Thursday, April 30, 2020

Django Defies Sartana 50th Anniversary

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the release of “Django Defies Sartana”. The film, directed by Pasquale Squitieri under the alias William Redford and starring Tony Kendall and George Ardisson tells the story of Django's brother Steve works for a bank and has a way with the ladies. Steve is framed for a bank robbery and lynched despite the valiant efforts of the sheriff. Supposedly Sartana was Steve's accomplice and when Django arrives in town and informed of the situation he goes in search of Sartana. After a fierce fistfight they are made aware of the truth and decide to join forces and exact revenge against the guilty party, the owner of the bank Singer. To keep Django and Sartana at bay Singer's taken his own niece hostage. This only adds to their cause to rescue the girl and bring Singer to justice.

Django sfida Sartana – Italian title
Savuavat revolverit – Finnish title
Django défie Sartana – French title
O Django prokalei ton Sartana – Greek title
Django desafia a Sartana – Spanish title
El gran desafio de Django y Sartana – Spanish title
Django utmanar Sartana – Swedish title
Rykande Revolvrar – Swedish title
Omuz Muza – Turkish title
Django Against Sartana – English title
Django Challenges Sartana – English title
Django Defies Sartana – English title

A 1970 Italian film production [Atlas Cinematografica, B.C.R. (Rome)]
Producer: Roberto Bessi
Director: William Redford (Pasquale Squitieri)
Story: William Redford (Pasquale Squitieri)
Screenplay: William Redford (Pasquale Squitieri)
Cinematography: Eugenio Bentivoglio [Telecolor]
Music: Piero Umiliani
     Song: “They Call Him Django” sung by John Balfour (John Ireson)
Running time: 89 minutes

Django - Tony Kendall (Luciano Stella)
Sartana - George Ardisson (Giorgio Ardisson)
Loco/Il Muto - José Torres (José Medina)
Huston - José Jaspe (José Rivas)
Steve – John Alvar (John Monreal)
Juan Corvo/Crow - Doro Corrà (Teodoro Corrà)
Philip Singer - Bernard Faber (Bernard Farber)
Maria - Tania Alvarado
Singer’s niece - Adler Gray
Killer - Pasquale Squitieri
Sheriff - Fulvio Mingozzi
Bandit - Fortunato Arena
Boxer - Petar Martinovitch
Singer henchmen - Salvatore Billa, Augusto Pesarini (Augusto Pescarini), Rick Boyd (Federico
Maria’s landlady - Anna Maria Perego
Saloon girl - Mirella Pamphili
Rowdy townsman - Freddy Ungar (Goffredo Unger)
With: Claudio Trionfi

Special Birthdays

Empedocle Buzzanca (actor) would have been 110 today, he died in 1987.

Marc Richards (screenwriter) would have been 90 today, he died in 2006.
Danny Ross (actor) would have been 90 today, he died in 1976.

Sergio Testori (actor) is 85 today.

Burt Young (actor) is 80 today.

Dan van Husen (actor) is 75 today.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

RIP Goffredo Matassi

The actor Goffredo Matassi died today in Rome. During his career he had voiced Morgan Freeman's caliber actors in "The Ruthless", Paul Brooke in "Bridget Jones Diary", Donnelly Rhodes in "Tron Legacy" and David Bradley in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" and "Harry Potter and the Gifts of Death Part II". On TV Eddie Jones as Jones as Jonathan Kent in the first season of "Lois & Clark - The New Adventures of Superman" and Peter Vaughan in those of Master Aemon in "The Thrones". He was the voice of Droopy in the series "Droopy Chief Detective" and Amphitrion in the Disney movie "Hercules". Among his latest works were the dubbing of Dr. Teeth in "The Muppet" and "Muppets 2-Wanted". Matassi was also a film actor and appeared in two Euro-westerns: “The Hills Run Red” (1966) as a croupier and “Pray and Kill” (1967) as a gambler.

"Once Upon a Time in Spaghetti Westerns"

"Once Upon a Time in Spaghetti Westerns", the first ever, weekly podcast to cover this popular, yet underrated Western genre, is coming soon to Facebook Live and YouTube, with myself (the poster collector) and historian, Tom Betts,as we podcast live from the Westerns All'Italiana! Facebook page. Date and time TBA.

The influence of the American western on western-spaghetti

Published by Pedro Pereira
The influence of the American western on western-spaghetti

Article kindly provided by fellow António Furtado da Rosa, a great western-spaghetti enthusiast and also an occasional blogger via

It is no secret that Sergio Leone was an avid consumer of American Western in his boyhood, especially John Ford who honored in the film "Happened in the West" filming in Monument Valley. But Western Spaghetti freed itself from the influence of the American Western, which presented a romantic and epic west in which heroes were pure defenders of justice and damsels in distress, especially until the late 1940s, with a few exceptions. 

