Troublemakers (1994) Poster


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Swan song
Horst_In_Translation27 January 2021
Warning: Spoilers
"Botte di Natale" or "Die Troublemaker" or "Troublemakers" (and there are so many other alternate titles that I will not mention here, but you know where to find them) is a co-production between Italy, West Germany and the United States from 1994, so this film is already over 25 years old. The title makes it clear already that this is is mostly Italian. The language is almost exclusively Italian, the two protagonists that you see on the photo are Italian too of course. The film was made in America though and the characters are also Americans, so a colorful mix for sure. The director is the man you see on the right on the poster, Mr. Terence Hill (Mario Girotti). Not too unusual because by the 1990s he had already worked on several films behind the camera, also movies in which he played a protagonist. One thing certainly more surprising here is that the person in charge of the screenplay was Jess Hill, son of Terence Hill, and he was in his mid20s only when he worked on the story for this movie. Pretty young and it was his very first of admittedly not too many screenplays. The man you see on the left is Bud Spencer (Carlo Pedersoli) obviously in a trademark scene because him eating beans is something that fits his characters very nicely, not only because of Spencer's impressive size. But if we are talking about the production here, you will also see a son of Spencer in charge as a producer. The other night I watched a movie in which his daughter is featured as an actress. This is not the case here, but with the duo's offspring being part of this project in key positions, it is still a family affair. By the way, the running time here of 107 minutes is maybe not correct. Or maybe it is and there are several versions, but the one I watched today was certainly shorter, maybe minimally over 95 minutes.

If you know a bit about Spencer and Hill, then you will also know that these two started many decades earlier already and you understand that title I chose for this review. They have made many films together before this one and I also think it's been a few years before the most recent one before 1994, so this was a bit of a final gift to the fans. That they reunited once again. Spencer was in his mid60s here and you could see he was older already and looked a bit more gruff than usual, while Hill was in his mid50s (always approximately a decade between them) and his youthful aura from previous films was mostly gone as well, even if he was still the one getting the romance story the way it always was, even if it was really nothing explicit. Kissing is already more than you usually see in these films. The rest of the cast is a bit interesting too, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for not so great reasons. Golden Globe winner Ruth Buzzi is always easy to identify, even if it takes until the very end for her to show up. She is still alive in her 80s now. Kasprik and Haßmann are a duo of German actresses who may be in this film because it's a West German co-production and Spencer/Hill movies always turned out big in Germany. Haßmann I actually recognized, even if she is not really known for anything other than being married for a long time to the considerably older German comedian Otto Waalkes. Kinda surprised to see her in this film. Equally surprised to see Jonathan Tucker giving a child performance here. This was actually his very first role ever. Oh and the aforementioned writer Jess Hill also plays a really minor character in here.

From my rating you can see that I enjoyed this movie for the most part. It is not one of my favorite or least favorite Spencer films I would say, but I think it was pretty nice closure overall. My favorite scene, i.e. the one where I laughed the most, was probably the one in which Spencer's character was about to be executed. Sounds harsh, but with him and Hill it is never that serious, except in their very early films maybe. This was of course also a bit of a spoof scene from an old Eastwood western classic, but seeing Spencer worried there and seeing Hill with his food and really slow until he finally gets the gun and is bothered by the dog was pretty entertaining. Okay, the dog running gag did not do too much for me. The chess destruction scene on several occasions was funnier already. But what i actually wanted to say, the most hilarious moment of them all was when Spencer's size is just too massive and the entire thing that was supposed to kill him could not deal with his weight and that is how he got away because it all crashed down. And it did so as loudly as possible. That was so funny really. I can watch this all the time. So you see already, we have a bit of a western component in here. Or actually more than a bit really. It's a full-on western. This is what the two started their career with, so it was back to the roots. It is also not the only film in which they play brothers, even if there weren't too many. There are many other components here. Just take the fact that we have a child character that is a contender for being the biggest supporting player. I mentioned the famous actor earlier. Spencer has deal with African kids, Asian kids, alien kids and many other young characters and they are pretty much always his friends. So is Tucker's character here. The moment when they save his life after a snake bite is among the most dramatic of the movie, but of course he recovers quickly. Speaking of animals, also nothing unusual that there are some in Spencer/Hill movies. Here we have horses, birds, dogs and maybe a few others I forgot about. I think there was even a rabbit briefly seen here. Very cute.

