Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Book


Uncovering a treasure trove of Italian films from The Leopard to Puma Man

Italian filmmakers have created some of the most magical and moving, violent and controversial films in world cinema. During its twentieth-century heyday, Italy's film industry was second only to Hollywood as a popular film factory, exporting cinematic dreams worldwide. With international finance and multinational stars, Italian filmmakers tackled myriad genres with equal gusto and in inimitable style. Cinema Italiano is the first book to discuss comprehensively both Italian 'popular' and 'arthouse' cinema of this golden age.

Appraising over 400 movies, Cinema Italiano unearths the best of Italian cinema. Dario Argento's 'gialli' thrillers and Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns are explored alongside the best films of Luchino Visconti, Federico Fellini, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Michelangelo Antonioni. Chapters discuss the rise and fall of genres such as mythological epics, gothic horrors, science-fiction, spy films, WWII movies, costume adventures, zombie films, swashbucklers, political cinema, spaghetti westerns and 'poliziotteschi' crime films. The book also traces the directorial careers and key films of such luminaries as Mario Bava, Sergio Corbucci, Francesco Rosi, Lucio Fulci, Duccio Tessari, Enzo G. Castellari, Bernardo Bertolucci and Gillo Pontecorvo. An essential guide for DVD and video collectors and aficionados alike, it is illustrated throughout with rare stills and international posters from this revered era in world cinema.

Films include: La dolce vita, Hercules Conquers Atlantis, The Leopard, The Horrible Secret of Dr Hichcock, Contempt, The Gospel According to St Matthew, Castle of Blood, Fists in the Pocket, Django, Battle of Algiers, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Blowup, Diabolik, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, The Conformist, They Call Me Trinity, Violent City, The Marseilles Connection, Illustrious Corpses, Suspiria, The Big Silence, The Mask of Satan, Maciste in Hell, Blood and Black Lace, Hercules Against the Moon Men, The Last Man on Earth, The Wild, Wild Planet, Special Mission Lady Chaplin, Django Kill!, Fellini Satyricon, Deep Red, Sons of Thunder, Tentacles, The Inglorious Bastards, Zombie Flesh Eaters, Puma Man, 1990: Bronx Warriors, 8½, Once Upon a Time in the West, L'Avventura, Black Sabbath, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion.



Happy 75th Birthday Peter Boom

Peter Jorn Boom was born on March 31, 1936 in Mbloemendaal, Noord-Holland, Netherlands. Peter was one of six children. Originally Peter wanted to study theology and psychology but ended up leaving college and moved to Milan, Italy started his studies in opera. He became a stage actor and saved enough money to move to Rome in 1963. He auditioned for RAI TV and was given a standing ovation for the two songs he sang but no work. Peter’s deep voice began to be used for songs in the Spaghetti western films. He sang ‘Necklace of Pearls” for “Blood at Sundown” (1966), ‘Song of the Cowboy’ for “A Man Called Amen” (1968), as Joe Rivers he sang the main theme for “Kidnapping” (1969). Six months later he was contacted by CAM Records who wanted. Peter recorded an English version of “Run, Man, Run” while Tomas Milian recorded the track used in the film. He also sang on the soundtrack of “Sabata” (1969) but was cut from the final release. He also sang ‘Ride Alone’ for “Sartana Kills Them All” (1971), ‘Julie’ for “Four Gunmen of the Holy Trinity” (1971). Today he is a strong advocate for gay rights and publishes a blog on the Internet for the cause. Today we celebrate one of the great voices of the Spaghetti Western Peter Boom on his 75th birthday.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Un genio, due compari, un pollo - Italian title
Un génie, deux associés, une cloche - French title
Nobody is der Größte - German title
Nobody er den storste - Danish title
Jeg hedder stadig Nobody - Danish title
Nobody on nerokkain - Finnish title
Enas exypnos, dyo synetairoi ki ena koroido - Greek title
O exypnakias - Greek title
Senki, a legnaguobb - Hungarian title
Egy zseni, két haver, egy balek - Hungarian title
Mitt naven en dorsatt nobody - Norwegian title
Chamavam-lhe Génio - Portuguese title
Nobody in indijanci - Slovenia title
Un genio, dos compadres, un pollo - Spanish title
El genio - Spanish title
Ett geni, två polare och en höna - Swedish title
Mitt namn är fortfarande Nobody - Swedish title
Ingen ar som Nobody - Swedish title
Et Geni, tua polare och ben hona - ? title
A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe - English title
A Genius, Two Friends and an Idiot - English title
Nobody’s the Greatest - English title
Nobody’s Perfect - English title
Trinity is Back Again - English title
The Genius - English title

A 1975 Italian, French, West German co-production [Rafran Cinematografica (Rome), AMLF (Paris), Rialto Film Preben-Philipsen (Berlin)]
Producers: Fulvio Morsella, Claudio Mancini, PrebenPhilipsen
Director: Damiano Damiani, Sergio Leone
Story: Ernesto Gastaldi, Fulvio Morsella
Screenplay: Damiano Damiani, Fulvio Morsella, Ernesto Gastaldi
Cinematography: Giuseppe Ruzzolini [Technicolor, CinemaScope]
Music: Ennio Morricone
Song: “Glory, glory, glory” sung by Catherine Howe
Running time: 126 minutes

Joe Thanks - Terence Hill (Mario Girotti)
Lucy/Lilla - Miou-Miou (Sulvette Hery)
Locomotive/Steamengine Bill/Paul Lambert - Robert Charlebois
Major Cabot/Harris - Patrick McGoohan
Doc Foster - Klaus Kinski (Nikolaus Nakaszynski)
Colonel Pembroke - Jean Martin
Colonel Pembroke’s daughter - Miriam Mahler
Sergeant Milton - Raimund Harmstorf
sergeant - Deogratias Huerta
Mortimer - Bento Stefanelli
Jerry/Jacky/Jelly Roll - Piero Vida (Pietro Vida)
Jeremy - Roy Bosier
Don Felipe - Frederick Ledebur (Count Ledebur-Wicheln)
sheriff - Renato Baldini
Krutscher - Mario Brega
Mary Gomez - Bonny Miles (Lina Franchi)
Thomas Trader - Mario Valgoi
captain - Rik Battaglia (Caterino Battaglia)
Mortimer henchman - Pietro Torrisi
town idiot - Gérard Boucaron
brothel man - Elio Angelucci
la rufiana - Clara Colissimo
husband - Fernando Cerulli
poker player - Karl Braun
jail guard - Vittorio Fanfoni
with: Furio Meniconi, Carla Cassola, Vittorio Fanfoni, Armando Bottin, Bonnie Miles, Valerio Ruggeri, Edmondo Tieghi

Joe Thanks, a clever crook and con-man, convinces his two sidekicks, the half-breed Locomotive Bill and his friend Lucy, to help in organizing a fraud against the Major Cabot, for getting three hundred thousand U.S. dollars, meant as payment to the local Indian tribe. The plan, somewhat tortuous, provides first of all, gaining entrance to the fort where the payment is kept, Bill will be dressed and disguised as a colonel. The twist is the Major has decided to rip off the Indians by keeping the payment in exchange for good grazing land, and an alleged gold mine. The money is loaded on a coach which give Joe Thanks the opportunity to steal it. Despite some complications, Joe succeeds with his usual skill and the money finally rests in his hands, but he has also conned his friends as was it his intention all along to give the money to the Indians. They are all resigned to the outcome and the conclusion. For their efforts, Locomotive Bill decides to start a new life with Lucy and to live with the Indians.

