Friday, January 13, 2017

50th Anniversary of A Stranger in Town Premier

“A Stranger in Town” (Un dollaro tra i denti) an Italian, U.S.A. co-production, directed by Luigi Vanzi as Vance Lewis and starring Tony Anthony and Frank Wolff, premiered in Italy on January 13, 1967. It wouldn’t show up in the U.S.A. until April 24th of that year. The film supposedly budgeted at $250,000 became a box-office smash which resulted in two sequels: “The Stranger Returns” and “The Silent Stranger”. My initial reaction when seeing the film in 1967 was this is a “Fistful of Dollars’ rip-off, but Anthony, who I thought was an Italian actor using an American pseudonym, was no Man With No Name. It wasn’t until I interviewed Tony in the 1990s that I understood what he was trying to do. His “Stranger” was a New York street wise punk who used any means at his disposal to turn the tables on his enemies. His brash boldness got him into scraps he usually couldn’t get out of man to man. Therefore he had to rely on his street smarts to fight off the henchmen and toughs.

In “A Stranger in Town” A stranger dressed like a US Army Captain helps an outlaw named Aguilar rob a large load of gold. When he wants a piece of it for his efforts, Aguilar has him beaten up by his other gang members. After having recovered, he follows the gang to Cerro Gordo. When he tries to get even with them, they outsmart him. Captured, he has to endure torture by Aguilar's mistress, but eventually escapes. He takes out Aguilar's henchman one by one until Aguilar is on his own and the final showdown has come. Using his brains to outwit Aguilar and his Gatling gun he finally comes out on top.

Un dollaro tra i denti – Italian title
A Stranger in Town – U.S.A. title
Un dólar entre los dientes – Argentinian title
Ein Dollar zwischen den Zähnen – Austrian title
Долар между зъбите – Bulgarian title
En dollar mellem tænderne – Danish title
Dollari hampaissa – Finnish title
Un dollar entre les dents – French title
Ein Dollar zwiscvhen den Zahnen – German title
Ena dollario anamesa sta dontia – Greek title
Akatsuki no yojinbo – Japanese title
Um dolar no dentes – Portuguese title
Странник в городе – Russian title
Un dólar entre los dientes – Spanish title
En dollar mellan tanderna – Swedish title
Disler arasinda bir dolar – Turkish title
For a Dollar in the Teeth – U.K. title
A Dollar Between the Teeth – English title
A Stranger in Town – English title

A 1966 Italian, U.S.A. co-production [Primex Italiana (Rome), Taka Productions (New York)]
Producers: Carlo Infascelli, Roberto Infascelli, Massimo Gualdi, Allen V. Klein
Director: Vance Lewis (Luigi Vanzi)
Story: Warren Garfield, Jone Mang (Giuseppe Mangione)
Screenplay: Warren Garfield, Jone Mang (Giuseppe Mangione)
Cinematography: Marcello Masciocchi [Metrocolor, widescreen]
Music: Benedetto Ghiglia
Running time: 86 minutes

‘The Stranger’ – Tony Anthony (Roger Petitto)
Aguila – Frank Wolff (Walter Wolff)
Cica/Chica – Yolanda Modio (Jolando Modio)
Maria Pilar/Maruca – Gia Sandri
Corgo – Raf Baldassarre (Raffaelle Baldassarre)
Marinero – Aldo Berti
Priest – Antonio Marsina
Village women – Rosella Bergamonti (Rossella Bergamonti), Angela Minervini
Captain Cordoba – Fortunato Arena
Mexican soldier – Elio Angelucci (Aurelio Angelucci)
Lieutenant Ted ‘George’ Harris/Stafford – Lars Bloch
Aguila henchmen – Ivan Scrat (Giovanni Scratuglia), Salvatore Puntillo, Alberigo Donadeo
Mexican bandit – Nicola Di Gioa
With: Enrico Capoleoni, Arturo Corso, Ugo Carbone (Ugo Carboni), Loris Bazzocchi

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