The antagonist in here actually did seem pretty scary, but it was never too much about him and he was not a defining villain or anything. Reminded me slightly of Eli Wallach I would say. At least physically. The movie lives more through individual scenes than a great plot. Take the one in which the female character has to choose which of the two she gets out of jail and Spencer's character there was a bit glad it wasn't him because this released was connected to a challenge. Or also the scene in which Spencer's character leaves behind Hill's in the desert. Or at least he thinks he does. Of course, Gill always plays characters with an ace left up his sleeve and this is no exception. I still did not understand completly why he let the bad guys get away. Or the eating habits in this film are as gross and at the same time funny as it gets. Lots of burping included, not only from Spencer's character, but also from others, even the little boy. Oh yes and when Spencer's character used his fingers together with Hill's character to count his children. That was pretty funny how he forgot how many kids he fathered already. Maybe I was wrong with my statement early on that Hill's character is the womanizer here. I mean he has to make one child per year happen for ten straight years to close the gap to Spencer's character. You can call that a challenge for sure. The mother will be amazed, especially if it is the same for all the kids. The fight sequences are fun as always too and a nnice tribute that takes us back to the older films with how they were depicted, even if it was just 1v1 fights, even if admittedly most of the time it feels more like 2v0 when Spencer's character (with the biblical name Moses here) takes care of his opposition. The guy who keeps saying he is the best is a great example there. That was funny.

The most memorable fight sequence, however, was the one at the very end during which they really went all-in with the big brawl in their mother's house and where we also understand why there is a Christmas reference in the title. The way this film closes, especially music-wise, also makes it a decent choice for a watch during the holidays. The mother was surprisingly unaffected here, but I guess she knows her two boys. The actress there, Buzzi, was by the way younger than Spencer, but her make-up made the difference obviously. So this was the segment in which Sam Stone, the main antagonist, and his gang are really getting it. The actor for Stone was Boots Sutherland, love the first name by the way, and the fact that you cannot really find too much about said actor makes it very obvious that the story here is just about the two guys (the longing for wealth also felt secondary only) and the opposition is only in for the fun fighting that must not miss from any Spencer movie. If I had to decide here, I'd probably say this film is closer to a verdict of greatness (4/5) than to a verdict of forgettable (2/5), but for now, I am going with the middle there. Maybe I will change my perception on rewatch. We'll see about that. It is certainly a film I'd like to see again at some point, also for the melancholy of this late reunion between these two icons. Americans may not agree to call them that, but I don't care. Here in Germany, this is definitely an accurate way to describe them. Especially Spencer. May he rest in peace. And may Hill still stay with us for a few more years. I am really grateful for the movies they brought us. You can watch them so many times and they are still entertaining. Also let me say that there was one moment when Spencer's character was talking about death here, not the funny moment when he tells everybody Hill's character is dead and the latter shows up the very same time, but another moment later on and this made me think a bit with Spencer now deceased as well. It was a bit on the bittersweet side. So yeah, enough now. Thanks for reading all this if you did, but what you really should do is watch this movie. And if you have already, then go get another Spencer film. They are almost all pretty great. This one here gets a thumbs-up from me easily. Go check it out!
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Sequel in which Hill and Spencer team up again as the valiant and roguish brothers
ma-cortes9 December 2005
The film deals with the famous brothers , Trinity and Bambino , both of whom are two likeable bounty-hunters - Terence Hill and Bud Spencer - who hate each other . Then their mother attempts to reunite them for the celebration of Christmas .