YouTube link:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Who are Those Guys? - Lino Banfi

Lino Banfi was born Pasquale Zagaria in Andria, Puglia, Italy on July 9, 1936. Banfi is one of Italy’s comedic superstars and an ambassador of UNICEF. He reached his comedic peak in the 1980s in a series of films and his appearance in the “Dr. Who” TV series. As a young man he was encouraged to join the priesthood but decided to pursue a career in show business. He started as a singer in local venues and then moved to Milan and joined a variety theater. Here he was known as Lino Zaga and practiced his unique style of comedy while working for the Arturo Vetrana theater group. Later he moved to Rome where he found success with RAI2 TV. He then was cast with Franco & Ciccio and other comedy films including “Vieni avanti cretino” (1982), “L’allenatore nel pallone” (1984), “Il commissario Lo Gatto” (1986). From 1989 - 2009 he played the role of Free on the “Dr. Who” series. Because of this role he was appointed as an ambassador to UNICEF. In 2005 he played the role of Santa Claus in the Channel 5 production “Il mio amico Babbo Natale”. In 2008 after 24 years he returned to the theater and now is working in all three mediums, stage, TV and films. Lino has been married to his wife Lucia since 1962 and they have two children, actress Rosanna Banfi [1963- ] and son Walter.Banfi appeared in two Euro-westerns, both Franco & Cicio films “The Nephew of Zorro” (1968) “Franco & Ciccio on the Warpath” (1969).

BANFI, Lino (aka Lino Zaga) (Pasquale Zagaria) [7/11/1936, Andria, Bari, Apulia, Ialy -     ] - stage, TV actor, author.
The Nephew of Zorro - 1968 (miner)
Franco & Ciccio on the Wearpath - 1969 (Mormon)

Monday, March 28, 2011

RIP Farley Granger

Actor Farley Granger dies at 85

Actor Farley Granger, best known for his starring roles in two Alfred Hitchcock films, "Strangers on a Train" and "Rope," died Sunday of natural causes in New York City. He was 85. Granger also appeared in two other noir films of note, both co-starrring Cathy O'Donnell: Nicholas Ray's "They Live by Night" and Anthony Mann's "Side Street." He later made a great many appearances on television, including stints on several soap operas. He also had a significant legit career, appearing on Broadway in "The Seagull," "The Crucible," "The Glass Menagerie" and "Deathtrap." In 2007, Granger published a memoir, "Include Me Out," in which he freely discussed life with his partner, Robert Calhoun, and as a bisexual in Hollywood. Calhoun, a producer on CBS' "As the World Turns," predeceased him about three years ago. Granger leaves no immediate survivors. Farley appeared in two Euro-westerns “They Call Me Trinity” (1970) as Major Harriman opposite Terence Hill and Bud Spencer and “The Man Called Noon” (173) as Jusge Niland opposite Richard Crenna.

Die Geier der Goldgruben

Die Geier der Goldgruben - German title

A 1920 German production [Arnold & Richter GmbH (Munich)]
Producers: August Arnold, Robert Richter
Director: Otto Lins-Morstadt
Story: ?
Cinematography: ? [black & white]
Running time: 1221 meters

Story is unknown.

Editha Camphausen, Leo Westphal, Vittorio Güttner, Joe Stoeckel (Josef Stöckl), Siegfried von Redwitz, Otto Lins-Morstadt

Happy 80th Birthday Stelio Candelli

Stelio Candelli was born on March 28, 1931 in Trieste, Italy. His parents were state employees and after grammar school he attended the Academy of Dramatic Arts from 1954-1957. His first film was in “Gwendolyn” with Raf Vallone in 1957. In the 1960s he appeared in several Euro-westerns and Spy films as Stanley Kent. Among his nine Euro-westerns were, “The Last Tomahawk” (1965), “Blood at Sundown” (1967), “Drummer of Vengeance” and “Viva Django!” both in 1971 and “Trinity and Sartana are Coming” (1972). Stelio also appeared in several small made for television films. In 1996 he moved to England and worked for the BBC in theTV series “Vengeance” and again appeared in “Circus” (1975). Candelli made his stage debut in 1960 with a play by Goldoni and appeared for two seasons with Lydia Alfonsi from 1974-1976. His last film appearance was in 1990's “Mean Tricks”. Today we celebrate Stelio Candelli’s 80th birthday.

Remembering Dirk Bogarde

Derek Jules Gaspard Ulric Niven van den Bogaerde was born on March 28 1921 in West Hampstead, London, England. His father was art editor Ulric van den Bogaerde and his mother was Margaret Niven a former actress. Dirk attended University College School and later Chelsea College of Art and Design. Bogarde debuted on stage in 1939 as Derek Bogaerde During World War II Dirk served in the Queens Royal Regiment and reached the rank of major. When the war was over his agent renamed him Dirk Bogarde and his good looks was the door that opened for him to start a film career. His first film was with Stewart Granger in “Sin of Esther Waters” (1939) and when Granger dropped out Bogarde took over the lead. He then appeared in “The Blue Lamp” (1950) and it became the most successful British film of the 1950s. In 1954 he became a star with his appearance in “Doctor in the House” (1954). Dirk continued to act on stage and in films. When his Rank contract ended in the ‘60s he decided to leave commercial films and made a number of art house films. Joseph Losey's 'The Servant' (1963), based on the script by Harold Pinter, represented a turning point in Bogarde's artistic career. The actor played a vengeful, malevolent servant to James Fox's bewildered young aristocrat. No one who has seen the film can forget the disturbing pleasure Bogarde takes in cruelly destroying his master. Bogarde went on to make several more films with American expatriate and blacklist victim Losey, "King and Country" (1964), "Modesty Blaise" (1966) and "Accident" (1967). He also starred with Julie Christie in "Darling" (1965) for John Schlesinger. By this time Bogarde was perhaps Britain's most serious international film performer. He had the opportunity to work with the great Italian director, Luchino Visconti, on two films. "The Damned" (1969) is a remarkable study of a family of German industrialists, its psychic disintegration and embrace of Nazism. Bogarde was brilliant as Gustav von Aschenbach, the aging, dying composer in love with a young boy and with beauty itself, in Visconti's extraordinary adaptation of Thomas Mann's Death in Venice. Bogarde appeared in only one Euro-western “The Singer Not the Song” (1961). Dirk continued to appear in films until 1990. Bogarde suffered a stroke in 1966 and he died from a heart attack on May 8, 1999 in Chelsea, London, England. Today we remember Dirk Bogarde on what would have been his 90th birthday.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New CD Release

Uccideva a freddo (The Cold Killer)

Composer: The Wilder Brothers
Starring: Dan Harrison, Philippe March
Country of origin: Italy
Label GDM #GDM CLUB7102
Number of tracks: 20
Total time: 38:46
Available: 4/5/2011

Track Listing
1 - He Wore A Silver Star - 2:36
2 - Uccideva A Freddo (seq. 1) - 1:56
3 - Uccideva A Freddo (seq. 2) - 2:37
4 - Uccideva A Freddo (seq. 3) - 1:51
5 - Uccideva A Freddo (seq. 4) -1:49
6 - Uccideva A Freddo (seq. 5) - 1:43
7 - Uccideva A Freddo (seq. 6) - 1:41
8 - Uccideva A Freddo (seq. 7) - 2:06
9 - Pickin’ And Gunning - 1:50
10 - Uccideva A Freddo (seq. 8) - 3:01
11 - Uccideva A Freddo (seq. 9) - 1:58
12 - Uccideva A Freddo (seq. 10) - 1:52
13 - Lovely Girl - 1:55
14 - Uccideva A Freddo (seq. 11) - 2:22
15 - Uccideva A Freddo (seq. 12) - 1:32
16 - Uccideva A Freddo (seq. 13) - 1:58
17 - Welcome Song - 0:54
18 - Uccideva A Freddo (seq. 14) - 2:14
19 - Uccideva A Freddo (seq. 15) - 0:59
20 - He Wore A Silver Star (reprise) - 1:04

