Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors ~ Jackie Bezard

[These daily posts will cover little known actors or people that have appeared in more recent films and TV series. Various degrees of information that I was able to find will be given and anything that you can add would be appreciated.]

Jacques Gaston Bézard was born in Nancy, Meurthe-et- Moselle, France on July 9, 1930. He was a French producer and film actor who appeared in over 30 films starting with “A Woman of Evil” in 1954. His last film appearance was in “Général... nous voilà!” (1978). His most remembered film was probably his role in “Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill” (1966) in the role of Captain Olson. As Jackie Bézard, he appeared in only one Euro-western: “Black Eagle of Santa Fe” as Pasqual in 1964.

Jackie died on April 10, 2004, in Sallanches, Haute-Savoie, France.

BEZARD, Jacky (aka Jacques Bésard, Jackie Bezard, Jakie Bezard) (Jacques Gaston Bézard) [7/9/1930, Nancy, Meurthe-et- Moselle, France – 4/10/2004, Sallanches, Haute-Savoie, France] – producer, film actor.

Black Eagle of Santa Fe - 1965 (Pasquale)

Who Are Those Guys ~ Alberto de Mendoza


Alberto Manuel Rodriguez Gallego Gonzáles de Mendoza was born on January 21, 1923, in Belgrano, Buenos Aires, Argentina. When his Spanish parents left him an orphan at age 5, little Alberto "was sent to live" in Madrid with his grandmother. There he fell in love with acting at the Arguelles Cinema and in the theater, particularly when sneaking in to see the operettas known as "zarzuelas" at the Teatro Lara. He became one of the heartthrobs of Spanish movies and the leading man in close to 200 films co-starring with such actresses as Carmen Sevilla and Sara Montiel. He starred in such films as "Filomena Marturano" (1950), "Zorrita Martinez", "Una Abuelita de antes de la Guerra" (both 1975), and “Tapas” (2005). Among his films were three Euro-westerns: “A Bullet for Sandoval” in the role of Lucky Boy, “The Forgotten Pistolero” as Thomas and “When Satan Grips the Colt” as Latimore. All were made in 1969. Member No. 136 of AISGE - an organization that in 2009 awarded him its Actua Prize for his lifetime career and in his final role in 2010 in Buenos Aires he made another big hit as the macho grandpa in "La Mala Verdad" (The Evil Truth), a Miguel Angel Roca film that at the last Malaga Festival in southern Spain won him the prize as Best Ibero-American Actor. Alberto died on December 12, 2011, in Madrid, Spain of respiratory failure at the age of 88.

de MENDOZA, Alberto (Alberto Manuel Rodriguez Gallego Gonzáles de Mendoza) [1/21/1923, Buenos Aires, Argentina – 12/12/2011, Madrid, Madrid, Spain (respiratory failure)] – theater, film, TV actor, married to Mabel Taboas (1942-1947) stepfather of journalist Daniel Mendoza (Daniel Carlos Ruiz) [1943-1992], father of publicist Fabián de Mendoza, psychologist Belén de Mendoza, step-grandfather of journalist, actress Mercedes ‘Mumi’ Mendoza [1984-    ].

A Bullet for Sandoval - 1969 (Lucky Boy)

The Forgotten Pistolero - 1969 (Thomas/Tomás)

When Satan Grips the Colt – 1969 (Latimore)

Special Birthdays

Walter Coy (actor) would have been 115 today but died in 1974.

Phil Posner (actor) would have been 95 today but died in 2015.

James Franciscus (actor) would have been 90 today but died in 1991.

Véra Valmont (actress) is 90 today.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors ~ J. Beyrer

[These daily posts will cover little known actors or people that have appeared in more recent films and TV series. Various degrees of information that I was able to find will be given and anything that you can add would be appreciated.]

J. Beyrer was a silent film actor who according to everything I can find appeared in only one film and that was a Euro-western entitled “Die Eisenbahnräuber” (The Train Robbers) filmed in 1920 and was directed and starred Fred Stranz as ‘Texas Fred’.

BEYRER, J. – film actor.

The Train Robbers - 1920

New book and documentary release On l'appelle Terrence Hill


On l'appelle Terrence Hill

(They Call Him Terence Hill)


Authors: Alexandre Alfonsi, Jean-Marie Lambert


Country: France

Publisher: Carlenco éditions

Language: French

Pages: 200

ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 2958908607

ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-2958908607

Available: October 28, 2023

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the cult film My Name is Nobody, journalist Alexandre Alfonsi and artistic director Jean-Marie Lambert wanted to pay tribute to an actor who rocked their childhood, Terence Hill.

