Sunday, May 8, 2022

Tab Hunter in Italy

 Passion Cinema

By Angelo D’Ambra

May 2, 2022


He was discovered in Los Angeles, cleaning a barn, by Dick Clayton, a budding actor and agent (sometime later he would manage James Dean, Jane Fonda and Burt Reynolds). It is the incredible story of Tab Hunter, one of the great stars of the western.

Unforgettable his performance in "The Burning Hills" in 1956, Tab Hunter stood out in leading roles in several gunslingers films. We remember "Gunman’s Walk" of 1958 and "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean", another western masterpiece, of 1972.

We find him in “Gun Belt”, “Hostile Guns” and in “They Came to Cordura”, with other great Hollywood stars.

In 1968 he set foot in Italy to work on a film by director Roberto Mauri, “La vendetta è il mio perdono” (Shotgun). It was the heyday of spaghetti westerns and Tab Hunter followed in the footsteps left by other American actors and flew to Rome. He took on the role of a ruthless ex-sheriff named Durango who puts his gun back on to avenge the killing of his woman. Voiced by Giancarlo Maestri, with Italian actors Erika Blanc, Piero Lulli, Mimmo Palmara, Dada Gallotti, Daniele Vargas and Renato Romano, he gave life to a dirty and raw western that left some scenes well etched in the memory of fans, a true shooter that satisfied the audience, minus the critics, but everyone applauded Hunter's interpretation, fully immersed in the canons of spaghetti.

His gunslinger is a prince of revenge, nihilistic, relentless and uncompromising, merciless, ready to silence any other emotion to achieve his goal, to kill. It was his only participation in an Italian western and it is worth enjoying.

1 comment:

  1. Tab Hunter was actually fired shortly after filming "Shotgun" in 1968 because he demanded more money in his salary and that he also wanted to change some of the scenes in the film. There's a scene in the film where instead of slapping a woman, which was what the original script called for, Tab Hunter's character, Durango, shoots and kills her with a shotgun. He was NOT supposed to do this. There was also another scene, which is found in the movie's trailer, where he tortures Mimmo Palmara's character. That also wasn't supposed to happen. Because of this, Hunter was fired after the film was completed and he never made another Western in Europe ever again. He had a five-picture deal with a Spanish film company to make three Westerns and two war films but lost it after "Shotgun" because of his constant demands for a better salary and constant changes to the film's script. He was up for the parts of Sam Cooper in "The Ruthless Four", "Black Jack" Murphy in "Black Jack", and Paco Roman in "The Mercenary" but was not hired due to his behavior on the set of "Shotgun". When the other directors found out about what he did during THAT film, they wouldn't hire him. Tab Hunter was forced to go back to the United States where he mostly appeared on television. He never forgave Europe for their harsh mistreatment of his career and died in 2018 I believe at the age of 86.