The film is based on a notorious poem , ¨Night before the Christmas¨, whose title was exhibited in many countries and being developed a heart-warming story . As always , they will confront enemies by means of successive struggles without blood , neither gore , nor brutal murders , but entertainment and amusement . The ordinary confrontations are with no violence and predominates comedy and parody , the choreographic fights are slightly made and clean . The humor is continuous , laughters are based on physical differences and diverse personalities of the protagonists . Terence Hill plays as a sympathetic and rogue gunslinger with beautiful eyes and fast-weapon . Bud Spencer as a corpulent, bouncing and grumpy man but with a good heart , helping children and poor people and of course his weakness eating beans . Their silly characters have a certain resemblance to Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy . Storyline is a little bit ridiculous but it has its enjoyable moments here and there . The picture was realized twenty some years later ¨My name is Trinity ¨ and ¨ Trinity is still my name ¨ by E. B. Clucher that obtained too much successes , however this recent version was a flop because of Trinity and Bambino time had passed . Supposed to be the third part but due to copyright problems it couldn't be and is deemed an unofficial sequel. The film provided a nostalgic and familiar reunion of the agreeable pair and is only for their hardcore fans . It contains atmospheric and lively musical score by the Italian musician Pino Donaggio. The motion picture was regularly directed by Terence Hill who also directed and interpreted ¨Lucky Luke¨ in similar approaching to this one. Rating : 5.5/10, passable and acceptable, but inferior than two previous entries.
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The final movie of Hill & Spencer with beans!!!
elo-equipamentos27 November 2018
They made me happy in my wanderer teenage years in every movie, l'm so sure they are unsurpassed in their style,l' have a huge collection from them, of course this last and final movie from this amazing duo characters it's far from those previous ones in early days, but l'm a die hard fan like me whenever they do l've find it fantastic, the chemistry between them is hard to see then and after, a kind of unique really, Sad news about recent Spencer's death, the bad temper actor was a key of the duo success, always eaten a lot of beans becomes their famous trademark, this picture followed the same successful formula, although a weak in some points is funny anyway!!!


First watch: 2018 / How many: 1 / Source: DVD / Rating: 7
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Affectionate reunion for Bud and Terence; only for their fans.
gridoon19 January 2005
It's a pretty weird experience, watching this movie. An affectionate, warm-hearted reunion for Bud Spencer and Terence Hill, it is also a bittersweet farewell to an old era of movies. It will probably appeal only to fans of the duo, as they once again go through their familiar motions (Spencer's mutterings, Hill's smiles, bean-eating, fist-fighting, helping the poor, etc.), only this time there are some serious dramatic moments as well. On the other hand, considering their age, you can't help but wonder if perhaps this film should never have been made, if they should have retired more gracefully a few years earlier. But if you insist on seeing it, try to avoid the DVD version, as the image has been blown up way out of proportion to fill the entire screen - perhaps in keeping with the tradition of the awful full-screen versions of the "Trinity" films (to which this film is without a doubt an unofficial sequel - I wonder why they couldn't make it "official"). (**)
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The best and the worst of nostalgia
t_atzmueller26 January 2014
Great, tragic actor Helmut Berger once said about aging and loosing his good looks: "I'm sorry that I had to grow old. If I knew it meant so much to you, I would have died younger."

Watching this movie is like attending a high-school reunion after 15-odd years: yeah, it's a happy occasion but at the same time odd and (despite we usually don't want to admit it to ourselves) a tad bit depressing. Good to see the old faces and see that they've been doing well – at the same time, many haven't aged that well and you discover, that you no longer share the same interests with your former best buddies. It's not only that Spencer and Hill got older but the chemistry has changed to a point where the old 'vibe' can no longer be replicated.

I was looking forward to seeing this film as much as I was afraid of it. Not because Spencer and Hill had aged but rather because I had been rather disappointed with their prior solo work in the late 80's and early 90's. Spencer had almost become a parody of himself with TV works like "Noi Siamo Angeli" and "Extralarge" while I was less than impressed with Hills "Renegade" and version(s) of "Lucky Luke". After all, kids from my generation here in Germany grew up with the original "Trinity"-films, mostly knowing most lines by heart and replicating them in the schoolyard (that and the fight-scenes, which often led to some rather painful situations, but that is another story). Some even made it a tradition to eat cook up tins of beans during the TV-reruns, just in time for the notorious eating-scenes.

In its defense, "The Troublemakers" by itself isn't a bad film. It's slower, less light-hearted and misses the direction of seasoned hands like E.B Clucher or Michele Lupo. Like a rock-band from the 70's playing a reunion-gig, they still know their moves and tunes, but the movement is no longer as graceful, the show is no longer as innovative (and certainly don't expect any new hit-songs). Sure, I'd watch a rerun of "The Troublemakers" on TV, but I certainly wouldn't watch it in a row with the "Trinity"-films.

