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Keoma (1976)

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1:49 | Trailer
A half-breed ex-Union gunfighter attempts to protect his plague-ridden hometown from being overridden by his racist half-brothers and a Confederate tyrant.

Director:

Enzo G. Castellari

Writers:

George Eastman (story) (as Luigi Montefiori), Mino Roli (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Franco Nero ... Keoma Shannon
William Berger ... William Shannon
Olga Karlatos Olga Karlatos ... Liza Farrow
Orso Maria Guerrini ... Butch Shannon
Gabriella Giacobbe Gabriella Giacobbe ... The Witch
Antonio Marsina ... Lenny Shannon
Joshua Sinclair ... Sam Shannon (as John Loffredo)
Donald O'Brien ... Caldwell (as Donald O'Brian)
Leonardo Scavino Leonardo Scavino ... Doctor (as Leon Lenoir)
Wolfango Soldati Wolfango Soldati ... Confederate Soldier
Victoria Zinny ... Brothel Owner
Alfio Caltabiano Alfio Caltabiano ... Member of Caldwell's Gang
Woody Strode ... George
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Storyline

Half-breed Keoma returns to his border hometown after service in the Civil War and finds it under the control of Caldwell, an ex-Confederate raider, and his vicious gang of thugs. To make matters worse, Keoma's three half-brothers have joined forces with Caldwell, and make it painfully clear that his return is an unwelcome one. Determined to break Caldwell and his brothers' grip on the town, Keoma partners with his father's former ranch hand to exact violent revenge. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

a Man who is free never dies

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in eight weeks. See more »

Quotes

Keoma: I need to find out who I am. To give the simplest of my actions a reason. I know by being in this world has some significance, but I'm afraid that when I found out what it is, it will be too late. In the meantime, I'm a vagabond. I keep traveling. Even when the earth sleeps, I keep traveling... chasing shadows.
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Alternate Versions

British video versions cut 4 seconds of a horse fall due to the BBFC's policy concerning animal treatment. Current video versions are rated 12 but when first released it was rated X (equal to 18) uncut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Erase una vez... El western (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

In Front of My Desperation
(uncredited)
Music by Guido De Angelis & Maurizio De Angelis
Lyrics by Susan Duncan Smith and Cesare De Natale
Performed by Cesare De Natale (as Guy)
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User Reviews

 
Oneiric murder tapestry

Review of English-language Blue Underground version:

My, my these Spaghettis. In Keoma (Franco Nero), we have a man who has descended into hell, he has become an annihilator. The landscape is infernal, from the Breughelesque sets to the leering henchman to the blasted mountains. For his enemies, he has two barrels of a shotgun, and no pity. The hell is as much in his mind as it is in the town he rides into. He is a man with no place, ideology or purpose. Unlike Eastwood's characters in the dollars trilogy who are without history or neuroses, with Nero as Keoma we have a profound psychological portrait of a man in spiritual agony, on the road to obliteration and self-immolation.

The scenario is also hellish, we have a town and a region that has been taken over by a warlord. He and his henchman block access from and to the outside world. The townsfolk are all infected with a plague, and rather than given access to medical aid, they are put in a concentration camp and forced to mine for silver, or simply murdered. The town is left to the henchmen and their trollops. This for me is very unlike a western in the traditional American sense. In the American western, there are always the upright people of the town to appeal to, there is a sheriff, or as a last resort the cavalry. People may be run off their land or be claim-jumped, but they are never forced into slave labour.

What we have in Keoma, and in similar movies such as Django and Django Strikes Again, is a fundamentally African western, which is probably why Spaghetti goes down so well on that continent. The town in Keoma is more reminiscent of somewhere in Sierra Leone than the Sierra Nevada. There is total brutal oppression of the populace. There is a reckless attitude towards the value of life. Keoma is likewise a more fitting hero for such a landscape, he is almost a Christ-like figure in the sense that he is betrayed or deserted by everyone in this movie, his family, the oppressed, and the liberated. When Keoma is crucified on a wagonwheel the artisans, politicos, henchmen and whores celebrate a change of leadership in the saloon that was entirely down to him. He is constantly grimy, his hair is totally overgrown, he is hirsute, sweaty, and wears no overshirt. Seeing him shove his pistol down the back of his trousers against his bare back will make the ladies a little queasy.

This movie has a very dreamlike atmosphere. The reason for this is that there is no real cohesive plot. Apparently Castellari threw the script in the bin immediately prior to shooting and adopted a completely improvisational approach. The only consistency to the movie is that of image and emotion. Throughout the movie is laced with the anguish of haunted souls, and punctuated by the slow-mo killings after the fashion of Peckinpah. The improvisation can unfortunately be quite clear. Some of the actors were writing their own lines the night before shooting. The dialogue is not always brilliant to say the least, and it is not helped by Nero's far from accent-less English. However this is about the only film where improvisation could work, simply because it is entirely beneficial to the oneiric, logic-less atmosphere.

The De Angelis brothers' soundtrack will be interesting to some because of the untrained voices. Nero sings quite a lot of it himself, and you will have to suspend disbelief and accept it, because although the man clearly has no singing talent, there is an authenticity to his singing that is refreshing.

I'm not sure what Woody Strode was doing in this picture, but flashbacks of him shooting his bow add to the trippiness. Keoma the movie is not quite as far-out as something by Jodorowsky, but it's on the way.


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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian | English

Release Date:

25 November 1976 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Keoma: The Avenger See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Uranos Cinematografica See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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