Tuesday, November 29, 2016

50th Anniversary of the Premier of the Big Gundown



“The Big Gundown” is a 1966 Italian Spaghetti Western and was co-written by long-time Sergio Leone collaborator Sergio Donati, directed by Sergio Sollima, and starring Lee Van Cleef and Tomas Milian. It was originally released by Columbia Pictures in the US as a double feature with “A Time for Killing”.

Some critics, such as Leonard Maltin, consider the film one of the finest spaghetti westerns, second only to Sergio Leone's Dollars Trilogy. It was the first film Van Cleef made following “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966) and was his first leading man or hero role. Tomas Milian played Cuchillo, a charming rogue accused of rape and murder. “Run, Man, Run!” (1968) was a sequel which brought back Milian without Van Cleef.

It was important to Sergio Sollima that he tell a classic tale of a rich corrupt politician vs. a poor misunderstood peasant/scapegoat as a way of addressing the age old subject that, being Italian, he knew quite well living under the dictatorship of Mussolini during World War II. This film would actually share more with Leone's opus “Once Upon a Time in the West” than the Eastwood pictures. Each focuses on the modernizing of the West and the corrupt, rich businessmen that manipulated and used the poor. The film was shot in Almería, Spain and had its world premiere in Madrid, Spain on November 29, 1966

The American release capitalized on Van Cleef’s co-starring role in the mega hit film “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” where the Americans mistranslated the Italian title and named Van Cleef the Ugly when it was really designated as Eli Wallach.



La resa dei conti – Italian title
La caccia – Italian title
El halcón y la presa – Spanish title
La presa – Spanish title
Ajuste de cuentas – Argentinian title
Der Gehetzte der Sierra Madre – Austrian title
O Dia da Desforra – Brazilian title
Голямото преследване – Bulgarian title
Ajuste de cuentas – Chilean title
Ajuste de cuentas – Colombian title
Velká přestřelka – Czechoslovakian title
Manden med de sorte støvler – Danish title
Een verdoemde te meer – Dutch title
Luodin laki – Finnish title
Een verdoemde te meer – Flemish title
Colorado – French title
Der Gehetzte der Sierra Madre – German title
Ένας εναντίον δέκα – Greek title
Számadás – Hungarian title
A nagy leszámolás – Hungarian title
Fukushu no ganman – Japanese title
Ajuste de cuentas – Mexican title
Colorado – Polish title
O grande pistoleiro – Portuguese title
Marea răfuială – Romanian title
Сдавайся и расплатись – Russian title
En blodig kniv, et dödande skott – Swedish title
Kolorado – Turkish title
Ajuste de cuentas – Venezuelan title
Sokolov Plen – Yugoslavian title
Account Rendered – English title
The Showdown – English title
The Big Gundown – U.S.A. title

A 1966 Italian, Spanish co-production [PEA (Rome), Tulio Demicheli (Madrid)]
Producer: Alberto Grimaldi, Tulio DeMicheli
Director: Sergio Sollima
Story: Fernando Morandi, Franco Solinas
Screenplay: Tulio Demicheli (Armando Demichelli), Sergio Donati, Sergio Sollima
Cinematography: Carlo Carlini [Technicolor, Techniscope]
Music: Ennio Morricone
Song: “Somewhere” sung by Cristy (Maria Brancucci)
Song: “Run, Man, Run” sung by Cristy (Maria Brancucci) & I Cantori Moderni
Running time: 108 minutes

Story: A lawman sets out to capture a rapist and return him a trial in order to gain political office and help a wealthy railroad man. In time he learns the accused Mexican peon is not guilty and helps him prove his innocence.

Cast:
Jonathan “Colorado” Corbett - Lee Van Cleef (Clarence Van Cleef Jr.)
Manuel “Cuchillo” Sanchez - Tomás Milián
Brokston – Walter Barnes
Captain Segura - Fernando Sancho (Fernando Les)
Lizzie Miller- Luisa Rivelli (Rosella Lanfranchi)
Widow - Nieves Navarro (Nieves García)
Jess - Benito Stefanelli
Baron Von Schulenberg - Gérard Herter (Gerhard Haerter)
Rosita Sanchez - Maria Granada (Manolita Barrosa)
Jack - Pietro Ceccarelli
Lizzie Miller - Monica Strebel
Sheriff Jellicol - Robert Camardiel (Roberto Escudero)
Hondo - Nello Pazzafini (Giovanni Pazzafini)
Mitchell - Spartaco Conversi
Rocky - Romano Puppo
Mr. Lynch - Calisto Calisti
Shemp Miller - Ángel del Pozo (Angel Merino)
Mr. Miller - Tom Felleghy (Tamas Fellegi)
Brother Smith & Wesson - Antonio Casas (Antonio Barros)
Paco Molinas - José Torres (José Medina)
Sheriff of Willow Creek - Fernando Sánchez Polack
Mexican barber - José Zalde (José Zaldua)
Mexican barman - Angelo Susani
Mexican prostitute - Silvana Bacci, Lina Franchi, Alba Maiolini
Mexican officer - Attilio Dottesio
Mormon leader - Herman Reynoso (Hermano Reynoso)
Sarah - Maribel Martín (Maria Martinez)
John O'Leary - Luis Gaspar (Luis Osorio)
Nathan Plummer - Barta Barry (Bernabé Barri)
Dave - Lorenzo Robledo
Widow’s ranch hands - Frank Braña (Francisco Pérez), Molino Rojo, Luis Barboo,
Fernando Bilbao, Santiago Santos
Willow Creek prostitute - Christine Heffernan
Photographer - Giovanni Tarallo
Wedding guests - Mark Spencer (Raniero Darascenzi), José Galera Balazote
Don Gomez Serrano henchman - Amerigo Castrighella
With; Alberigo Donadeo
 

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