Happy 65th Birthday Chip Corman

Andrea Giordana was born on March 27, 1946 in Rome, Italy. He is the son of actress Marina Berti [1924-2002] and Claudio Gora [1913-1998] and the brother of actor Claudio Giordana and actress Marina Giordana [1955- ]. Andrea debuted on television in the TV drama “The Count of Monte Cristo” in 1966. He’s also been a singer and appeared in many stage plays. During his film career he’s also gone by the alias Chip Corman and made four Euro-westerns: “Massacre at the Grand Canyon” (1964), “The Wild and the Dirty”, “The Cost of Dying” both in 1968 and “The Dirty Outlaws” (1969). Andrea is still active in films and TV. Today we celebrate Chip Corman’s 65th birthday.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

1st Los Angeles Spaghetti Western Festival on You Tube

Thanks to Salvatore Sebergandio!


Quel caldo maledetto giorno di fuoco - Italian title
La ametralladora - Spanish title
Dollars til Django - Danish title
Miljoonan dollarin ase - Finnish title
Avec Django ça va saigner - French title
Cette chaude maudite journee de feu - French title
Django spricht kein Vaterunser - German title
O iroas, to katharma kai o prodotis - Greek title
A Metralhadora - Portuguese title
Jakten pa Gattlin Gun - Swedish title
That Damned Hot Day of Fire - English title
The Day of Fire - English title
Machine Gun Killers - English title
Million Dollar Ransom - English title
Gatling Gun - English title

A 1968 Italian, Spanish co-production [Fida Cinematografica (Rome), Atlántida Films (Madrid)]
Producer: Edmondo Amati
Director: Paolo Bianchini
Story: Paolo Bianchini, Claudio Failoni, Franco Calderoni, José Luis Merino (José Boves)
Screenplay: Paolo Bianchini, Claudio Failoni, Franco Calderoni, José Luis Merino (José Boves)
Cinematography: Marin Francisco Harrada (Francisco Marín Harrada) [Technicolor, Techniscope]
Music: Piero Piccioni (Ginapiero Piccioni)
Running time: 100 minutes

Captain Chris Tanner/Django - Robert Woods
Tarpas - John Ireland
Belle Boyd - Evelyn Stewart (Ida Galli)
Martha Simpson - Candice Lagen (Claudie Lange)
Mr. Bishop - Gérard Herter (Gerhard Herter)
Jonathan Wallace - Lewis Jordan (Tiziano Cortini)
Richard Gatlin - Ennio Balbo
Doctor Alan Curtis - Roberto Camardiel (Roberto Escudero)
Ryckert - George Rigaud (Pedro Delissetche)
Miss Treble - Rada Rassimov (Rada Djrassimovic)
Pinkerton - Tom Felleghi (Tamás Fellegi)
Tarpas henchman - Claudio Ruffini, Freddy Unger (Goffredo Unger), Ivan Scratuglia (Giovanni
Jeremiah Grant - Furio Meniconi
Scott Grant - Fernando Bilbao
Ted Grant - Ugo Adinolfi
with: Corrado Sonni, Fernando Bilbao, Antonio Alfonso, Alfonso de la Vega

Two years after the outbreak of the Civil War, Richard Gatlin, founder of the first machine gun, offers his invention to the Federal Government. President Lincoln has sent to Las Cruzes, New Mexico, a secret commission to meet with him and take him and his weapon to Washington. During the night, two gunmen kill three members of the committee and kidnap Gatlin. The Federal Government, convinced that a secret service agent has revealed the meeting, blames and condemns to death the agent Captain Chris Tanner, but Pinkerton, the chief of the famous private detective agency, is convinced of Tanner’s innocence. By switching the imprisoned Tanner with an imposter Jeremiah Grant, he is freed and given the task of ascertaining the truth. After many adventures, he discovers that Gatlin and the machine gun are in the hands of Tarpas, a Mexican bandit, and Rykert, a member of the secret committee, who has faked his death. The plan of the traitor and his associate is to sell the weapon to the Southerners and ransom Gatling to the Northerners both in exchange for one million dollars each. But Tanner steps in and after a fierce gun battle manages to get the better of the two dark figures. He frees Gatlin and recaptures the weapon.

*When I asked Robert Woods about “Gatling Gun” at the 1st Los Angeles Spaghetti Western Festival he said, “I remember ‘Gatling Gun” because my name meant something at that time, Fida Films (Dr. Amati) gave me carte blanche to cast it, find the director and do it. I had worked with Paolo Bianchini on a modern film called “Hypnos - A Day Of Massacre” and I liked his work a lot, so I requested that he write the screenplay for and direct “Gatling Gun”, with Amati's blessing. I got John (Ireland) to do 'Tarpas'. John and I had done a couple of other films together including, “La sfida dei MacKenna” (“Amen”). John and I were very good friends."

YouTube link:

Happy 80th Birthday Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Simon Nimoy was born on March 26, 1931 in Boston, Massachusetts. Leonard began his career while still in his early 20s while attending acting classes in Hollywood and making minor film and television appearances in the 1950s. In 1953 he served in the U.S. Army and then resumed his acting career as before. In 1965 he appeared in the “Star Trek” pilot and would go on to appear as Mr. Spock until 1969 on television and in seven feature “Star Trek” films and sequels. His portrayal of Spock generated three Emmy Award nominations. Nimoy also had a recurring role in the TV series “Mission Impossible”. During his film career Nimoy also appeared in a number of stage plays. Leonard appeared in only one Euro-western “Catlow” as bounty hunter Miller with Yul Bryner in 1971. Today we celebrate Leonard Nimoy’s 80th birthday.

Remembering Streling Hayden

Sterling Relyea Walter Hayden was born on March 26, 1916 in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. Hayden had a restless spirit and dropped out of school at 16. He took a job on a schooner and sailed to Newport Beach, California. He later became a commercial fisherman and operated a charter yacht, eventually sailing around the world several times. Hayden’s acting career started in 1941 with Paramount Studios but after two films he joined the Marines where he was recommended for officers school and became an undercover agent as John Hamilton. After leaving the military in 1945. On returning to film making his career was filled with peaks and valleys. Such hits like “Johnny Guitar”, “The Lost Command” and “Dr. Strangelove” were followed by many lesser quality films. He was offered the role of Tarzan replacing Lex Barker but turned down the role. He was offered the role of Quint in ‘75s “Jaws” he was unable to accept do to problems with the IRS on tax issues. Instead he headed overseas and he appeared in his only Euro-western “Cipolla Colt” (aka “Spaghetti Western”) (1975) as Henry ‘Jack’ Pulitzer opposite Franco Nero. Hayden wrote to acclaimed novels Wanderer (1963) and Voyage (1976). Hayden retired to the seaside community of Sausalito, California where he died of prostate cancer on May 23, 1986. Today we remember Sterling Hayden on what would have been his 95th birthday.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Guess Who I Am

I’m an Italian actress born in Tunisia in 1933. Guess who I am.

Bill Connolly correctly guessed this week's photo as that of Sandra Milo.