​This project for a beautiful book, unpublished, will take another turn when this hero, with his timeless popularity, agrees to dedicate an exclusive interview to them and share them with unpublished photos.

​The two authors then discover an 84-year-old man who still has the aura of a great actor and beautiful projects, such as the filming of his next Trinita in 2024. In addition to the fascinating confidences and anecdotes, the book is richly illustrated with more than 200 photos, from the first feature films shot by the actor (Vacanze col gangster, Anna de Brooklyn...) to the series Don Matteo, which broke all audience records in Italy, via The Leopard alongside Alain Delon, the cult film My Name is Nobody, the remake of Don Camillo and the adaptation of Lucky Luke... not to mention the inevitable westerns and other action comedies with his movie brother, Bud Spencer (We call him Trinita, Watch out we're going to get angry!, Ass and Shirt, etc.).

​But Terence Hill's filmography could have been even more impressive if he hadn't turned down many Hollywood blockbusters – deemed too violent in his opinion – such as John Guillermin's King Kong or Ted Kotcheff's Rambo. "I've sometimes wondered if I was making a mistake in turning down these films, but I'm glad I turned them down," says Hill. I really wanted to be an actor, but the way I wanted to. »

​Thanks to this book, finally discover the man behind the legend.


They Call Him Terence Hill – French title


A 2022 documentary film production [


Director: Christopher Jones, Marie-Dominique Montel

Story: Marie-Dominique Montel

Photography: Christophe Boyer, Luca de Marinis, Blake Jones [color]

Music: Simon Dalmais, Franco Micalizzi

Running time: 52 minutes


Story: A documentary about the films and career of Terence Hill.



Laurent Aknin, Marco Barboni, John Baxter, Gianni Bozzacchi, Roberto Girometti, Franco Micalizzi, Mario Ruggeri

From the joyful nonchalance of Trinita to the spiritual generosity of Don Matteo, crossing the years with his radiant smile and his azure blue eyes, alone or with his friend Bud Spencer, Terence Hill embodied like no other, in a natural but also resolute way, the solar hero par excellence: the one who illuminates people's daily lives and radiates their positive energy... On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of My Name is Nobody, this work is a vibrant tribute to this actor with timeless and universal popularity.

Voices of the Spaghetti Western – “The Ugly Ones”

 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 be 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 “The Ugly Ones”

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

Luke Chilson – Richard Wyler (I) Giuseppe Rinaldi, S) Felix Acaso, (G) Rolf Schult, (F) Jean-Claude Michel

José Gómez – Tomas Milian (I) Massimo Turci, (S) Juan Logar, (G) Thomas Danneberg, (F) Pierre Trabaud

Eden - Halina Zalewska (I) Fiorella Betti, (S) Mercedes Mireya, (G) Grit Böttcher, (F) ?

Novak - Enzo Fiermonte (I) Massimo Foschi, (S) Pedro Sempson, (G) Paul Esser, (F) ?

Miguel – Mario Brega (I) Carlo Romano, (S) Joaquin Vidriales, (G) Reinhard Kolldehoff, (F) ?

Marty Hefner – Manuel Zarzo (I) Cesare Barbetti (S) Jesus Nieto, (G) Christian Brückner, (F) Pierre Fromont


Rolf Schult  (1927 – 2013)

Rolf Schult was born on April 16, 1927, in Berlin, Germany. Schult was an actor and one of the biggest and busiest of the German dubbing voices. Schult completed his training at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media. After his theatre debut there, engagements took him to Bochum, Cologne and the Schiller Theatre in Berlin. In 1970, Schult was appointed Berlin State Actor. In addition to his stage work, there were only a few appearances in film and television.

Schult became known for his distinctive voice. Beginning in 1965 he was active in dubbing and the German standard voice of Robert Redford, Anthony Hopkins, Donald Sutherland and Patrick Stewart; He dubbed the latter primarily as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in ‘Star Trek: The Next Century’, but was later replaced by Ernst Meincke from the middle of the fourth season. Schult continued to voice Stewart as Picard in the Star Trek movies. In addition, he also dubbed Marlon Brando, Yul Brynner, Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Peter Sellers. He is also best known as the narrator in “Dance of the Vampires”; in the original version, Ferdy Mayne voices the narrator and plays the role of Count Krolock. In addition, he has also worked as a narrator for audio books, commercials, radio plays and television reports. He was also featured in the music project E Nomine.