But the American western itself also changed and the hero of the genre began to become more complex and, at times, anti-hero, and the western became an adult with directors such as Anthony Mann, Delmer Daves or Raoul Walsh, whose heroes went from being pure defenders of justice to becoming complex heroes with dark pasts and sometimes noble intentions. Of course, they almost always found redemption, but these complex heroes were undoubtedly precursors to the Western Spaghetti anti-hero. 

Characters like Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) in John Ford's "The Missing", Howard Kemp (James Stewart) in Anthony Mann's "Spurs of Steel or Glyn McLyntock (James Stewart) in Anthony Mann's "Hero's Journey" are just a few examples of this new, more adult hero from the American Western.

In addition to the films mentioned above, here are, in my opinion, some American westerns that influenced Western Spaghetti:

"Vera Cruz" (1954 / Robert Aldrich) 

Heroes are mercenaries whose sole purpose is to earn money and nothing else and where cynicism and violence abound. The antagonism between the southern hero and still with values, Gary Cooper, and the unscrupulous anti-hero, Burt Lancaster, is curious.

“The Magnificent 7” (1960 / John Sturges)

This film has a wide influence on western Spaghetti from violence to the argument that influenced some European westerns such as "Today We Kill, Tomorrow We Die" with Montgomery Ford, "The Five Man Army" with Peter Graves and Bud Spencer or "A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die" with James Coburn and Bud Spencer. Coincidentally, two sequels, "The Return of the Magnificent Seven" and "Guns of the Magnificent 7" were filmed in Spain.

“The Man of the West” (1958 / Anthony Mann)

Especially violence and a hero with a dark past who has already achieved redemption and who has to go back to the past to win the future. The duel in the abandoned city is a treat and often seen in western spaghetti.

“Pursued” (1947 / Raoul Walsh)

Considered by many to be the first “adult” western, in my opinion it is 'Stagecoach"by John Ford, and also the first western noir, it became known among lovers of western spaghetti for having a mystery similar to that of "The Brute and the Beast" by Lucio Fulci with Franco Nero and George Hilton, and by close up of the faces donates actors to show emotional intensity as in Leone's films and Robert Hossein's "Cemetery Without Crosses.

There are other films and other American directors with influence on Western Spaghetti, perhaps only in one scene, but few like the ones mentioned in this short text, but I believe that no film will have influenced Leone, Corbucci, Sollima or Baldi more, such as 'Vera Cruz" and "The Magnficent 7". Everything is there, the scenario, the dubious characters, the action, the cynicism and the violence.

Who Are Those Guys? ~ Franco Collace

Nothing is known, that I can find in books or on-line about Franco Collace. His appearance as Napolean Miranda in “Duck You Sucker” is his only credited film appearance according to the IMDb.

COLLACE, Franco [Italian] – film actor.
Duck You Sucker – 1971 (Napolean Miranda)

Special Birthdays

Evelyne Scott (actress) is 80 today. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

"Juan, take me to heaven."

April 12, 2020

[Burt Lancaster and Juan Fernández. 'Valdez is Coming' (1971)]

A photo like this, sent by his son for our tribute project to the Almerian figures , could not be that of a normal and ordinary extra. Behind a photo with a great actor like Burt Lancaster, there had to be a story and, most likely, it should not be a professional resume but rather a question of friends. And so it is.

This occasional helper is none other than Juan Fernández Muñoz, a member of one of the most recognizable families in the film history of Almería, present from the beginning (his father, Diego, was one of the pioneers) and to this day, with four generations already in the profession of cinema.

In parallel to the evolution of this family, you can tell, almost without leaving anything out, the entire history of the cinema shot in Almería.

But today we will only focus on this privileged "helper".

Juan Fernández worked as a driver from a very young age. His expertise, also crucial later with filmmakers, allowed him to continually rub shoulders with engineers and senior officials, civilians and military. During his military service in Almería he already helped his father a few times but it was when he finished the military that he definitively dedicated himself fully to the cinema.

[Western extras, its fleet of cars in Mónsul and workers in 'Patton' (1970)]

Without knowing other languages, he knew how to cope very well among the 'film makers' that were beginning to come to our land, first only as a driver and later as a 'location finder', thanks to his great knowledge of the entire province. His great asset was always that he drove very well (Alfredo Landa once told him: "going with you as a driver is like riding on the wings of an angel) and that is why he was one the greatest drivers for: Sergio Leone, Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Claudia Cardinale, Raquel Welch, Catherine Deneuve, Tonino Valerii, Gil Parrondo, David Carradine ... the list would be endless. 

