Friday, January 31, 2020

Spaghetti Western Trivia ~ El Paso Bank Robbery

The safe from the El Paso Bank robbery by El Indio and his gang in "For a Few Dollars More" contained Confederate dollars.

New DVD Release ~ “Bete… Sartana kommt”

Bete… Sartana Kommt
(Dig Your Grave Friend... Sabata's Coming)

Director: Juan Bosch
Starring: Richard Harrison, Fernando Sancho, Raf Baldassare, Alejandro Ulloa

Country: Germany
Label: Great Movies
Discs: 1
Region 2
Format PAL, Breitbild
Aspect ratio: 16:9 – 1.77.1
Language: DD 2.0 German, Spanish
Subtitles: None
Running time: 86 minutes
Extras: Original trailer
Available: January 24, 2020

Voices of the Spaghetti Westerns ~ “Gentleman Killer”

As we know most of the Euro-westerns were co-productions from Italy, Spain, Germany and France which incorporated British and American actors to gain a worldwide audience. The films were shot silent and then dubbed into the various languages where they were sold for distribution. That means Italian, Spanish, German, French and English voice actors were hired to dub the films. Even actors from the countries where the film was to be shown were often dubbed by voice actors for various reasons such as the actors were already busy making another film, they wanted to paid additional salaries for dubbing their voices, the actor’s voice didn’t fit the character they were playing, accidents to the actors and in some cases even death before the film could be dubbed.

I’ll list a Euro-western and the (I) Italian, (S) Spanish, (G) German and (F) French, (E) English voices that I can find and once in a while a bio on a specific voice actor as in Europe these actors are as well-known as the actors they voiced.

Today we’ll cover “Gentleman Killer”
[(I) Italian, (S) Spanish, (G) German, (F) French, (E) English]

Anthony Steffen – (I) Anthony Steffen, (S) Arsenio Corsellas, (G) Gert Günther Hoffmann (F)
Eduardo Fajardo – (I) ?, (S) Felipe Peña, (G) Arnold Marquis
Silvia Solar – (I) ?, (S) Maria Luisa Sola, (G) Renate Küster
Anna Orso – (I) ?, (S) Rosario Cavallé, (G) Dagmar Altrichter
Mariano Vidal Molina – (I) ?, (S) Rogelio Hernández, (G) Herbert Stass

Gert Günther Hoffmann [1929-1997]

Gert Günther Hoffmann was born on February 21, 1929 in Berlin-Lnkwitz, Germany.
He completed an apprenticeship as a businessman, then switched to Berlin radio as a speaker . In addition to Rudolf Platte and Gytta Schubert, he appeared in the Berlin Hebbel Theater in the comedy “Das Geld liegt auf der Bank”. In 1951 he got a film role in “Das Bankett der Schmuggler”. Hoffmann could not get big roles in theater and film, therefore, he shifted his professional focus to the dubbing films.

He most often lent his distinctive voice to actors such as Sean Connery, William Shatner, Michel Piccoli, Lex Barker, Paul Newman and Rock Hudson. He was also the narrative voice in the animated series “The Pink Panther” And narrator and voice of the main character in the film classic “Moby Dick” (1956)

Moving from West Berlin to Munich in1970 gave his career as an actor a new boost. For eleven years he took over the role of Chief Criminal Officer Matofski in the ARD crime series ‘Sonderdezernat K1’. In 1972 he played in ‘SR-Fernsehspiel Tod im Studio’ and 1976 feature film “Der starke Ferdinand” in a major role. Gert Günther Hoffmann died in 1997 after a long illness at the age of 68. 

Special Birthdays

Willi Schrade (actor) is 85 today. 

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Spaghetti Western Location ~ Ciempozuelos

