Saturday, April 4, 2009

AND FOR A ROOF A SKY FULL OF STARS


…e per tetto un cielo di stelle – Italian title
En kugle i panden – Dannish title
Teksasin taivaan alla – Finnish title
Ciel de plomb – French title
La belle etoile – French title
Amigos - Die Engel lassen grüßen – German title
Amigos – German title
Billy Boy, to pio grigoro pistoli – Greek title
Ekdikisis stin koilada ton keravnon – Greek title
Grigoros san astrapi, skliros san atsali – Greek title
Grigoros san astrapi, viaios san kataigida – Greek title
Quem dispara primeiro - Portuguese title
Por techo las estrellas – Spanish title
Duell under stjärnorna – Swedish title
Their Roof was a Sky Full of Stars – UK title
Billy Boy – UK title
A Sky Full of Stars for a Roof – English title
And for a Roof a Sky Full of Stars – English title

A 1968 Italian production [Documento Film (Rome)]
Producer: Gianni Hecht Lucari, Fausto Saraceni
Director: Giulio Petroni
Story: Stefano Strucchi, Fausto Saraceni
Screenplay: Alberto Areal, Francesco Martino (Mariano Laurenti), Bernardino Zapponi
Cinematography: Carlo Carlini [Eastmancolor, Cronoscope]
Music: Ennio Morricone
Running time: 100 minutes

Cast:
Billy Boy /Tim Larry - Giuliano Gemma
Henry/Harry Jim - Mario Adorf
Widow Ankam/Witwe/Vedova/Dorothy McDonald - Magda Konopka
Donna/Sirene - Julie Menard
Samuel Pratt - Anthony Dawson
Brent - Franco Balducci
Donna/Sirene’s man - Sandro Dori
Roger Pratt - Rick Boyd (Federico Boido)
Mr. Lawrence - John Bartha (Janos Barto)
stagecoach passenger - Chris Huerta (Cris Huerta)
innkeeper - Victor Israel (Victor Vilanova)
Pratt henchmen - Piero Magalotti (Paolo Magalotti), Benito Stefanelli
townsman - Luciano Bonanni
saloon brawler - Alberto Dell’Acqua
preacher - Renato Pinciroli
poker player - Riccardo Pizzuti
shopkeeper - Mimmo Poli
with: Peter Branco (Francesco Perez), Ivan Scratuglia, Franco Lantieri, Angiolino Rizzieri, Alfonso de la Vega, Nello Pazzafini (Giovanni Pazzofini), Esmeralda Barros, Osiride Pevarello, Omero Capanna, Franco Daddi


The opening of this film is one of the best of the genre. A stagecoach is stopped by the Pratt gang, a group of outlaws looking for someone. When they don’t find their prey they massacre the passengers and ride off. This is all set to a beautiful Morricone track featuring the haunting whistling style of Alessandro Alessandroni. A drifter named Tim witnesses the massacre and then starts to bury the dead passengers. Another drifter named Henry comes upon him and without a word exchanged between them, and with the haunting score in the background, pitches in to help with the burial. The two drifters travel on to a nearby town together where Tim helps Henry when he is being cheated in a card game. The typical saloon brawl erupts and what was once a serious drama turns to a light hearted comedy film. Henry tells Tim he has a bag of gold and Tim convinces him to put it in the bank. Tim is really trying to steal Henry’s money and now the double-crosses begin. We finally learn that the Pratt family is searching for Tim who killed two of their sons in a gunfight. Tim and Henry eventually make it to Henry’s dilapidated ranch where they meet the Pratts in the final showdown. What started out as one of the great films of the genre turns into a bawdy comedy which rambles from scene to scene with little cohesiveness.

7 comments:

  1. When I first saw this film I didn't know much about it and assumed it's from late 70s because of all the Trinity style stuff combined with twilight western elements. I was quite amazed later to learn it's from late 60s... I didn't like it at first because of all the comedy but the film has grown on me. It has good performances, great locations, one of my favorite Morricone scores and the comedy stuff... well, compared to 99% of spaghetti comedies it works very well. Too bad that the comedy never comes together with the more serious "Leonean" moments but that's also the case with My Name Is Nobody, IMHO.

    Now playing: "Samuel Pratt Arrives" ;)

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  2. I've often dragged folks into my tv room to show them the first few minutes of this one. It kind of distills what the spaghetti western can be. I like the way Tim is digging and looks up and sees the prospector just sitting there watching, and without a word the other man pitches in. Great use of music in this scene (and don't forget the beautiful dead girl Gemma looks at sadly. Then it goes down hill, but still not too badly.

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  3. Well, that did it. I've never seen this one,and I was planning on getting it, until now.
    Too bad that It's a comedy, I just don't like them.

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  4. That was my complaint -- it starts out great, and then can't decide if it's comedy or dramatic action. I'm not sorry I bought it, just a tad disappointed in the result.

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  5. Portuguese title:
    QUEM DISPARA PRIMEIRO

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  6. Is Nello Pazzafini really in this film?

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