After Schult dubbed the trailer for “Lions for Lambs” in 2007, an American supervisor found the voice too deep for Redford, so he was dubbed by Kaspar Eichel. Schult can still be heard in the first trailer as a dubbing voice for Redford.

His son Christian [1954- ], whose voice is very similar to his father's, is also active as a speaker. Schult's cousin was actor and voice actor Peer Augustinski [1940-2014]. Schult last lived in Horhausen in the Westerwald, where he died on March 13, 2013, at the age of 85.

Special Birthdays

 Roberto E. Guzman (actor) would have been 125 today but died in 1930.

Andrés Mejuto (actor) would have been 115 today but died in 1991.

John Ireland (actor) would have been 110 today but died in 1992.

Monday, January 29, 2024

RIP Sandra Milo


RIP Sandra Milo One of Italy’s most popular film and television actresses Sandra Milo died in Rome on January 29th at the age of 90. She was born Salvatrice Elena Greco in Tunis on March 11, 1933. Sandra made her film debut at age 20 in 1955 co-starring alongside Alberto Sordi in “Lo scapolo”. For the next full decade, she unleashed her fiery figure on a number of tempted male players in scores of saucy comedies, feisty costumers and steamy melodramas. Such films included “Nero's Mistress” (1956), “The Mirror Has Two Faces” (1958), “Toto in the Moon” (1958), “General Della Rovere” (1959), and the period comedy romp “The Green Mare” (1959) starring the great French actor Bourvil. Milo appeared to fine advantage in two of Fellini's greatest masterpieces “8½” (1963) and “Juliet of the Spirits” (1965). Leaving films in 1968, Sandra was little seen on camera and did not return to the big screen until over a decade later, now sporadically appearing as severe-looking blondes. Milo was married twice and had three children. She appeared in two Spaghetti westerns: as Gwenda Skaggel in 1967’s “Bang Bang Kid” with Guy Madison and Tom Bosley and as Liz in 1968’s “Dead for a Dollar” starring George Hilton and John Ireland.

Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors ~ Christoph Beyertt

[These daily posts will cover little known actors or people that have appeared in more recent films and TV series. Various degrees of information that I was able to find will be given and anything that you can add would be appreciated.]

Christoph Beyertt was born in Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germanyon July 19, 1922. In the early 1940s, Beyertt trained as an actor at the Potsdam Film Academy under Wolfgang Liebeneiner and at the Bochum Theatre School under Saladin Schmitt. In addition to engagements at the Landestheater Potsdam and the Volksbühne Brandenburg, he also played in Senftenberg and at the Deutsches Theater Berlin. Apart from his artistic work as an actor, Beyertt was mainly active in radio, worked at the Central German and Berlin Broadcasting Corporations, as well as briefly as a lecturer for acting at the University of Film and Television Potsdam.

He made his film debut in 1954 as a young worker in Slatan Dudow's “Stärker als die Nacht” (Stronger Than the Night) and was subsequently cast in other film and television productions of the DEFA and the German Television (DFF). He played in about 70 productions, such as Jaly in the German-French co-production “Die Elenden” (Les Misérables), until he moved to West Berlin in 1979 and worked increasingly for radio and television series dubbing.

Christoph Bayertt died in Berlin on October 14, 2021, at that of 99.

His only Euro-western appearance was as the mayor in Dean Reed’s starring Yukon adventure “Kit & Co” made in 1974.

BEYERTT, Christoph (aka Christoph Bayertt, Christoph Beyert) [7/19/1922, Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany – 10/14/2021, Berlin, Berlin, Germany] – theater, film, TV actor.

Kit & Co. – 1974 (mayor)

Spaghetti Western Locations Then and Now – “The Good, the Bad & the Ugly”

 The opening scene in 1966’s “The Good, the Bad & the Ugly” shows a small townsite built by architect Carlo Simi just for this film. It was torn down and never used in another film although the exact location was seen in the ending of “Sabata” where William Berger tries to collect his share of the money blowing in the wind. The exact location in La Sartenilla, Tabernas, Almería, Spain and difficult to locate unless one knows exactly where to look.

Here is the same location as seen in 2013. You can still find remnants of the hitching posts and rusted sardine and other cans at the site.