The bleak countryside of Ciempozuelos, a village about 35 kilometers south of Madrid, on the border with the territory of Sesena (in the province of Toledo), for its particularly arid, almost desert aspect, and the presence of a canyon whose bottom is covered with high dry grass, it was used in several westerns. In particular, an old abandoned country church (located immediately west of the terrovia and the current highway), characterized by a bell tower on the fringed west facade, towards the hills), some minor buildings and a fence wall, with appropriate adaptations were used to represent a stagecoach station in the Mexican style (with the addition of arches in the internal courtyard and on the side of the church), a fortified farm or a fort, as in “The Secret of Captain O’Hara”  (1965) (this film is an excellent example of the military western, with effective photography by Alonso Nieva, and almost entirely shot in this cortijo, which was transformed into a fort). “The Fury of the Apaches” (1964); “Kid Rodelo” (1965); “Fifteen Scaffolds for a Killer” (1966); Ringo and Gringo Against All”(1966); “The Tall Women (1966). Other films shot in this location are: “$2,000 for Coyote” (1967); “The Hellbenders” (1967); “The Vengeance of Pancho Villa” (1967); A Man a Colt” (1967) (only the canyon was used); “Between God the Devil and a Winchester” (1968) “Thunder Over El Paso” (1968); “Ringo, the Lone Rider” (1968); “Garringo” (1969); “Death on High Mountain” (1969); “A Bullet for Sandoval” (1969); “Quinto Fighting Proud” (1969); “Adios Cjamango” (1970); “Another Dollar for the MacGregors” (1970); “Reverend Colt” (1970); “The Long Days of Violence” (1971); “Long Live Your Death” (1971); “What Am I Doing in the Middle of a Revolution? (1972) (as a base for Leo Anchoriz’s guerillas); “Tunder Over El Paso” (1972); “Raise Your Hands Dead Man, You’re Under Arest” (1972); “The Three Supermen Out West” (1973); “Kill and Pray” (1973); “The White, the Yellow, the Black” (1974).

Subsequently, the old church was purchased by private individuals, who transformed the complex into a farm. The building of the old church was renovated and became the owner's home; the bell tower (which stands out well, even from afar, in many films), the construction still maintains the solid rectangular shape and some sort of buttresses on the southern side; a part of the old wall also survives. Next to this building, instead of other old buildings, today there are large stables and a warehouse. The land to the west, towards the hills, has remained relatively intact, which in western films represented an arid and desert landscape, with harassing pitfalls: attacks by Indians and bandits. In particular, at the beginning of the hills, the area called "Las Salinas de Espartinas" has remained intact, which appears in scenes from the films “The Fury of the Apaches” (1964); “A Pistol for a Hundred Coffins” (1968); “Fifteen Scaffolds for a Killer” (1968); “Ringo, the Lone Rider” (1968); “Another dollar for the MacGregors” (1970) (the salt flats appear in full swing: Indians working in slavery work there); “Raise Your Hands Dead Man, You’re Under Arest” (1972). A few dozen meters to the west, it opens up and is surrounded by arid hills, a canyon whose bottom is covered with high dry grass. When, referring to some films, we mentioned the location of this set, we mentioned Sesena, which is a nearby town in the province of Toledo (whose territory borders on that of Ciempozuelos). In reality, both the old rustic church and the canyon are located in the territory of the municipality of Ciempozuelos, therefore in the provincial of Madrid. Most likely it was mentioned in Sesena because this set and location were reached by film crews from Madrid through the territory of the municipality of Sesena. The area in question is located in the valley that opens at the foot of the new Valle Grande residential district (in the municipality of Sesena), which stands on the left (towards the east) of the N IV - E% highway (autovia de Andalucia).

“The Tall Women” (1966)

“The White, the Yellow, the Black” (1974)


Salt Pond today

“A Pistol for 100 Coffins” 

“Another Dollar for the MacGregors” (1970)

Special Birthdays

Hermann Nehlsen (aka Henry Danby) (actor) is 100 today.

Marilyn Buferd (actress) would have been 95 today, he died in 1990.

Gene Hackman (actor) is 90 today.

Elsa Martinelli (actress) would have been 85 today, he died in 2017.

Kati Bus (actress) wlould have been 75 today, she died in 2009.

Verónica Miriel (actress) is 65 today. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Sir Christopher Frayling discussions, Q&As and book signings

Saturday, February 8 at 3 p.m., Artbook & Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles Bookstore and Reel Art Press invite you to celebrate the publication of Once Upon a Time in the West: Shooting a Masterpiece. Author Christopher Frayling will discuss images from the book. A Q&A and book signing will follow.

Email bookshw-la! or call (213) 988-7413 to pre-order a signed copy with free shipping in the U.S.!

'Once Upon a Time in the West: Shooting a Masterpiece' Book Launch
Saturday, February 8 at 3 PM
917 East 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Phone: 213-988-7413

Christopher will also be at ARTBOOK @ HAUSER & WIRTH LOS ANGELES BOOKSTORE on Sunday, February 9 at 3p.m. along with Tony Nourmand to discuss French New Wave: A Revolution in Design with a Q&A session and book signing to follow.