[With Bud Spencer in 'Massacre at Fort Homan' (Tonino Valerii, 1972)]

Since he started in the world of cinema, in 'Lawrence of Arabia' (David Lean, 1962), until his last work, in the TV series 'Queen of Swords' (2000), it was almost forty years and an endless list of titles, in which he played various facets as driver, locator, production assistant and transportation manager.

With a cassette that he carried in the car and talking to people, he learned to teach himself English, he spoke Italian and, fundamentally, made himself loved by the artists he worked with. From there came these cameos, from friendship and a good atmosphere.

[In 'Face to face', 'A Taste for Killing' and 'Valdez is Coming']

Very special was his relationship with the Italian director Sergio Leone, known for his perfectionism and his demand on his entire team. When the tension of the filming made him nervous, sometimes giving rise to that particular gesture of opening and closing his hands - which was nicknamed 'the castanets'-, Sergio Leone said to his driver: "Juan, get me up to heaven" And that meant taking him to one of those high places in the Tabernas desert that the Roman filmmaker loved so much. A few moments in the area of ​​La Sartenilla served as a balm to calm the nerves. That phrase, known to most fans, shows the relationship of professionalism and trust that always marked the work of Juan Fernández with some of the greats in the history of cinema. 

His relationship with Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach was also close, especially in Covarrubias (Burgos), a place where Juan Fernández traveled with his young pregnant wife to work on the shooting of 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' in the area of Arlanza. During the summer of 1966 they shared family walks in the afternoons and free moments when not filming. Precisely, in an emblematic place in that region, the Sad Hill Cemetery, this simple memory of himself and that experience has been appearing for a few months.


Special Bithdays

Josef Sieber (actor) would have been 120 today, he died in 1962.

Kurt Müller-Wendolin (actor) would have been 95 today, he died in 2015.
Gerry Crampton (stuntman, actor) would have been 90 today, he died in 2009.

Richard Sarafian (director) would have been 90 today, he died in 2013.

Mario Arias (actor) is 55 today.

Monday, April 27, 2020

RIP Otto Mellies

Theater, film, radio, TV actor and voice dubber Otto Mellies died on Monday April 27, 2020. He was 89. Born in Schlawe in Pomerania on January 19, 1931. His mother, older sister and their children died shortly before the end of the war. His father was still a soldier at that time. His brother Eberhard, who later also worked as an actor, was drafted in the war, so that Mellies was on his own when he was 14 and worked as a groom for Russian soldiers. After attending school interrupted by the turmoil of the Second World War, Mellies applied to the Schwerin Theater at the age of 16 and received from the well-known actress. In 1956 the director Wolfgang Langhoff brought him to the German Theater in Berlin, where he had been a member of the ensemble for 50 years. His leading role was Nathan in Lessing's “Nathan the Wise” – he played this role a total of 325 times and wrote stage history with it. . “For me, theater was the mother of art. I did everything else, film, television, radio, on the side. But I enjoyed everything.” He was known to German Spaghetti Western fans as the German voice of Alberto Farnese in the 1985 western “White Apache” starring Sebastian Harrison.

European Western Comic Books ~ Albo Gigante Prateria

Albo Gigante Prateria was a comic book based about several super heroes published as a single non-periodical number, but at least 18 issues come out. The books do not carry any cover dates and present recycled adventures already published in the Wonderful Adventures series of the
comic book publisher, the ALBI CONDOR by the Cecchini publisher and the ALBI GRANDVENT AVVENTURE of the Ariete Editions. Among the characters are CAPITAN WEST and DIK SAETTA by Gianmark and Gino Cossio, KIMMI by Rory Arnold (Arnaldo Rosin), ROGER FALCO by Enzo Carretti, SILVANA (from JUMBO COMICS by De Leo), GORDON SCHOTT by Annibale Casabianca, RICK CHEYENNE by Pini Segna, CORRAL KID. Also adventures of THE LONE RANGER and reprints of various materials designed by Pini Segna, Annibale Casabianca and Leone Cimpellin. Similar material is also found in the similar ALBO TEXAS. The covers are by Gino Cossio and R. Capredoni. From #14 there are covers from previous issues. A selection of this edition, with identical covers but with fewer pages, was published for the envelope circuit under the generic wording of COSMO NECKLACE SUPPLEMENT.

The first issue was published in 1963 and ended with #18 in 1964. It was published by DNP National Distribution Periodicals in Milan, Italy. Each issue contained 96 black and white pages with colored covers.