Lee Broughton's DVD Reviews

Beginning today I’ll begin posting DVD Reviews by Lee Broughton, Assistant Editor of Westerns... All’Italiana! Fanzine.

Hunt Powers Double Feature. Wild East, USA. Widescreen (1.85:1 anamorphic). Format: NTSC Region 0. Directed by Miles Deem.

Although this release is primarily marketed as being a Hunt Powers double bill it is also a Miles Deem (Demofilo Fidani) double bill too. While Fidani has his fans, the director's numerous Spaghetti Westerns tend to be written off as ultra-low budget and rushed-looking time-wasters. The honest folks at Wild East have been completely upfront about the slightly shaky technical and aesthetic qualities of the films featured on this DVD -- Charles Ambler's back sleeve notes duly point out the shortcomings that many genre fans associate with Fidani's work. However, this DVD is a worthy release on two counts. Firstly, Django Meets Sartana is perhaps Fidani's best film and its quite novel storyline should appeal to most genre fans. Secondly, the DVD features a really superb forty minute interview with Hunt Powers (AKA Jack Betts).

One Damned Day at Dawn ... Django Meets Sartana. 83 minutes. 1970.

It's been five years since the luckless citizens of Black City had a sheriff to protect them and two vicious outlaw gangs -- led by Bud Wheeler (Dean Stratford) and Sanchez (Dennis Colt) -- have formed a criminal alliance that has effectively allowed them to take over the town. When Ronson (Fabio Testi) unexpectedly arrives in Black City and declares that he's the new sheriff, the locals are hopeful that law and order will finally be restored. However, when an angry Wheeler visits town he intimidates and belittles Ronson and it seems that the pensive lawman might be out of his depth. Maybe the arrival of a mysterious stranger (Hunt Powers) will upset Wheeler's plans and restore Ronson's confidence?

Given the terrible reputation that Fidani enjoys in some quarters, it has to be said that Django Meets Sartana is a decent little film that features some good narrative hooks and enigmas. Why has Ronson suddenly appeared in town? Is he really as nervous as he appears to be? Who is the mysterious stranger? What's he doing in town and whose side will he take? All is revealed in a satisfying manner though the last minute revelation that two of the characters featured in the film are in fact the legendary Django and Sartana comes across as a forced (but fun) marketing strategy too far. There's plenty of action to be had here and most of it is executed in a reasonably competent way. The film's two major gunfights are standout scenes which sport decent cinematography and good soundtrack music. The quality of the acting on display here is generally decent too -- Fabio Testi and Hunt Powers both provide suitably gritty and convincing performances -- and the show's production values suggest that Fidani might have had the benefit of a slightly bigger budget than usual. Given the film's rarity and low budget origins, the picture and sound quality of this presentation are both fine.

Extras: Hunt Powers interview, theatrical trailer and an image gallery.

Dead Men Don't Make Shadows. 92 minutes. 1970.

Lazar (Hunt Powers) is a notorious bounty killer who only goes after villains who are carrying stolen gold. Needless to say, the illicit gold winds up in Lazar's coffers along with the reward money. It initially seems that Lazar might have a rival since the Stranger (Chet Davis) appears to be tailing him and taking note of the bounties that he collects. However, when the pair both turn up at a Mexican village that is controlled by a villainous mine owner (Ettore Manni) and his righthand man Medina (Dennis Colt), it becomes clear that the Stranger has more than bounty killing on his mind.

This revenge-driven show is based on a reasonably good story idea. Unfortunately that idea was not fully fleshed out and so the film features much in the way of padding (chiefly in the form of the main characters being shown riding here, there and everywhere during the first third of the film and an inordinate amount of incidental coverage when the citizens of the Mexican village are introduced). However, the final third of the film boasts some decent enough plot twists and some reasonably well-staged action. The show's main players tend to acquit themselves well but the quality of much of the acting found here is a little on the shaky side when compared to that of Django Meets Sartana. Similarly, this film's production values look fairly shoddy when compared to those of the earlier feature. All that said, this is a rare title and genre fans will no doubt celebrate the fact that it has finally been granted a DVD release (fans of WAI! favourite Gordon Mitchell should get a kick out of his manic guest spot here). Given the film's rarity and low budget origins, the picture and sound quality of this presentation are both fine.

Extras: Theatrical trailer and an image gallery.

© 2011 Copyright Lee Broughton.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Giarrettiera Colt - Italian title
Das Coltsturmpfband - German title
Garter Colt - English title

A 1967 Italian, Spanish, German co-production [Columbus Cinematografica (Rome)]
Producers: Nicoletta Machiavelli, Brandino Rangoni
Director: Gian Andrea Rocco (Gianandrea Rocco)
Story: Vittorio Pescatori, Gian Rocco, Giovanni Gigliozzi, Brunello Maffei
Screenplay: Vittorio Pescatori, Gian Rocco, Giovanni Gigliozzi, Brunello Maffei
Cinematography: Gino Santini [Kodackcolor]
Music: Enzo Fusco (Giovanni Fusco), Gianfranco Plenizio
Running time: 102 minutes

Lulu/‘Garter Colt’ - Nicoletta Machiavelli
Red - Claudio Camaso (Claudio Volonte)
Benito Juarez/Carlos - Yorgo Voyagis
Jean - Jasper Zola (Gaspare Zola)
General Droga - Walter Barnes
sheriff - James Martin
Rosie - Marisa Solinas (Maria Solinas)
doctor - Fracno Bucceri (Gianfranco Bucceri)
Elvira - Elvira Cortese
Roger - Giovanni Ivan Scratuglia
Lulu’s baby - Arnaldo Fabrizio
French soldier - Brandino Machiavelli
with: Silvana Bacci, Isabella Guidotti, Alberto Hammermann, Brunello Maffei, Franco Scala, Riccardo Pizzuti

On the border of Mexico during the revolution against the French of Maximilian, a stagecoach with a young woman Lulu and a French soldier escape from the revolutionaries. They are attacked by a bandit known as "Red", but the woman, with his gun, flees. She takes lodging in the hotel and here, she shows of her skills as a poker player with her tricks she always manages to win. Meanwhile, the smuggling of weapons to the revolutionaries, continues with the help of " Red". The shipments are soon prevented by a young Frenchman, cleverly disguised as a Mexican. The Frenchmen and meets Lulu and they fall in love. He asks Lulu to stop playing poker and cheating, and asks her to live a quieter life with him. But shortly after the young man dies, accidentally killed by a revolutionary. Upset the woman faces "Red" and kills him, then resumes her work as in the past.

YouTube link:

Happy 70th Birthday Mara Cruz

María Isabel Palomo González was born on March 24, 1941 in Madrid, Spain. She used the alias Mara Cruz during her acting career. Mara’s first film appearance, at 16, was in 1957's “Madrugada”. She would go on to appear in over 35 film and television series until leaving the acting profession in 1976 after her last film “”El mistero de la perla negra”. Along the way she appeared in four Euro-westerns beginning with “Left-Handed Johnny West” (1965), “The Tall Women” (1966), “Two Crosses at Danger Pass” and “Seven for Pancho Villa” both in 1967. Little is known about her career or what she is doing now. Today we celebrate Mara Cruz’s 70th birthday.

