Expert conman Joe Thanks teams up with half-breed Bill and naive Lucy to steal $300,000 from the Indian-hating Major Cabot. Their elaborate plan is full of disguises, double-crosses, and chases, but Joe always seems to know what he's doing.Written by
In the United States, this film bypassed theaters and was released directly to television. See more »
When Major Cabot brings Bill and Lucy to the cell, they go through a room with flags which are supposed to be the state flags of the United States. If you watch closely you can see the flags of the European Union and of East Germany. See more »
Most DVD versions (including Paramount's German release) are missing the last shot of the opening scene directly before the credits as well as the final shot of Monument Valley. The credits roll over the shot of Monument Valley in the uncut version whereas the cut version shows the credits over a black screen. The Paramount DVD does however include a reference to a threesome that most other versions are missing. See more »
A GENIUS, TWO PARTNERS AND A DUPE (Damiano Damiani and, uncredited, Sergio Leone, 1975) **1/2
This popular latter-day Spaghetti Western proved a disappointment overall, considering the talents involved; to begin with, I've always been wary of semi-comic genre entries such as this which stars one of its major exponents, Terence Hill (in fact, I recall having misgivings about even his MY NAME IS NOBODY ): incidentally, that film was produced by the foremost director of Spaghetti Westerns Sergio Leone who was also involved with this one in an uncredited capacity (as a matter of fact, the striking and violent opening sequence is attributed to him!).
Anyway, the film clearly owes a huge debt to Leone's THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (1966) several genre outings, actually, tried to cash-in on that classic by devising (often amusing) variants on its title though there are so many characters involved that it's hard to determine who the various epithets are referring to! The international cast, then, includes besides Italian Hill Irishman Patrick MacGoohan (though playing a U.S. Cavalry officer), French Miou-Miou and Robert Charlebois, and German Klaus Kinski (appearing in a bit early on as a gambler/gunslinger). Director Damiani had dabbled in the genre previously with one of the politically-oriented efforts, A BULLET FOR THE GENERAL (1967); the film under review, though, isn't nearly as stylish or engaging also, as with a number of examples of its kind, it's overstretched for no real purpose!
Another underwhelming element here is the score by "Euro-Cult" guru/genre stalwart Ennio Morricone while pleasant in itself and occasionally inventive, it's decidedly forgettable in the long run: it seems he'd been doing it for so long that inspiration had pretty much withered by this time! There's not even that much action throughout the film: it's merely a collection of incidents which sees opportunistic Hill, gruff and dim-witted Charlebois (who's not only unhappy to be constantly reminded of his Indian heritage but he gets to negotiate terms with them over land rights while posing as a U.S. Colonel!), charming Miou-Miou, and shrewd villain MacGoohan (who's wasted here: what was he thinking?!) teaming up and/or double-crossing each other for possession of the proverbial booty (the plot, thin and all-too-typical as can be surmised is still separated by a good deal of padding). To be fair, the film is mildly enjoyable as such (a reasonable assessment for an outing emanating so late in the game) but hardly unmissable as Spaghetti Westerns go
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