European Western Comics - Avventura Gigante


Giant Adventures

This comic book series featured various characters, mostly from the English Fleetway Publications which were partially previously presented in past publications by the Publish House such as Davy Crockett, Jim Canada, Buck Jones, Kit Carson, Jim Bridger, Mustang Gray, and Kendall by Arturo Del Castillo and Slim Carbine by Onofrio Bramante.

The series was published in 1967 with issue #1 coming out in September and it ended with issue #26 in March of 1976. It was published in Milan, Italy by Casa Editrice Dardo (CED) under the direction of Franco Baglioni. Each issue contained 17 to 24 black and white pages with color covers.


01 (00.09.67) - "L'indiano bianco" (The White Indian)

02 (00.12.67) - "Gli inviati del cielo" (The Messengers of Heaven)

03 (00.03.68) - "La pista pericolosa" (The Dangerous Track)

04 (00.06.68) - "Il mistero del Pony Express" (The Mystery of the Pony Express)

05 (00.09.68) - "La città senza legge" (The Lawless City)

06 (00.12.68) - "L'uomo che odiava i pellirosse" (The Man Who Hated Redskins)

07 (00.03.69) - "La diligenza fantasma" (The Phantom Stagecoach)

08 (00.06.69) - "L'oro degli Apaches" (Gold of the Apaches)

09 (00.09.69) - "Il tesoro degli uomini rossi" (The Redman’s Treasure)

10 (00.12.69) - "I cacciatori di bisonti" (The Buffalo Hunters)

11 (00.03.70) - "Il tiranno di Forte Joseph" (The Tyrant of Fort Joseph)

12 (00.06.70) - "Lo scout intrepido" (The Intrepid Scout)

13 (00.09.70) - "Il generale del diavolo" (The Devil’s General)

14 (00.12.70) - "La voce della montagna" (The Voice of the Mountain)

15 (00.03.71) - "Denaro pericoloso" (Dangerous Money)

16 (00.06.71) - "Fiamme sul Missouri" (Flames on the Missouri)

17 (00.09.71) - "Il canyon dei mostri" (The Canyon of Monsters)

18 (00.12.71) - "I giganti del vulcano" (The Giants of the Volcano)

19 (00.03.72) - "La mano della vendetta" (The Hand of Vengeance)

20 (00.06.72) - "La foresta del terrore" (The Forest of Terror)

21 (00.09.72) - "Il regno del mistero" (The Mysterious Kingdom)

22 (00.12.72) - "Terra senza legge" (Lawless Land)

23 (00.03.73) - "I vendicatori" (The Avengers)

24 (00.07.73) - "Cancellare il passato" (Erasing the Past)

25 (00.01.74) - "Il giorno della vendetta" (The Day of Vengeance)

26 (00.07.74) - "Carabina Slim - La morte indiana" (Carbine Slim – Indian Death)

27 (00.01.75) - "L'isola degli scorpioni" (The Island of Scorpions)

28 (00.09.75) - "Carabina Slim - Ai confini del passato" (Carbine Slim – At the Edge of

                         the Past)

29 (00.03.76) - "Carabina Slim - Terrore a Forte Peck" (Carbine Slime – Terror at Fort


Special Birthdays

 Enrico Simonetti (composer) would have been 100 today but died in 1978.

Rosella Como (actress) would have been 85 today but died in 1986.

Chen Lee (actor) would have been 85 today but died in 2005.

Susana Giménez (actress) is 80 today.

Stefan Diestelmann (actor) would have been 75 today but died in 2007.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

From the WAI! vault


Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors ~ Kerstin Beyer

[These daily posts will cover little known actors or people that have appeared in more recent films and TV series. Various degrees of information that I was able to find will be given and anything that you can add would be appreciated.]

Kerstin Beyer was a German child actress. She appeared in only three films from 1978 to 1981. What became of her is unknown.

BEYER, Kerstin [German] – child film, TV actress.

Sing, Cowboy, Sing – 1980 (Susan)




Jean Dujardin has just shared a video from the filming of the event series "Zorro", expected for Christmas 2024, in which he will play the famous masked avenger.

An impressive image. It is on his Instagram account that Jean Dujardin shared a video from the filming of the event series "Zorro", in which he will play the famous character of Johnston McCulley. In it, the 51-year-old actor can be seen riding a horse as he gets him on his hind legs. "On Horseback 2024! Happy New Year to all," he said in a comment.