Remembering Harald Philipp

Harald Philipp was born on March 24, 1921 in Hamburg, Germany. Harald took acting lessons from Helmuth Gmelin in 1941 before being called up to serve in the German Army during World War II. After the war he made his debut as an actor appearing in stage plays in Osnabrück, Hanover and Cologne. He then worked for a time as a voice dubbing director and a camera assistant. In 1956 he produced his first followed by several musical comedies for which he also wrote the screenplays. In the sixties continued directing and writing screenplays including two Karl May, Winnetou films “Rampage at Apache Wells” (1965) and “The Half-Breed” (1966). Later in his career he turned to shifted to television. During his film career from 1953-1987 he directed thirty two films and while the screenplay for eighteen others and acting in three times. Phillip was married to screenwriter Viola Liessen. Philipp died on July 5, 1999 in Berlin. Today we celebrate Harald Philipp’s 90th birthday.

Remembering José Bodalo

José Bódalo Zúffoli was born on March 24, 1916 in Córdoba, Argentina. He was the son of actress Eugenia Zúffoli and singer José Bódalo and born during his family’s artistic tour of South America. José studied medicine at the University of Madrid but after the Spanish Civil War he emigrated with his family to Venezuela where he worked on radio Caracas as an announcer and also played soccer. His first theatrical appearance was in 1940 in his parents "Madres frente a la guerra" which was a road production across Latin America. In 1947 he again returned to Spain and appeared as a villain on stage and made his first film "Alhucemas" directed by José López Rubio. He would go on to become one of the most important actors in Spanish film, theater and television appearing in over 50 films and for nearly thirty years was one of the most common faces on Spanish TV. Bódalo appeared in 10 Euro-westerns with his role as General Hugo Rodriguez in 1966's "Django" his best remembered. Other titles include, "A Train for Durango" (1968), "The Dead are Countless" and "One After the Other" both in 1969, "Companeros" (1970), "Captain Apache" (1971). Bodalo died in Madrid, Spain on July 24, 1985. Today we remember José Bódalo on what would have been his 95th birthday.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

RIP Olivier Raoux

Olivier Raoux, chief designer of "La Vie en Rose" for which he won a Cesar for this contribution, has died at the age of 49 years, as a result of cardiac arrest.

A victim of cardiac arrest on the island of Mullein, where he had gone to prepare for the filming of “Seigneurs” by Olivier Dahan, the head designer Olivier Raoux died Tuesday, March 23, 2011 at age 49. Raoux was preparing to return to the director of “La Môme”, the film that earned him a César in 2008, and a British BAFTA nomination. Previously, he designed sets for numerous plays, including La Vérité si je mens 1 and 2 , Jet Set and “Rire et châtiment”. Also in the credits of “Rivières pourpres 2", Olivier Raoux was very busy since the triumph of “La Môme” and had recently worked on “Les Enfants de Trimpelbach” (with the key new appointment to Caesar in 2009), “La Rafle”, but the thriller “Proie” (in theaters next July) and the highly anticipated Marsupilami of Alain Chabat. Oliver was the production designer on the 2004 Euro-western “The Daltons”.

Who are Those Guys? - Armando Bandini

Armando Burlando was born on June 5, 1926 in Genoa, Italy. Antonio first appeared in stage plays with the theatrical company Gilberto Govi. In films he has been relegated to character roles usually as secretaries, accountants, priests and bank tellers. He’s best remembered for his role in Renato Pozzetto’s “E arrivato mio fratello” (1985). He’s appeared in over 50 films and TV appearances. He then turned to voice dubbing and married actress Daniela Igliozzi. Armando’s dubbed several American and Japanese cartoons and animated films. Bandini appeared in only one Euro-western as the bank cashier in “Ace High” in 1968. Armando Bandini passed away on May 27, 2011 in Rome.

BANDINI,Armando (Armando Burlando[6/5/1926, Genoa, Liguria, Italy - 5/27/2011, Rome, Lazio, Italy] - stage, TV, voice actor, married to actress Daniela Igliozzi.
Ace High - 1968 (bank cashier)

New CD Release

Mannaja (A Man Called Blade)

Composer: Guido & Maurizio De Angelis
Starring: Maurizio Merli, John Steiner, Donal O’Brien
Country of origin: Italy
Label BEAT/Cometa #CMT10016
Number of tracks: 20
Total time: 37:40
Available: 3/25/2011

No track listing available at the present time

COMIN' AT YA! Noir 3-D Premiere

COMIN' AT YA! NOIR 3-D was a BIG SUCCESS (!!) at the premiere screening during the 2011 Berlin Film Festival.

On Saturday night, February 12th, there were two world premieres shown at 7:00pm. COMIN' AT YA! and Madonna's new film, which was attended by the stars, the director and the major press.

By 6:00pm more than 150 people began to line up outside the theater showing COMIN' AT YA!.

It became rather chaotic when every one started moving to the front of the line to get the best seats.

Finally the reps of the PR company arrived on the scene allowing the crowd into the theatre.

This resulted into a full house with some standing room.

And what a crowd it was! Within the first two minutes of the titles the Noir 3D effects began to float and fly into the audience. They laughed, gasped and some even yelled...

This went on for the duration of the film and when it was over the audience gave a standing ovation.

The digital re-invention of COMIN' AT YA! NOIR 3D brought it home.

As a result of the success of the premiere, Robbie Little (President of The Little Film Company) and VP head of acquisitions Clay Epstein (who represents COMIN' AT YA! worldwide for distribution) have begun discussions for all rights distribution with Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Japan and the UK.

You will be the first to know as The Little Film Company enters into country by country distribution agreements around the world!

Another announcement,

The five minute promo, which you can see at our website ( in 2-D, and the feature film are in the studio being prepared for digital and Blu-ray 3-D for broadcast and dvd home video purposes.

These versions will be shown to the public for the first time at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

COMIN' AT YA! NOIR 3D is saddled up and on a ride!

In closing check out some of the responses from the Berlin premiere (below) and if you enjoyed what you just read please visit our facebook page (just type Comin' At Ya! Noir 3D) and click "like".

Comments from audience members about the screening...

"I was also really surprised how good the 3D worked especially when things were really “comin’ at us”, i.e. the arrows and spears. Also everybody seemed to enjoy especially the last prolonged fight, when Tony’s character is hitting his adversary with a piece of wood accompanied by the exaggerated sound design (here nearly everybody applauded)".

"Was at the screening. My group and I had a wonderful time. We weren\'t around when the original came out so we didn't know what to expect. what a trip! When it comes to 3d this is the real deal!"

"Saw movie in Berlin. perhaps the best 3D i\'ve ever seen! Even better than the 3D at the Disney parks."

If you were at the screening and haven't sent in a comment yet please do.

Best Wishes,

Eric Zaldivar (Viral Marketing Director/Site Manager)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

RIP Reuven Shefer

Reuven Shefer Improv player dies

Theater veteran who was a member of the Theatre Club Quartet, Reuven Shefer passed away this morning at age 86.

The veteran theater actor, Reuven Schaffer was born in Tel Aviv in 1925 and joined the theater in the early seventies. He participated in plays "He Walked in the Fields", "Amadeus", "All My Sons", "As You Like It", "Joseph Cotton Stripes", "Merchant of Venice "and many others.

In 1957, he became a member of the Gideon Singers, with players Yaacov Ben Sira and the late Shimon Bar established the Theater Club Quartet, which continued singing and entertainment until 1967. The group was initially directed by Joseph Milo, a chamber veteran.

Later he also collaborated with Haim Hefer Dahn Ben-Amotz. Shefer wrote many songs for the quartet, including "This Panorama Street" and "Like Jaffa at Night", he appeared on stage at the Hamam Club in Jaffa.

Shefer appeared in one Euro-western "Carlos" 1971 as Tassos.