On Tuesday February 11 Chris will be at LARRY EDMUNDS BOOKSTORE at 7:30 p.m. for a discussion on Frankenstein: The First 200 Years and the 2001 File and booksigning.

Larry Edmunds Bookstore
6644 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028

Who Are Those Guys ~ Brian Coburn

Brian Francis Coburn was born in Scotland on December 15, 1936. Coburn's acting talents were showcased on the big screen many times throughout the course of his Hollywood career. In the beginning of his acting career, Coburn starred in comedies like the Woody Allen film "Love and Death" (1975) and "A Choice of Weapons" (1976) with John Mills. He also appeared in the TV movie "The Adventures of Don Quixote" (1972-73). His work around this time also included a part in the TV movie "The Day Christ Died" (1979-1980). Coburn also landed roles in the miniseries "The First Olympics: Athens 1896" (1983-84) and "The Last Days of Pompeii" (1983-84). He also appeared in the Roger Moore action film "Octopussy" (1983). During these years Coburn focused on films, appearing in the crime flick "Lassiter" (1984) with Tom Selleck and "Sword of the Valiant - The Legend of Gawain and the Green Knight" (1984) with Miles O'Keeffe. Brian also worked in television during this time, including a part on "The Legend of King Arthur" (PBS, 1984-85). He was also featured in the TV movie "The Master of Ballantrae" (1983-84). Coburn more recently appeared in "The Comedy of Errors" (1989-1990).

Coburn was at one time married to actress Julia Breck [1941- ] and died in Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, England on December 28 1989. He was only 53.

COBURN, Brian (Brian Francis Coburn) [12/15/1936, Scotland, U.K. – 12/28/1989, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, England, U.K.] – theater, film, TV actor, married to actress Julia Breck [1941-    ] (1970-197?).
Carry on Cowboy – 1965 (trapper)

Special Birthdays

Franco Bixio (composer) is 70 today. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

RIP Harriet Frank Jr.

American writer Harriet Frank Jr. died in Los Angeles, California on January 28, 2020. She and her husband, Irving Ravetch, collaborated on provocative screenplays that explored the social conflicts and moral questions of postwar American life in movies like “Hud” and “Norma Rae,” died on Tuesday January 28, 2020 at her home in Los Angeles. She was 96. Harriet co-wrote the screenplay for 1974’s Euro-western “The Spike’s Gang”.

RIP Nicholas Parsons

Born Christopher Nicholas Parsons in Grantham, Lincolnshire, England on October 10, 1923, he was an British actor and radio and television presenter. He was the long-running presenter of the comedy radio show ‘Just a Minute’ and hosted the game show “Sale of the Century” during the 1970s and early 1980s. His Euro-western connection was the English voice of Sheriff Tex Tucker, telegrapher Dan Morse and Billy Pinto in the 1960 British TV western series “Four Feather Falls”. He was married to actress Denise Bryer from 1954-1989, who was the voice of Martha 'Ma' Jones and Little Jake on the same series. Parsons died on January 28, 2020 in Aylesbury, Buckinhamshire, England. He was 96.

Franco Nero: “I am not a spaghetti western actor”

By Aline Marie Rodriguez
June 5, 2018

Among the rush of a film set, makeup artists, assistants, props and technicians move from one place to another with water, costumes, scripts. Outdoor recordings have the calm and countdown of an hourglass.

The actor arrives in a ‘57 and a half Ford while the technical team awaits him. He puts on his costume and while waiting for the makeup artist, he stares in the mirror, as if trying to catch the essence of his character. Thus, half characterized, Garbos spoke exclusively with the renowned actor Franco Nero, icon of Italian cinema, who these days recorded in Havana his most recent movie Havana Kyrie.

"This is my sixth visit to Cuba," he says as soon as we begin the dialogue. The first time was in 1980, making a great film by the Russian director, awarded the Oscar, Sergey Bondarchuk. That time we had to travel from Moscow to Mexico City to work. We made a stop in Havana and it was when I said that I would like to stay here for a couple of days”.

The hustle and bustle of that movie Campanas Rojas (1982), by Bondarchuk, made Franco discover the Island. Since that date he has returned several times. “I have come twice, in past years, on vacation and last November the Cinemateca de Cuba organized a week with my films”. At that time and within the framework of the twentieth Week of Italian Culture, the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba recognized its worthy contribution to world cinema with the Tomás Gutiérrez Alea Prize.

