Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Voices of the Spaghetti Western ~ “Bad Man’s River”

 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 “Bad Man’s River”

[(I) Italian, (S) Spanish, (G) German, (F) French, (E) English]

Roy King – Lee Van Cleef (I) Giuseppe Rinaldi (S) José María Cordero, (G) Holger Hagen, (F) Georges Atlas

Francisco Paco Montero – James Mason (I) Sergio Grazziani (S) Felix Acaso, (G) Paul Klinger, (F) William Sabatier

Alicia – Gina Lollobrigida (I) Gina Lollobrigida, (S) Maria Romero, (G) Marion Deggler, (F) ?

Ed Pace – Gianni Garko (I) Cesare Barbetti, (S) José Martínez Blanco, (G) Berno von Cramm, (F) ?

Angel Santos – Simon Andreu (I) Angelo Nicotra, (S) Jesús Nieto, (G) Ivar Combrinck, (F) ?

Dolores – Diana Lorys (I) Vittoria Febbi, (S) Diana Lorys, (G) Viktoria Brams, (F) ?









JOSE MARIA CORDERO  (1922 – 1994)

He started dubbing c. 1951 and went on until as late as 1993, this possibly being his year of death. Such obscurity is disconcerting in a forty-year-plus career spent dubbing leads, which includes Alberto Sordi, Victor Mature and Telly Savalas. Moreover, he dubbed Orson Welles, no less, in the standard Spanish-language version of CITIZEN KANE created at Arcofón and the presence of Welles himself at some sessions (He also dubbed Welles in the version of Bert Gordon’s WITCHCRAFT that played in Spain). So much distinction but I have found no information on the human being from whom that slightly ironical bass sound emanated. At a dinner I recently had with a dubbing buff I had previously known online, we chatted, of course, about Spanish dubbing and he told me that Cordero (or so he was told by another Spanish dubbing aficionado) was a bachelor who lived alone with his dog. Anyway, since Cordero was an Arcofón regular, it is inevitable that he should have boomed some in a few Jess Franco movies. They are listed above. Additionally, he was the Spanish voice of Joseph Cotton in BARON BLOOD, the police inspector in GRAVEYARD OF HORROR. He also did Lee Van Cleef in THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY, BAD MAN’S RIVER and the second of two dubs of THE GRAND DUEL. The first had starred José Martínez Blanco, whose voice (although that of a baritone rather than a bass) is often confused with Cordero’s. One source, in fact, indicates that Cordero dubbed Howard Vernon, whereas in reality it was Martínez Blanco. What I find disconcerting is that Arcofón should have so often used these two men playing different characters in the same scene.


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