Alongside his work in the theater, he appeared in the films "Saleh Returned", "Dalia Sailors", "Arbinkea", "Canal Belaumlich", "Azit Parachuting Dog" and "Charlie and a Half." In 2004 he took part in a series of documentaries "The Jewish State of Anat Zeltzer” and “Modi Bar - On” which dealt with Israeli humor. Reuven is survived by his wife, two daughters and five grandchildren. He will be laid to rest tomorrow in Yarkon Cemetery in Tel Aviv.

1st Los Angeles Spaghetti Western Festival Review

North Hollywood-Toluca Lake Patch
NoHo Arts District Report

By Craig Clough March 20, 2011

Spaghetti Western Film Fest Rides Through NoHo

Lovers of this classic genre of film gather at the El Portal on Saturday.

The lights went down in the El Portal Theatre for the final film of the first Los Angeles Spaghetti Western Festival on Saturday. It was to be a screening of A Fistful of Dollars, credited by many with popularizing the spaghetti western genre in America.

Suddenly the large frame of Clint Eastwood filled the giant screen as he rode a slow, tired mule into a dusty town. But something was wrong. Something wasn't right, and many in the audience knew it. There was a quiet, restless murmur that made its way through the crowd. After a minute the screen went black and the DVD menu of the film appeared.

This wasn't exactly a film festival -- more of a digital festival -- as all the films were being screened on DVD, and the reason the crowd murmured and the film stopped was because the scene being projected took place about five minutes into the film, after Ennio Morricone's iconic opening song and animated credits. For this crowd of film buffs, skipping the Morricone song was like skipping the national anthem before a ball game. It's just wrong.

Finally, the film began again, and Morricone's familiar, whistling theme filled the theater. The final film of the day was finally underway, and the crowd roared with approval and cheers.

Spaghetti westerns were a popular genre of film during the 1960s an 70s, called that because they were produced with Italian money with Italian crews and shot in Italy or Spain, but starred American actors and took place in the American West during the 1800s. There were roughly 600 to 700 of them made and the unique blend of European and American cinematic styles proved popular around the world.

The first spaghetti westerns in the early and mid-60s were shot and distributed for international audiences and rarely made their way to America, despite the fact that they starred Americans and took place there. One of the keys to success for an international audience was casting actors with American names because the Italian producers thought that would help guarantee a big box office, said Mark Damon, who starred in many spaghetti westerns, including Dead Men Don't Count, which was also screened at the festival.

"If you had an American sounding name, they would want you in the film, even if you weren't a big star in America. They figured the (international) audiences would just assume you were a big star," said Damon during the festival's panel discussion, which also featured spaghetti western actors Robert Woods, Brett Halsey, Dan van Husen, Richard Harrison, Michael Forest and Jack Betts.

The films were shot with a low budget and the sound was almost always recorded in post production, often dubbed in many different languages to ensure heavy international distribution. Since the films were going to be dubbed in so many languages, producers saw little reason to spend the extra money to record live sound.

"I did an awful lot of -- we called them 'dubbings' in those days," said Forest, who lived in Italy for 10 years while acting in many spaghetti westerns. "We did the best we could at the time. Everything was dubbed. Unlike what we do here, everything is done with direct sound. There in Italy, everything was done on what was called a dirty track. It didn't matter what kind of noise or anything else that was on the track."

But seeing the films and trailers now, projected on the big screen, it seems the dubbing is part of what makes them unique and memorable. Because all the sounds were added after, the audience feels and notices all of the sound much more. The jingle of every stirrup, cock of every pistol and click of every horseshoe in the dust is heard and felt. Sure, during the dialogue it is hard to forget that the words are obviously dubbed, but it also serves as a constant reminder that these films were enjoyed by audiences around the world. 'Fistfull' is layered with influences from other genres from many areas of the globe, not just Italy. It's in fact based on a Japanese film by Akira Kurosawa, Yojimbo, which was itself influenced by American westerns.

The spaghetti western came to America in 1967 when A Fistfull of Dollars, which was filmed and released internationally in 1964, was distributed by United Artists. The film became a big hit and was followed shortly by two sequels, which had also already been shot and released internationally. The films were so popular they made superstars out of Eastwood, Morricone and Sergio Leone, the films' director.

The films became known as the Man With No Name trilogy, because audiences never learn Eastwood's name. In 'Fistfull' he is simply called "The Americano." In the third film, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, he was called "Blondie, " and it is this film that today is considered by many critics to be the greatest spaghetti western ever made, one of the greatest sequels ever made and also one of the greatest films ever made.

That wasn't the case at the time of its release. Nearly all of the spaghetti westerns, including Leone's films, were panned by many American critics and dismissed as ultra-violent B movies.

But that opinion in the film world has shifted dramatically over time. For example, in its original review in 1968, Time magazine wrote, "After liters of fake blood have oozed. dripped, spilled and spouted over the landscape—all three arrive at the cache at the same time. Who gets it? Director Leone doesn't seem to care very much, and after 161 minutes of mayhem, audiences aren't likely to either." Time Magazine now includes the film on its list of ALL TIME-100 Best Films.

Morricone scored all three of the Man With No Name films, music that is today amongst the most recognizable in the history of film. His music is so essential to the genre that a tribute band, Insect Surfers, closed out the night with several songs inspired by the Leone westerns.

Also part of the day's festivities were many old trailers like Once Upon a Time in the West, starring Charles Bronson, and Duck, You Sucker!, starring James Coburn. Both were also directed by Leone.

There was also a talk by David Frangioni, author of the book Clint Eastwood Icon: The Essential Film Art Collection. Frangioni told the audience the story of how the book -- the proceeds of which go to charity -- got made. After a lot of wheeling and dealing that involved finagling his way around many Hollywood agents, managers and assistants, Frangioni was told that the book, which features around 400 images of movie posters and stills from Eastwood's films, was just going to be an afterthought for Eastwood and he shouldn't expect any special kind of reaction or attention. But that wasn't the case.

"Clint ended up giving the book as a Christmas gift in 2009 to 150 of his closest friends, which was a shining moment in the short-lived history of this book," said Frangioni.

For fans under the age of 40, this was the first time many of them (including this writer) had seen a spaghetti western projected on a large movie screen. It can be said about many films, but it is especially true that one has never truly seen a Leone film until they have seen it on the big screen.

This use of extreme juxtaposition isn't just in the visuals, as Morricone's score is quiet whistles broken up by blaring trumpets and a screaming chorus. Even Eastwood's face, which we spend half the film studying in extreme-close-up detail, is a juxtaposition of extremes. As Norman Mailer once wrote in Parade Magazine, and which Frangioni quotes in his book's intro, by looking at Eastwood's face, "You could be looking at a murderer or a saint."

The spaghetti westerns were known, and highly criticized, for their extreme violence, and it is easy to understand why. In one scene of 'Fistfull,' a group of bandits lights a hotel on fire, mowing down their rival gang one by one as they flee from the burning inferno. The scene goes on and on, with one man after another being shot down in a hail of bullets, some of them on fire, screaming in agony. At the end of the slaughter, a woman emerges, screaming at the bandits and calling them murderers before one of them guns her down too.

''The cowboy picture has got lost in psychology,'' the New York Times quoted Leone as saying once. ''The West was made by violent uncomplicated men, and it is this strength and simplicity that I try to recapture in my pictures.''

Most striking is Leone's juxtaposition of extreme closeups with wide angle long shots, for which he became known. We are either so close we could smell Eastwood's breath, or so far away its as if we are watching from a distant cliff.

The 354-seat theatre was only about filled with a quarter of its capacity, but those in attendance seemed pleased with the day's events. As the audience was leaving the theater after the screening of A Fistfull of Dollars, one fan turned to the other.