Now he has been recording “Havana Havana” for five weeks in Havana, by Italian director Paolo Consorti. His character Vittorio is an orchestra conductor who travels to Cuba - to direct the play Kyrie Eleison, by Rossini - after many years he discovers that he has a son. Days that he himself confesses have been strenuous.

”This is the first time I have come to film in Cuba. I felt very good. The movie is very hard. I have worked 12 hours a day, with an average of 7 or 8 daily scenes. The rain has been here the whole month of May, the conditions have not been very good, but we have done it”.

The story has been filmed in Italy and Havana. The cast includes the actors Jacqueline Arenal and Jorge Perugorría, as well as the American Ron Perlman, who share roles with the novel Andros Perugorría.

From the assistants to the cameramen and producers, Franco has felt comfortable working with the Cuban team. “The Cuban troop - sure - has been very good, very nice, gentle, warm, affectionate and above all very professional”.

For those who comb gray hair and enjoyed it on the big screen, Franco Nero is a star of the spaghetti western genre. However, he is not considered an actor recognized for these works. Of the 220 films he treasures in his filmography, only 10 - precisely - belong to that genre that was very popular in the 60s and 70s of the last century.

“I am not a spaghetti western actor. I have made all kinds of genres in the world. I am the only actor who has made characters of 30 different nationalities. I have worked with great directors such as Luis Buñuel, Claude Chabrol, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, among others. And I've also done westerns. But I am not a western actor. And they are not my greatest movies. My great movie, if I had to choose, was Camelot.” he says categorically.

Despite this, the film for which he was and continues to be known in Cuba is Django, directed by Sergio Corbucci. The 1966 work is considered one of the great classics of the western genre. Such is the case, that in 2012 it was Quentin Tarantino's inspiration to create Django Unchained, a film in which Franco also participated, playing the slave-owner Amerigo Vessepi.

“That film has had incredible success worldwide,” he explains, “because after 50 years Tarantino has made a remake, in his own way, of the original Django. In the first version the oppressed people were the Mexican peons and in the Tarantino people they are the blacks. I liked to appear in a cameo because Tarantino confessed to me that throughout his life he had been a fan of mine and I wanted me to be in his movie. I felt very good because he is great and very funny.

With the same affection with which he refers to Tarantino, he also recalls the directors with whom he has worked throughout his extensive career. As he himself affirms there have been many and diverse film currents. “I can't choose a director, because everyone has a different thing. I've never had problems. Everyone I've worked with has liked to make movies with me. I have many experiences”, he says.

This is given by Franco's own desire to be a director. Yearning that has been able to materialize, although he remembers with sympathy that from a young age they always "saw my face and said no, that I was an actor".

On the experience of directing, he says that it is also the result of “personal inspiration because if you have talent and want to be a director, it is how to write a book. In the cinema you must tell a story”.

In addition to directing, he has also produced, written, edited about twenty films, including Outside the Society (1970), Jonathan degli orsi (1994), No Invitation (1999), Forever Blues (2005) and Love Island (2014 ).

”The best film directors are the actors. Remember Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton and then Richard Attenborough, Fassbinder, the new generation of Clint Eastwood and Robert Redford; in Italy, Vittorio De Sica and Pietro Germi. We have a great experience and can guide the actors better than the rest”.

Being an absolute connoisseur of the film universe, to which he has dedicated his entire life, today Franco feels at home on a film set. It does not matter the geographical place, nor the language, nor the most adverse climate. “I feel like a director, also screenwriter and actor –confess–. I like everything. I am a real movie man”.

The time is shortened. Filming is like that. Ten minutes of dialogue to summarize a life dedicated to the seventh art. In the walkie talkies I hear his call to the set. Before finishing our dialogue, he announces that he will soon film again in the streets of Havana, a city that has captivated him. He will star in the script of an American who until now is entitled Black beans and rice and in which he is working with producer Gabriel Beristain, creator of the company Vedado Films.

His apparent calm before each scene, his tranquility when he is made up and combed, the bearing of his figure on the set is imposed. The cinema has been his life and he has delivered part of himself in every roll, frame, film. As a last confession, as a creed of a life he says that “cinema is like a big city, where people of different colors and races live. They all have their home and their dreams. The cinema will continue to exist as long as people continue to dream. Cinema is also freedom”.

Special Birthdays

Willy Schultes (actor) would have benn 100 today, he died in 2005.

Luis de Pablo (composer) is 90 today.

John Davis Chandler (actor) would have been 85 today, he died in 2010.