Expected on France 2 and Paramount+ for the Christmas period 2024, declined in eight episodes, the series "Zorro" will also be able to count on the presence in the cast of André Dussolier in the role of the father of Don Diego de la Vega, Audrey Dana will be his beloved, while Grégory Gadebois will play Bernardo. François Damiens will be given the role of the unmissable Sergeant Garcia. Eric Elmosnino and Salvatore Ficarra complete the cast.

It should be noted that a reboot of the series "Zorro" with actor Miguel Bernardeau (Elite) in the role of the masked avenger should also see the light of day in 2024, this time on Prime Video. Produced by Mediawan and divided into 10 episodes, this drama is presented as "an ambitious adaptation that aims to offer the audience a mix of action, adventure, and breathtaking moments".

Video link


[submitted by Michael Ferguson]

Spaghetti Western Locations for “Face to Face”

 We continue our search for locations for “Face to Face”. Beauregard sits in a chair on the sidewalk outside Taylor’s Saloon. Fletcher approaches Bennett and starts a conversation. He offers Bennett his help in case any shooting starts but Beauregard declines the offer saying Fletcher would just get in his way. Williams, who is watching Bennett, is told that Mr. Taylor is here to seehim,m and he’s invited into the office and he tells Williams he’s been made aware of the situation. Williams offers Taylor a chair in order to watch the proceedings. Taylor’s men approach Bennett and the sheriff surrenders his gun and star. Bennett pulls him forward as the henchmen shoot him in the back. The shooting becomes general. One of the henchmen tries to sneak up behind Bennett but Brad appears and shoots him down.

This scene was filmed at Golden City in Hoyo de Manzanares, Spain.

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

Saturday, January 27, 2024

From the WAI! vault


Spaghetti Western Podcast Season 7, Episode 3, #124


Please join me at noon PST today for another episode of The Spaghetti Westerns Podcast. I’ll be covering “Two Sergeants of General Custer” starring Franco & Cicco in our on-going “History of the Spaghetti Western segment. Then I’ll tell you “Whatever Became of… Evelyn Stewart?” Followed by Ugo Fangareggi in “Who Are Those Guys? The Film of the week is “Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold”. The CD of the week will be “Two Sergeants of General Custer”. I’ll have an autograph of the week, a book and some Spaghetti western related items and finish things up with The News of the Week. So, I’ll see you around High Noon on You Tube.

Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors ~ Ignazio Bevilacqua

[These daily posts will cover little known actors or people that have appeared in more recent films and TV series. Various degrees of information that I was able to find will be given and anything that you can add would be appreciated.]

Ignazio Bevilacqua was an Italian who worked both in front of and behind the camera. He appeared in eight films as an actor and behind the camera as a sound man, boom operator and sound engineer in fourteen films.

Ignacio usually appeared in small character roles with no verbal lines. His career spanned from 1971 to 1987.

His only Spaghetti western role was as a poker player in the 1973 film “C'era una volta questo pazzo, pazzo, pazzo West” (Once Upon a Time in the Wild Wild West).

BEVILACQUA, Ignazio [Italian] – film actor.

Once Upon a Time in the Wild Wild West – 1973 (poker player)


 [Anthony Steffen authentic western hero all'italiana: the hero of 27films]

The Italian answer to Quentin Tarantino's film "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood", a sincere act of love for the beloved Italian B-movies, is a 531-page prequel novel set in the Roman dolce vita.

It was written by the director and screenwriter Manuel de Teffé, to retrace a page of the customs and culture of our country, opening the treasure chest of family memories.

His father Antonio de Teffé von Hoonholtz, aka Anthony Steffen, is the record-holder of spaghetti-westerns: 27 titles as a protagonist of the gold vein born in the wake of Sergio Leone's "A Fistful of Dollars" (1964).

An extraordinary epic, the one told in the book Once Upon a Time in Rome that finally puts back at the center a genre too often relegated to the margins. But that's not the only advantage.

Let's go back in time, when at our cinema the colts smoked and the streets of the cities were colored by the maxi posters of Ringo, Django, Sartana and Sabata.

[The writer of de Teffe, in the center with the white shirt, is also a teacher at the "Dbima Academy" of Parigi] 

Manuel, how long did the love at first sight last between Cinecittà and the cowboy films?

"Roughly from 1965 to 1975, ten hectic years in which Italy produced about 500 spaghetti westerns before saturating the market."

The novel is inspired by the family and artistic history of your father Antonio, a Roman actor of noble Prussian origin, who died in 2004.