01 (00.00.63) - “Ombre rosse" (Red Shadows)
02 (00.00.00) - “L'ultima sfida" (The Last Challenge)
03 (00.00.00) - “La notte maledetta” (The Cursed Night)
04 (00.00.00) - “Sentiero di guerra” (Path of War)
05 (00.00.00) - “Apaches” (Apaches)
06 (00.00.00) - “Capitan West” (Captain West)
07 (00.00.00) - "Tomahawk” (Tomahawk)
08 (00.00.00) - "Gli ultimi eroi" (The Last Heroes)
09 (00.00.00) - “Il covo dei banditi” (The Den of Bandits)
10 (00.00.00) - “La morte attende” (Death Awaits)
11 (00.00.00) - "Jesse James" (Jesse James)
12 (00.00.00) - “La spia del forte” (The Spy of the Fort)
13 (00.00.00) - “Sangue nella polvere...” (Blood in the Dust)
14 (00.00.00) - “Fiamme all’Ovest” (Flames of the West)
15 (00.00.00) - “La vendetta degli Cheyennes” (Revenge of the Cheyenne)
16 (00.00.00) - “Il pistolero di Oklahoma” (The Oklahoma Gunslinger)
17 (00.00.00) - “I ribelli del Texas” (The Texas Rebels)
18 (00.00.64) - “Sud carica!!!” (Charge of the South!)

Special Birthdays

W.R. Thompkins (actor, stuntman) would have been 95 today, he died in 1971.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Star Cine Aventures!

Star cine aventures was a fotomagzine devoted to American and Spaghetti westerns authored and published by Fraco Bozzesi in Rome, Italy from 1957-1974. It was released in Italy in Italian and France in French. It was a bi-monthly periodical where each issue told showed a film in a photo novel form. Each issue contained approximately 50 pages (some bonus issues contained 100 pages) and was 19x26cm in size with black and white photo pages and color covers. 

In 1961 the Star cine aventures collection was broadened with two sister publications Star cine bravura and Star cine vaillance. Both were devoted to both war and adventure films such as sword and sandal, caped warriors, pirates and chivalrous heroes. They were published twice a month until 1966 then became a monthly production. In 1968 the company was passed on to Edistar directed by EM Cavaglia and distributed in France by Cine-Periodigues. The stories then became almost exclusively devoted to Spaghetti Westerns. In 1968 two new magazines were added Star Cine Colt and Star Cine Winchester. Of the three periodicals this was the first to end while the other two concentrated on Spaghetti westerns. The back covers usually showed a cinema starlet in a bathing suit or other provocative pose.

In 1972, Cine Periodigues became independent from the Italian publisher and became exclusively French directed by Louis Duchesne, and continued to publish Spaghetti westerns. The magazine folded in 1973 but left an indelible mark.

Star cine vaillance appeared every other Saturday and presented mainly westerns, costume and war films including three Robin Hood adventures. Of the three periodicals this was the first to end while the other two concentrated on Spaghetti westerns.

RIP Claudio Risi

Italian director, assistant director, writer, cameraman Claudio Risi died in Rome, Italy on April 26, 2020 from complications of a heart attack he has in February. The son of director Dino Risi and the older brother of producer, director Marco Risi he was involved more in television where he was twice awarded the Italian Telegatto equivalent to our Emmy for his direction of the TV series ‘The Boys of the 3rd C. Cludio was a cameraman on 1972’s “Life Is Tough, Eh Providence?” starring Tomas Milian and Gregg Hunter.

Spaghetti Western Locations for “Day of Anger”

We continue our search for filming locations for “Day of Anger”. Scott is drinking at the bar and Abel tells him that he was the first to recognize Scott’s potential and to excuse him for his actions. Scott orders him to bring him the broom. Nigel comes in and tells Scott to go to the stable. Scott tells Nigel to go first as pigs fo before.  Nigel tells him he needs a beating with a big stick. Scott says he used to have a big stick and as Able comes back with the broom, Scott demonstrates his ability with a pistol and shoots the handle into splinters. Then Murph walks in and tells Scott to come away and go with him. Scott tells them all to go to hell.

Filmed at the Cinecitta western set saloon in Rome, Italy.

For a more detailed view of this site and other Spaghetti Western locations please visit my friend Yoshi Yasuda’s location site: and Captain Douglas Film Locations

Special Birthdays

Conrad Petzold (director) would have been 90 today, he died in 1999

Maria Sebaldt (actress) is 80 today.

Winfried Glatzeder (actor) is 75 today.