (Northern Countries PAL DVD) | (original uncut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The prison set from John Guillermin's " El Condor " was re-used during the filming. See more »

Goofs

Car tyre marks clearly visible in the dust as the group ride away from the hanging in the early part of the movie. See more »

Connections

Edited into Spaghetti Western Trailer Show (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
If only there was a reason to watch…
1 August 2017 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

This film stood on my must-see list for one reason, namely the three major names in the cast and particularly because I'm an enormous fan of Telly Savalas' naturally malignant charisma. I should have guessed, however, that Savalas' part here is not much more than an small supportive role during the last half hour and that everything else isn't worth sitting through, neither. "A Reason to Live, A Reason to Die" is a poor, dull and forgettable hybrid between Spaghetti Western and (Civil) War movie that steals ideas and stylistic aspects from numerous classics but doesn't contribute the slightest thing itself. Director Tonino Valerii carefully watched all the blockbuster hits that got released during previous years (like "The Dirty Dozen", "The Wild Bunch", "The Great Escape", "The Magnificent Seven"…) and mishmashes a familiar story of a group convicted criminals that are offered the choice between the noose or fighting along in a battle to re-conquer a lost fortress. Colonel Pembroke gave up the fortress all too easily and, in order to avoid total loss of dignity, he embarks on a crazy mission to reclaim it with an 8-headed posse of outcasts that he promised a gold treasure that isn't there. James Coburn, who looks like he's been sleeping under a bridge for two years, depicts the anti- hero Colonel, Bud Spencer – in a largely non-comical role – is one of his henchmen and the great Telly Savalas is the evil Confederate Major they have to chase out of the fortress. "A Reason to Live, A Reason to Die" is incredibly long and tedious, especially because it's mainly derivative plodding during the first hour and a half. The trek towards the fortress is full of clichéd obstacles and macho arguments, while the final battle is dire and unspectacular. Being an Italian western from the early seventies, there's an unforgivable shortness of violent action, filthy bastard characters and general nastiness.


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