"A story that is in some ways unique. He was an aristocratic Shakespearean actor, with a robust theatrical background. And yet he managed to establish himself as the cowboy par excellence of the Italo-Western."

Can you tell us how (without spoiling the surprise for future readers of the book)?

"It's thanks to my mother. She was the one who had an original cowboy outfit shipped from the United States. Dad put it on, had his picture taken and sent 50 copies to the producers, introducing himself as Anthony Steffen, an American actor "temporarily in Rome" and willing to evaluate scripts. They all fell for it."

A stroke of genius from another time!

"The icing on the cake was to name Tonya Lemons, who lives at the Hilton Hotel in Rome, as his agent. At that time, without the internet and social media, who could have imagined that behind the pseudonym there was Antonella La Lomia, Steffen's girlfriend and my future mother, a brilliant woman. She was really at the Hilton, but as a PR manager. I forgot: the one who sent the cowboy outfit from the USA was the boxer Rocky Marciano, my mother's suitor at the time”.

Am I wrong to consider your novel a sort of prequel to "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"?

“The transformation of Antonio de Teffé into Anthony Steffen takes place, in an ideal time-line, exactly 4 years before Tarantino's film set in 1969. Before the dialogue in which Brad Pitt invites Leonardo DiCaprio to go to Rome to try his hand at a career in Italian westerns.

Did Anthony Steffen dress up as a cowboy at the auditions?

"Of course! He was immediately signed by the producers. When they found out that Steffen was the very Italian Baron de Teffé, they couldn't help themselves."

[The cowboy Steffen; on the right, Manuel de Teffe with his wife Carola and the actor Gianni Garko]

So everything went smoothly?

"Not really, it turned out to be a little lie that Dad had told. He claimed to be able to ride without any problems, but that was not true. So he flew to Baden-Baden, Germany, to take riding lessons. He got lost in the Black Forest and was found by the rescue team coordinated by the mayor!"

Let's go back to your novel: how did the spark start?

"Before the lockdown I had written a western that was to be produced by the late Carlo Macchitella. The project was cancelled due to the pandemic, but it did not end up in the trash. He transformed, imagining the vicissitudes of an Italian crew on set in Almeria to shoot a spaghetti western. At that point the idea "exploded" in my hands. And I said to myself: Manuel, with this material I can narrate an unpublished page of our costume."

Did he go to the cinema to see his father's westerns?

"I've always seen them on TV, on cable channels they were constantly on the air. Once, as a child, I was bored, and I called my dad during dinner: "Something bad happens in your movies and you intervene to complete the revenge". He thundered at me: "No one has understood, shut up and eat!" Basically, I told him that his westerns were all the same."

                                       [The novel by Manuel de Teffe]

And your favorite title among those played by Steffen?

"I'd say 'Django the Bastard', absolutely. Sergio Garrone's 1969 film that also inspired Clint Eastwood. Garrone was the director who most valued my father."

When did you re-evaluate your Dad's spaghetti westerns and the film genre in general?

"At the 2007 Venice Film Festival, the legendary Tarantino paid homage to Garrone by screening "Una lunga fila di croci" (No Room to Die) that Steffen shot in 1969. I had never seen my dad on the big screen, it was love at first sight, a fundamental step to open the drawer of memories. For the first time I saw the artist behind my father. So, I began to appreciate the care taken in the editing, in the photography and in the scenes of those films usually mistreated by official critics."

[Steffen with director Sergio Leone; on the right, Manuel de Teffe awarded in London at the Bon Street Awards]

Did he ever go to his father's sets?

"Only once, when I was a kid. I slipped my hand into the case of a rattlesnake. I was saved by an actor who was a colleague of my dad's."

How was the novel "Once Upon a Time in Rome" received?

"I chose an independent publisher, 'Readaction', precisely to be able to write it without conditions. I am very satisfied; the presentations of the novel are always sold out. In Milan, the film historian Silvio Giobbio, author of "Matalo – Dictionary of Italian Western Films" (published by Bloodbuster, ed.) gave me a precious gift, certifying the European record of my father, 27 times protagonist in the films of this glorious trend».

Last week the novel was awarded in London at the Bond Street Awards. I think his father would have been proud....

"He gave everything to the cinema. He was even going blind, and do you know why? Because of the powerful spotlights that were shined into his very clear eyes to simulate the high sun of the Far West. The doctor, seeing the condition of his retina, advised him to stop. He took note of this and simply stopped. Like a true gentleman."

by Michele Borghi