Saturday, February 26, 2022

The western in the province of Granada (1961-1984) (I) part 6

 It is not clear whether as a result of chance, or because it was the fashion trend at that time within the subgenre, the next three Italian westerns to roll in the province based their arguments on two classics of universal literature. “John, the bastard” (“John il Bastardo”, Armando Crispino, 1967) proposes in his narration a similar -although unsuccessful- hodgepodge of disparate elements, which includes both Mormon pioneers in the West and the Spanish myth of Don Juan, created by Tirso de Molina and popularized by José Zorrilla, the latter with his personal vision of the character of Don Juan Tenorio. On the section of track that connects Guadix with Hernán-Valle, the robbery of a train perpetrated by hooded men on horseback whose appearance is not far from that of the fanatical members of the Ku-Klux-Klan is filmed.

[A moment during” John, the Bastard” in the old railway section that linked Guadix with Hernán-Valle.]

Another very Hispanic myth is that of Carmen, well reflected in the popular opera by Georges Bizet and in the immortal novel by Prosper Mérimée. In his first foray into the western, “A Man, His Pride a Vengeance” (“L'uomo, l'orgoglio, la vendetta”, 1968), the always interesting director Luigi Bazzoni creates, as in his atypical giallos, a very staff that has little in common with the spaghetti guidelines of the moment. Having a screenwriter like Suso Cecchi d'Amico, a regular in Luchino Visconti's films, surely influenced the final finish of this original film with a strong Andalusian accent, with the usual locations of Tabernas along with other more unusual ones in Seville or the town of Ronda (Málaga); which is precisely why many specialists do not consider it exactly as a Western film since its action is located in European territory, even though the intention of its authors was clearly to sell it as a spaghetti western. In the province of Granada, they opt for the typical cave houses of Guadix and the adjoining town of Purullena, both being confused due to their identical orography. In a cave in Purullena, the convalescence of its protagonist, Franco Nero, due to a stab wound, takes place under the attentive care of the unpredictable Carmen played by Tina Aumont.

[The badlands of Purullena in “A Man, His Pride a Vengeance.]

[Another scene from “A Man, His Pride a Vengeance” in the Guadix cave area. At the bottom of the frame, the towers of the cathedral (left) and the citadel or Arab castle (right) of this city can be clearly distinguished.]

Enzo G. Castellari returns to the province just one year after Voy, I kill him and I return and also shoots only in the caves of Guadix. In this case, he chooses a new area of the same not yet shown in other films, more arid and depopulated, which fits like a glove to the dark atmosphere of his vindictive film “Johnny Hamlet” (“Quella sporca storia nel west”, 1968), also known as “The Dirty Story of the West”, as its plot is slightly inspired by the style of the works of William Shakespeare.

[Location of “Johnny Hamlet” in the area of caves of Camino de Lugros, in the city of Guadix.]

[Another moment of “Johnny Hamlet” in the same area.]




No comments:

Post a Comment