A couple of years ago there were rumors about Bud and Terence getting together one more time for a variation on the Jeckyll & Hyde theme. The project apparently fell through and is now in nirvana. Even as a loyal, seasoned fan, I'm not ashamed to say: "Maybe for the better." Best to leave the party at the zenith, not when the party is fading out already.

5/5 (and don't think that I didn't wish I could give it more)
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noble intentions...but this should have never been filmed
r-c-s9 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I understand that this is a 'merely for the fans' movie...the tomb stone of the 'Trinity' series.

However, the result is pretty embarrassing. First, while Hill aged rather well, Spencer looks significantly older than he actually was, much as if he was sick or something. Second, they don't know what kind of movie they it a Trinity movie...a parody of a Trinity movie...a western-styled Piedone movie with lots of kids around...? Beans, belching and a (very moderate) amount of fist-fights do not automatically make a good Spencer/Hill movie. They push the envelope but I am not sure about what.

Who knows... Maybe it's that the atmosphere of 1960-70s Trinity movies, or late 1970s-early 1980s Spencer/Hill is gone.

I find the final scene in which they come to get them but loose their guns listening to children singing the corniest and lowest moment in all S&H movies, including Banana Joe & similar.

Ruth Buzzi as their mother is ugly as can see she's wearing a wig and that jaw...that horrible jaw...

Intentions behind this were noble, but I maintain it shouldn't have been filmed.
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Mark-3718 April 2000
Terence and Bud, after 9 years, finally made another movie together! It was just what I expected! Fights, romantic sub plot, and beans. The plot is Travis and Moses mother wants them to come home for christmas, but theres a problem. Moses wont go back to his ma's house because years ago, she let all the horses he stole go free. I liked this movie! The best scene is where Moses is going to get hanged and when they pull the lever the gallow falls apart! It couldnt support Moses' weight! Not as good as a small few of thier movies like Im for the Hippopotamus and Watch out Were Mad but still its a good hill/spencer outing. Supposedly this is supposed to be the third "Trinity" movie, but due to legal hassles, it couldnt be done. Its been 6 years and I'm still waiting for Terence and Bud to make a new comedy! My rating is 7/10.
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A pleasant surprise at the video store
richardjp-172252 April 2018
It had been 9 years since Bud and Terence had done a movie together and I'd viewed every single one of them by the end of the 80s. I figured we'd never see anymore. However one day while looking through the new releases at the video shop I got a wonderful surprise. A new Bud and Terence movie! Woohoo!

It was a good laugh and wonderful to see the two of them back together again, although even Hill (in his 50s) was getting a little too old to do fight scenes. In one fight, Spencer, who was now in his mid 60s even got to watch Hill from a distance rather than get involved himself.

It was definitely not going to be a revival. In fact it was done as a 25th anniversary special for "They call me Trinity" and only intended to be a one off reunion. It was even supposed to be the third in the Trinity series, but they couldn't get the rights to use the Trinity and Bambino characters, so they gave the characters different names and even different backgrounds.

This was truly the final act for these two as a team. There was never to be another Bud and Terence Movie ever again. RIP Bud.
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termin8r12 May 1999
I rented this movie last week. My son and I are true "Terrence and Bud"-fanatics, and I must say that this movie doesn't make anybody in that genre disappointed. Although the dialog and acting is as "bad" as it was 25 years ago, in the Trinity movies", it is still worth watching, just for the h#ll of it. Recomended for any Trinity-fans out there.
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enjoyable rental for longtime fans
jennbeez117 September 2006
The story and the acting are up to the Trinity standard, but whose voice did they use for Bud Spencer? Far from the grainy growl supplied in Trinity, the big man sounds like a chipmunk in Troublemakers. Really distracting.

If you are a fan of the 1972/1973 Trinity movies, you will enjoy this later release as a sort of bittersweet reunion of the two actors in a similar western. If you have no history with the originals, I highly recommend you pick up the Trinity movies first. The Troublemakers is very hard to find in the US but can usually be found on ebay (VHS). I only wish they had done My Name is Nobody with Bud Spencer instead of Henry Fonda-- that's how essential Bud Spencer is to the team.
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