"Man, it sure holds up, doesn't it?"


Garringo - Italian title
Garringo i morti non si contano - Italian title
Juagando a morir - Spanish title
Garringo - French title
Garringo - der Henker - German title
The Dead are Countless - U.S.A. title
Garringo - English title

A 1969 Italian, Spanish co-production [Tritone Filmindustria (Rome), Norberto Solino Profilms 21 (Madrid)]
Producer: Bruno Bolognesi
Director: Rafael R. Marchent (Rafael Romero Marchent)
Story: Joaquin Luis Romero Marchent, Giovanni Scolaro
Screenplay: Joaquin Luis Romero Marchent, Nino Scolaro (Giovanni Scolaro), Arpad De Riso
Cinematography: Aldo Ricci [Eastmancolor, Cromoscope]
Music: Marcello Giombini
Running time: 90 minutes

Lieutenant ‘Garringo’ Harris - Anthony Steffen (Antonio de Teffe)
Johnny - Peter Lee Lawrence (Karl Hirenbach)
Julie - Solvi Stubing
Damon - Raf Baldassarre (Rafaelle Baldassarre)
Sheriff Klaus - JoséBódalo (José Zúffoli)
Harriman - Antonio Molino Rojo
Nancy Grayson - Marta Monterrey (Maria Salerno)
Wilson - Barta Barry (Bernabe Barri)
Johnny as a boy - A. Lawrence
Julie as a girl - Maribel del Pozo
Doctor Grayson - Luis Induni (Luigi Radici)
Tom - Lorenzo Robeldo
Bill - Frank Braña (Francisco Pérez)
Ted - Tito García (Pablo González)
Sarah - Rossana Rovere (Lugina Rovere)
Johnny’s henchman - Guillermo Méndez
telegrapher - Xan das Bolas (Tomas Pena)
general - Alfonso Rojas (Alfonso Gonzalez)
cowboy - Carlos R. March (Carlos Romero Marchent)
with: Luis Marín (José Gutiérrez), Mario Morales, Luis Barboo, José Moreno

As a little boy Johnny watches as an army officer kills his for desertion. Johnny runs away and is found by a farmer who raises him as a son. Years pass, and a cowboy teaches Johnny how to use a gun. Johnny becomes an excellent gunman but puts his skill and the lessons learned to kill every soldier he encounters to avenge his father’s murder. The army sends Lieutenant ‘Garringo’ Harris to investigate the matter and put an end to the senseless killings. Garringo is also an excellent gunman and uses violence to attain his goal. The trail leads to the small town where Johnny grew up and finds that the towns sheriff, Klaus, was the man who raised Johnny. This complicates matters and makes the task of bringing in Johnny more difficult.

YouTube link:

Happy 80th Birthday William Shatner

William Alan Shatner was born on March 22 1931 in Côte Saint-Luc, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. While attending school he also attended the Montreal Children’s Theatre before going to McGill University in Montreal. He trained as a Shakespearean actor and performed at the Stratford Festival in Canada. His first film role was in "The Butler’s Night Off" in 1951. His first feature role didn’t come until 1958's "The Brothers Karamazov" with Yul Brynner. For most of the ‘50s Shatner appeared in many television series as a guest star. He also continued to appear on stage in such plays as "A Shot in the Dark" (1961) with Julie Harris. His motto during the ‘60s was "Work equals work" and he appeared in almost every role offered to him in films, stage and TV. In 1966 he was offered the role of Captain Kirk on the TV series "Startrek" replacing Jefferey Hunter who starred in the pilot. After "Stratrek" was cancelled in 1969, Bill found it difficult to get work. He returned to taking small parts and appearing in ‘B’ films, evening appearing in Canadian TV commercials. Eventually "Startrek" became a cult classic and Shatner a cult hero. He reprised his role as Kirk and appeared in six "Startrek" films. Further fame came when he starred in the successful TV series "T.J. Hooker" (1982-1986). He’s continued to work and again gained fame with his Emmy winning performance as Danny Crane in "The Practice" (2004) television series. In 2005 he won a Golden Globe and an Emmy as Best Supporting Actor for his work in the TV series "Boston Legal". In 2009 he was awarded the prestigious Canadian ‘Governor General’s Performing Arts Award’ for lifetime achievement. Shatner appeared in one Euro-western as twin brothers Johhny Moon and Notah in "White Comanche" (1968). Today we celebrate William Shatner’s 80th birthday.

Monday, March 21, 2011

1st Los Angeles Spaghetti Western Festival Review

Riek Glady’s, Chris Casey and I arrived at the El Portal Theatre at 8:00 a.m. We all set up tables and chairs for the actors to sign autographs and sell photos, posters and stills. Wild East put up posters behind each actor's table showing one or more of their Spaghetti westerns. I went back stage and was given instruction by Mr. Stafford on how to use the microphones and chairs for the Q&A sessions and panel interviews.

Fans started arriving by 9:15 and were let in at 10:00 a.m. At 10:30 “Gatling Gun” supplied by Dorado Films starring Robert Woods was shown. After the film concluded I conducted a 10 minute interview with Mr. Woods and 5 minutes were given to audience questions and answers. A half hour break in the action followed where fans could return to the lobby and talk with the actors mingle amongst themselves and buy autographed photos. By this time Michael Forest had arrived and soon followed Mark Damon.

At 1:15 p.m. “Dead Men Don’t Count” with Mark Damon was shown and was followed by another Q&A session with Mr. Damon. A problem arose when Mark said he hadn’t seen “Dead Men Don’t Count” since it was made and remembered little about the film. He did talk about Anthony Steffen and then asked the audience why they liked Spaghetti westerns. The audience replied and we had a very nice discussion.

Robert Woods, Mark Damon, Brett Halsey

At 3:15 p.m. "A Fistful of Dollars" was shown and by now Hunt Powers, Brett Halsey and Edd Byrnes had arrived with much discussion between the actors and fans. After the conclusion of “A Fistful of Dollars” we set up the stage with 7 chairs as Edd Byrnes had decided to leave. I thanked certain people for keeping the genre alive: Tim Ferrante “Westerns... All’Italiana” editor, Bill Connolly, who was present, for “Spaghetti Cinema”, Eric Mache and Ally Lamaj, of Wild East, Ulrich Bruckner and KOCH. John Nudge for the Spaghetti Western Web Board, Sebastian Haselbeck of The Spaghetti Western Data Base, authors Sir Christopher Frayling, Tony Williams and Laurence Staig and Howard Hughes. I thanked the late Don Bruce for his ‘Then and Now’ photos. Last I thanked John Antoniou for putting the Festival all together.

Since we had 7 actors remaining there was no way to ask them specific questions about themselves so I asked general questions. "What was it like to live in Rome and make films during the 1960s. I asked Richard Harrison to lead off since he had been their the earliest of the group. Well that went on for a good 20 minutes with them talking about how wonderfully they were treated and how it was one long party. Each one talked about their lives in Rome and how they were hired and brought over to make a film and stayed. I then asked them doing their own stunts and again they relived falling off horses, getting cut and hurt during fight scenes as all wanted to appear as macho heroes and paid the price. Mark Damon told of falling off a horse and breaking a disk in his neck. Richard Harrison told of a time he was asked to throw a tomahawk at a group of people he was chasing and when he stopped the action twice was asked why he didn’t throw it. He said because he would have hit someone only to be told, "Don’t worry they’re only extras." Brett Halsey told of trip wires used to bring horses down and the fearlessness of the Italian stuntmen. After that the audience asked questions. We concluded the panel and the audience gave the 7 actors a standing ovation. The actors then stood and applauded and thanked the audience for remembering them so fondly.

