Wednesday, October 31, 2018

50th Anniversary of “I Quattro dell’Ave Maria” (Ace High)

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the premier of “Ace High” in Rome, Italy. This is the second in a three part series of westerns directed by Giuseppe Colizzi and starring Terence Hill and Bud Spencer. After beating Bill San Antonio and "rescuing" the stolen gold (“Dio perdona... Io no!” God Forgives… I Don’t), Cat (Terence Hill) and Hutch (Bud Spencer) try to collect from the partner, a banker who gave tips about gold deliveries. The banker makes a deal with Cacopoulos (Eli Wallach) for his escape and Caco will kill Cat and Hutch. Caco, of course double-crosses the banker, steals Cat and Hutch's money and sets out for Mexico on an agenda of revenge, with Cat and Hutch in pursuit.

"Ace High" is a neo-Sergio Leone, revenge western which stars Eli Wallach as a comic badman of notable antecedents. "My grandfather," he says, "was Greek, like Sophocles and Plato." Wallach often looks like Buddy Hackett, but other characters describe him as a modern Jesus, so it's difficult to know when Colizzi is kidding. The Clint Eastwood role is played by Terence Hill who, according to a helpful program note, "changed his name from Mario Girotti to avoid confusion with another Italian actor, Massimo Girotti (no relation)." Wallach and Hill have very blue eyes and fine teeth. There is hardly one full set of teeth among all the other people in the cast, which was one way of stimulating authentic Western atmosphere.

I Quattro dell’Ave Maria – Italian title
Asso piglia tutto – Italian title
Ace High – U.S.A. title
Os 4 da Ave Maria – Brazilian title
Os Quatro da Ave Maria – Brazilian title
Четиримата от Аве Мария – Bulgarian title
Trumfove eso - Czechoslovakian title
Hævneren fra El Paso – Danish title
Ace High – Dutch title
Tappava hymy – Finnish title
Luojan lähettiläät – Finnish title
Les quattre de l’Ave Maria – French title
Deux honnetes crapules – French title
Vier für ein Ave Maria- German title
Oi 4 tou Ave Maria – Greek title
Bosszu El Pasoban – Hungarian title
Ess pa top – Norwegian title
O ás vale mais – Portuguese title
Cei patru de Ave Maria – Romanian title
Козырной туз – Russian title
Stirje v igri – Slovenian title
Eis quatre bergants - Spanish title
Los cuatro truhanes – Spanish title
Ess i topp – Swedish title
Bize Trinita Derler – Turkish title
Revenge at El Paso – U.K. title
Have Gun Will Travel – U.K. title
The Four of the Ave Maria – English title
Gunmen of the Ave Maria – English title
Four Gunmen of the Ave Maria – English title
Revenge in El Paso – English title
Aces High – English title
Ace High – English title

A 1967 Italian, U.S.A. film co-production [Crono Cinematografica, Finanzia San Marco (Rome)]
Producers: Bino Cicogna, Giuseppe Colizzi
Director: Giuseppe Colizzi
Story: Giuseppe Colizzi
Screenplay: Giuseppe Colizzi
Cinematography: Marcello Masciocchi [Technicolor, Techniscope]
Music: Carlo Rustichelli
Running time: 137 minutes

Cacopoulos - Eli Wallach
Cat Stevens - Terence Hill (Mario Girotti)
Hutch Bessy - Bud Spencer (Carlo Pedersoli)
Thomas - Brock Peters (George Fisher)
Drake - Kevin McCarthy
Mr. Harold - Stephan Zacharias (Steffan Zacharias)
Paco Rosa - Livio Lorenzon
Thomas’ wife - Tiffany Hoyveld (Maria Lorray)
Cangaciero - Remo Capitani
Bank cashier - Armando Bandini (Antonio Burlando)
Foster - Rick Boyd (Federico Boido)
Deputy Charlie - Bruno Corazzari
Al - Franco Gulà
Don Pedro Ramirez – Vicente Roca
Irish farm boy - Enzo Santaniello
Irish farm girl - Simonetta Santaniello
Drake henchman - Gino Marturano (Luigi Marturano), Mel Gaines 
Joe - Frank Braña (Francisco Pérez)
Harold henchmen - Antonio Molina Rojo, Gildo di Marco, Riccardo Pizzuti
Banker - Dante Cleri
Casino employee - Aldo Sala
Casino cashiers - Luciano Telli, Giuseppe Terranova
Casino guest - Quinto Marziale
Roulette player – Angelo Casadei
Boxing promoter - Giancarlo Badessi
Croupier - Roger Beaumont
Roulette players - Edoardo Torricella, Carlo Landa
Gambler – Elio Angelucci (Aurelio Angelucci)
Joe – Frank Brana
Boxer – Leroy Haynes
Drunk - Fulvio Pellegrino
Saloon girl - Antoinetta Fiorito
Man on street - Corrado Olmi
With: Paolo Magalotti
Stunts: Ferdinando Poggi

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