Thursday, October 27, 2022

50th Anniversary of “Massacre at Fort Holman”


Today marks the 50th anniversary of “Massacre at Fort Holman” directed by Tonino Valerii and starring Telly Savalas, James Coburn and Bud Spencer. It tells the tale of  former Union Colonel Pembroke (Coburn), the former commander of Fort Holman, was expelled from the army because it was felt he was guilty of surrendering the fort without a fight to the Confederate forces. In fact he had surrendered their weapons only because the enemy was holding his son hostage. Having escaped from the camp where he was interned, he ends up, wrongly accused of theft, in the hands of a former colleague Major Charles Ballard (José Suárez using the alias Joseph Mitchell) who condemns him to death. In telling the truth, Pembroke convinces Ballard to give him a chance at redemption by allowing him to recapture Fort Holman. He is then assigned ten men, already condemned to be hanged for various crimes. Hinting at the possibility of granting them a pardon, Pembroke convinces the condemned men to follow him, and with their help gains entrance into the fort - manned by hundreds of soldiers and by an elaborate alarm system - destroying and killing the entire garrison along with Major Ward (Savalas). After the battle, only Pembroke and Eli Sampson (Spencer) are still alive.


Una ragione per vivere e una per morire – Italian title

Una razón para vivir y una para morir – Spanish title

Une raison pour vivre, une raison pour morir – French title

La horde des salopards – French title

Der Dicke und das Warzenschwein – German title

Sie verkaufen den Tod – German title

Uma razao para viver, uma razao para morrer – Argentinian title

Trinity... Os Sete Magníficos – Brazilian title

De hårde halses hævn – Danish title

Djävulens drängar – Finnish title

Fort Holmanin verilöyly – Finnish title

Kuoleman peli – Finnish title

Paholaisen palkkalaiset – Finnish title

Itan iroes kai tous elegan katharmata – Greek title

O Bouldozas, o Falakros kai o Kitriniaris – Greek title

Ohyro Holman – Greek title

Élet vagy halál – Hungarian title

Prawo do zycia, prawo do smierci – Polish title

Uma Razão para Viver, Outra para Morrer – Portuguese title

De Hängdas revansch – Swedish title

Uppskov med doden – Swedish title

Yasamak icin bir neden, olmek icin bir neden – Turkish title

9 Hizli Adam – Turkish title

Razlog za ziveti in umreti – Yugoslavian title

A Reason to Live, A Reason to Die – English title

Massacre at Fort Holman – U.S.A. title


A 1972 Italian, Spanish, French, German film co-production [Sancrosiap (Rome),

     Atlántida Films S.A. (Madrid), Europrodis (Paris), Corona Filmproduktion (Munich)]

Producer: Arthur Steloff

Director: Tonino Valerii

Story: Howard Sandford

Screenplay: Rafael Azcona, Ernesto Gastaldi, Tonino Valerii

Cinematography: Alexander Besch (Alejandro Ulloa) [Technicolor]

Music: Riz Ortolani

Running time: 112 minutes



Colonel Pembroke – James Coburn (James Coburn III)

Major Ward – Telly Savalas (Aristotle Savalas)

Eli Sampson – Bud Spencer (Carlo Pedersoli)

Fred/Ed Wendel – William Spofford (Ugo Fangareggi)

Donald MacIvers – Robert Burton (Guy Mairesse)

Apache/Jeremy – Joseph P. Persaud (Turam Quibo)

Will Caulder/Fernandez – Guy Ranson (Adolfo Lastretti)

Sergeant Brent – Rene Kolldehoff (Reinhard Kelldehoff)

Sergeant Spike – Allan Leroy (Georges Géret)

Confederate soldier - Juan Fernandez (Juan Muñoz) , Alejandro de Encisco, Angelo


Ft. Holman guard - Juan Fernández Muñoz

Major Charles Ballard – Joseph Mitchell (José Suárez)

Scully – Ángel Álvarez (Angel Fernández)

Ward’s assistant – Fabrizio Moresco

Corporal – Joe Pollini (Giuseppe Pollini)

Private Samuel Pickett – Benito Stefanelli

April – Sharin Sher (Conchita Rabal)

Farmer – Francisco Sanz

Roger/Johnny – Mario Pardo (Mario Rodríguez)

With: Christopher Hill, Bill Norden, David Getzson, Crain Neal, Carson Drew, David Landau, Arthur Dean, Rudolf G. Boevini, Carla Mancini, Rudolf Gaeval

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