Monday, January 27, 2020

European Western Comic Books ~ Albi Trapper

Trapper was a 1962 comic book published by Cervinia Editions in Milan, Italy. It consisted of 30 issues released from August 1962 until December 1964. It was a reprint of Il piccolo scout numbers 1-18 and Tommy Colt numbers 19-29. While #16 (December 1963) consisted of three episodes of Rik and Scoiattole taken from Piccolo eroi (1960), and Il re del Congo with and Rex and Jingo. Each issue consisted of 144 pages with color covers and black and white pages.

01 (00.08.62) - “Pista Bozeman” (Bozeman Slope)
02 (00.09.62) - “Transcontinental Express” (Transcontinental Express)
03 (00.10.62) - “Pista infuocata” (Fiery Track)
04 (00.11.62) - “Passo Malo” (Malo Pass)
05 (00.12.62) - “Il grande campione” (The Grand Champion)
06 (00.01.63) -
07 (00.02.63) - “La stella del Nord” (The Northern Star)
08 (00.03.63) - “Un cavallo da quarto” (A Quarter Horse)
09 (00.04.63) - “A due dita dal cappio” (Two Fingers from the Noose)
10 (00.05.63) - “L'uomo da battere” (The Man to Beat)
11 (00.06.63) - “Il terribile gioco” (The Terrible Game)
12 (00.07.63) - “La marcia della morte” (The March of Death)
13 (00.08.63) - “Scalpo Bianco” (White Scalp)
14 (00.09.63) - “Assedio alla carovana” (Siege of the Caravan)
15 (00.10.63) - "Un cavallo senza cow boy" (A Horse Without a Cowboy)
16 (00.11.63) - "Fine di un eroe” (End of a Hero)
16b (00.12.63) - “Assalto di notte” (Assault by Night)
17 (00.12.63) - “L'affare Norton” (The Norton Affair)
18 (00.01.64) - “Il tesoro sacro” (The Sacred Treasure)
19 (00.02.64) - “La diligenza della morte” (The Diligence of Death)
20 (00.03.64) - “Il pistolero” (The Gunman)
21 (00.04.64) - “Kiovas” (Kiovas)
22 (00.05.64) - “Passo della morte” (Pass of Death)
23 (00.06.64) - “Sfida nella città morta” (Challenge is Dead City)
24 (00.07.64) - “Sioux (Eclissi di Luna)” (Sioux (Eclipse of the Moon)
25 (00.08.64) - “Il Cobra d'Oro” (The Golden Cobra)
26 (00.09.64) - “Lo straniero” (The Stranger)
27 (00.10.64) - “Morte in agguato” (Lurking Death)
28 (00.11.64) - “Scacco alla morte” (Checkmate to Death)
29 (00.12.64) - “Forca per due” (Fork for Two)

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Who Are Those Composers? ~ Pérez A. Olea

Pérez A. Olea was born Antonio Pérez Olea on December 11, 1923 in Madrid, Spain, He studied music at the Royal Conservatory of Madrid, being a student disciple of Jesús Guridi (1886-1961) and Conrado del Campo (1878-1953).

He oriented his musical career to film productions, therefore, thanks to a scholarship he studied and received his diploma in Optics and Camera at the Sperimentale Center for Cinematography in Rome, along with Jorge Grau.

Pérez belongs to the generation of the so-called "New Spanish Cinema", composing the soundtracks for films directed by Vicente Aranda, Mario Camus, Fernando Fernán Gómez, Jorge Grau, Luis García Berlanga and Manuel Summers.

 His music received several awards, including the “Premio del Sindicato Nacional del Espectáculo” for Julio Buchs ' “Con el viento Solano” in 1965 and the following year the “Premio del Círculo de Escritores Cinematográficos” for the soundtrack to the Italowestern “Mestizo” (Django Does Not Forgive) which was in turn composed for Julio Buchs.

Pérez A. Olea died in Madrid, Spain on January 5, 2005.

OLEA, Pérez A. (aka A. Perez Olea, Anton P. Olea, Antonio P. Olea, Antonio Perez Olea)  (Antonio Pérez Olea) [12/11/1923, Madrid, Madrid, Spain – 1/5/2005, Madrid, Madrid, Spain] – producer, director, writer, cinematographer, cameraman, composer, SFX.
Murieta! – 1963
Django Does Not Forgive – 1966

Special Birthdays

Bernhard Minetti (actor) would have been 115 today, he died in 1998.

Cris Huerta (actor) would have been 85 today, he died in 2004.

Nando De Luca (composer) is 80 today.