Thursday, March 12, 2009


Al oeste de Río Grande – Spanish title

A 1983 Spanish production [Uranzu Films (Madrid)]
Director: José María Zabalza
Story: José María Zabalza
Screenplay: José María Zabalza
Cinematography: José de la Rica [Eastmancolor, widescreen]
Music: Ana Satrova
Running time: 89 minutes

Alfredo Sanchez - Aldo Sambrell (Alfredo Brell)
Mrs. Sanchez - Candice Kay (Cándida Cando)
Apache - Dan Barry (Joaquín Sainz)
Apcahe squaw - Paula Farrell (Remedios Hernandez)
with: Michael Rivers (Miguel de la Riva), Roberto Samsó, Victor Iregua, Daniel Galán, Modesto Blanch, Paco Catalá (Francisco Catalá), J. M. Garcia (José María Garcia), Sidney Ling, Julie La Rousse, John Molland, Manuel Perez (José Martin)

In the American West after the Civil War the disputes between Northern and Southern sympathizers continues to erupt into violence. A woman faces a desperate struggle when she searches for help for her husband whose been trapped under some timbers at the edge of the sea.


  1. This film is just incredible, people who think Fidani was bad have seen nothing yet. I'm well known for my love of both spaghetti westerns and Z-grade films but even with running time of mere 75 minutes, I just couldn't watch this in one sitting. All kinds of stories are told about director Zabalza and his heavy use of alcohol which might explain why most of his films are the way they are. Here's one, written by Nzoog Wahlrfhehen (from The Cinehound Forum):

    "...His (Zabalza's) filmography includes a very late Eurowestern, Al oeste de Río Grande (1983), one of whose actors, Aldo Sambrell, claims that Zabalza was drunken and barely able to function on set. Thirteen years earlier, he made La furia del hombre lobo, which is generally regarded as the worst of werewolf films starring Paul Naschy, who has likewise recounted unflattering anecdotes on Zabalza urinating in the corners and being just plain incompetent."

    Nzoog's full message about Zabalza here:

  2. Thanks Smjango, very interesting.

  3. Hi Guys,
    Yes, funny to read the above comments on the late Jose-Maria Zabalza, I have met him a few times back in the late 70's. I must say the man had something special apart from drinking, in fact, he was not a bad filmmaker at all..Everything had it's reasons and it was not always easy for film directors during the old Madrid film days..Zabalza did what he could. It was the spanish distributor who didnt give him the money to finalize his films and he did what he could.This happened to many other filmmakers during the older days. His last Euro western 'Al Oeste de rio grande'could have ended worse, I still find it a interesting piece to watch and see some of the old spaghetti family members. It seems it was Aldo Sambrell who called in the help of Sydney Ling who flew over to help out Zabalza at last and brought a few people and financed the last part to save what could be saved. They also gave some color to the film. Zabalza was a bohemian and it was also a way of living to do films like that,I guess it must have been more enjoyable making and doing it than watching it...

  4. Anyone know where to get this film? I cant find it!