6:30 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. David Frangioni had a book signing for his “Clint Eastwood - Icon” book and the bar was opened.

7:15 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. The Insect Surfers took the stage and performed instrumental versions of Ennio Morricone’s Spaghetti western hits.

8:00 p.m. we closed the Festival.

The Magnificent 7
Robert Woods, Mark Damon, Richard Harrison, Brett Halsey, Hunt Powers, Michael Forest, Dan van Husen

Happy 70th Birthday Violeta Andrei

Violeta Andrei was born March 21, 1941 in Brasov, Transylvania, Romania. She is a graduate of Caragiale University of Theatrical Arts and Cinematography in Bucharest. She made her debut in the movie “Golgota” in 1966. During her career she’s appeared in over 40 films and television appearances. Among these were three Euro-westerns: “Severino” (1978), “Blue Hawk” (1979) and “Sing, Cowboy, sing (1981). She was once married to Stefan Andrei the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania. Today we celebrate Violeta Andrei’s 70th birthday.

Remembering Vittorio Duse

Vittorio Duse was born on March 21, 1916 in Loreto, Ancone, Marche, Italy. After graduating from The Expiremental Cinema Centre he was given small roles in “Il cavaliere senza nome” by Ferrucio Cerio (1941) “The Girl of the Golden West”, “Girarabub”, “The Lion of Damasacus” all in 1942. His first large role came as the commissioner in 1943's “Obsession” directed by Luchino Visconti. After this he was hired by such directors as Vergano, De Santis, Camerini and Lizzani. Duse also tried to become a director with 1954's “L’ultima illusione” and again 1955's “Il nostro campione” and finally with “A vent'anni è sempre festa” in 1957. In 1990 he had a small part in Copolla’s “The Godfather - Part III”. Vittorio appeared in two other westerns besides “Girl of the Golden West”. “The Two Sergeants of General Custer” (1965) and “Kill and Pray” 1965. Duse passed away on June 2, 2005 in Rome. Today we celebrate what would have been Vittorio Duse’s 95th birthday.

Remembering Sydney Chaplin

Sydney Earle Chaplin was born on March 31, 1926 in Beverly Hills, California. He was the third son of Sir Charles ‘Charlie’ Chaplin [1889-1977] by his second wife actress Lita Grey [1908-1995] and was named after Charlie’s older brother Sydney Chaplin [1885-1965]. Sydney was the brother of Charles Chaplin, Jr. [1925-1968] and half-brother to Geraldine Chaplin [1944- ], Michael Chaplin [1946- ], Josephine Chaplin [1949- ], Victoria Chaplin [1951- ] , Euguene Chaplin [1953- ], Jane Chaplin [1957- ], Annette Chaplin [1959- ], Christopher Chaplin [1962- ], and Norman Chaplin. A restless child and lacking discipline he was expelled from three boarding schools by the time he was 16. He was drafted into the Army during World War II and served as a bazooka man with General Patton’s Third Army. Sydney turned to acting and was a founding member of the Circle Players at the Circle Theatre which is known today as the El Centro Theatre. In 1957 Sydney won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for “Bells are Ringing”. He also received a Tony nomination for “Funny Girl” opposite Barbara Streisand, whom he carried on a love affair during the shows run. Also appearing in Film Chaplin appeared in two of his father’s films “Limelight” (1952) and “A Countess from Hong Kong” (1967). During the late 1960s Sydney moved to Rome to continue his film career and appeared in three Euro-westerns: “One by One”, “If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death” and “Tierra Brava” all in 1968. Returning to the U.S.A. he appeared mainly in television roles. Married three times, among them actress Noëlle Adam [1933- ] (1960-1968) and had one child Stephan from his first marriage. he opened a renowned restaurant Chaplins in Palm Springs, California. Chaplin died of a stroke on March 3, 2009 at the age of 82. Today we remember Sydney Chaplin on what would have been his 85th birthday.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

First Day of Spring 2011

RIP Wolfgang Spier

The German actor and director Wolfgang Spier died on Friday evening March 18, 2011 after a long illness at the age of 90 years in Berlin, his family announced on Saturday.

As the "King of the Boulevard" Spier had staged more than 250 plays at various German theaters. On Berlin's Kurfürstendamm Theater, he was an institution. There, he celebrated with Harald Juhnke and Günter Pfitzmann great success. Spier was famous for his comedy series "The Odd Couple" with Grit Böttcher, Harald Juhnke. As a voice actor, he lent his distinctive voice to Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasence. On television, he also hosted the shows "One Against All" and “Three Times a Liar."

Spier was born in Frankfurt, Germany on September 27, 1920 and came to Berlin in 1929. Spier really wanted to be doctor but that was denied him during the Nazi era, because of his Jewish origins. His path led him to Wiesbaden State Theatre and in 1950 he returned to Berlin, where he founded the Theatre Club in the British center. Following were more than five decades of his own productions and theater roles, ranging from boulevard comedy to Shakespeare. Spier also appeared in one DEFA East German western “Prairie in the City” 1971 and a TV movie called “Mixikanische Revolution in 1968.

Garden of Venus

Las mujeres de Jeremías - Spanish title
El jardin de venus - French title
Die Wilde Meute - German title
Vier Pastorentöchter - German title
Venerin Vrt - Yugoslavian title
Bordello - U.S.A. title
Garden of Venus - English title

A 1979 U.S.A., Mexican, Spanish co-production [Producciones Esme S.A. (Mexico City), Ízaro
Films (Madrid)]
Producer: Carlos Vasallo
Director: Ray Fellows (Ramón Fernández)
Story: Alfredo Mañas
Screenplay: Alfred Mann (Alfredo Mañas), Sherry Finch
Cinematography: Fred Upland (Fernando Arribas) [color]
Music: Ren Serio (Renato Serio)
Running time: 98 minutes

Jonathan Drake - Chuck Connors (Kevin Connors)
Tamar Sanchez - Isela Vega (Isela Durazo)
Jeremiah/Jeremías Sanchez - Jorge Rivero (Jorge Ribe)
Spencer Dalton - Michael Conrad
judge - John Ireland
Pancho - Andrés García
John - Mike Moroff (Miguel Burciaga)
Caroline - Erica Carlson (Erika Carlson)
Esther Sanchez - Mary Jo Singer (María Porcel)
Ann Sanchez - Ana de Sade
Raquel Sanchez - Verónica Miriel
María Sanchez - Tay Ullman (Taidea Urruzola)
Porfino - Enrique Novi
Miguel - Miguel Fieman (Miguel Ángel Ferriz)
Juan - George King (Jorge Reynoso)
Pedro - Bill Laker (Guillermo Lagunes)
Edison - Carlo Nieman (Carlos Nieto)
Zacarías - Ahui Camacho (Ahuizotl Castillo)
priest - Fernando Yapur
townsman - Gerardo Zepeda
Juana - María Montecarlo (Maria de Montecarlo)

Jeremiah Sanchez is a Protestant pastor who lives with his wife and four beautiful daughters in a village in northern Mexico. The daughters are harassed by some local boys, a fact that causes her parents seriousl concern about the continuing struggle to maintain and defend their honor. Every family dreams of leaving town, and one day Sanchez receives a letter informing them that they are the heirs to a house in Arizona. The house turns out to be a bordello and the neighboring Dalton brothers try to buy the house because they have discovered a rich vein of silver lies buried underneath.