Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors ~ Ennio Brizzolari.

[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.]

Ennio Brizzolari was an Italian grip and occasional actor. He worked behind the camera on 30 films as a grip and property master. He also worked in front of the camera, usually in crowd scenes, in three films, two of which were modern day westerns: “Thunder” (Thunder Warrior) in 1983 and “Fuga da Kayenta” (Arizona Road) in 1990.

BRIZZOLARI, Ennio (aka Enrico Brizzolari) [Italian] – grip, property master, film actor.

Thunder Warrior – 1983

Arizona Road – 1990

The bizarre history of Britain’s ‘Roast Beef Westerns’

The Telegraph

By Tim Robey

April 22, 2024

Seeing as the British film industry is now thought to have been responsible for the first known Western, it might seem curious that our other contributions to that fabled genre are so few and far between.

In 1899, the Mitchell and Kenyon company, a pioneering film collective based in Blackburn, made a silent short called Kidnapping by Indians, which unfolds over a single two-minute shot. Featuring tomahawks, head-dresses, much discharging of pistols, and scenery being set on fire, it’s unmistakably a Lancashire-based take on the Wild West, predating Edwin S Porter’s The Great Train Robbery (1903), which was previously thought to be cinema’s ur-Western. The filmmakers were inspired by the tales of British cotton workers, who’d gone to America after the Civil War and came back with thrilling stories of the wild frontier.

Why, then, did no firm tradition of British Westerns – or “roast beef Westerns”, as they’ve been dubbed – later emerge? The obstacles, both cultural and geographical, are quite clear. We don’t have deserts. We settled in the Dark Ages. Any frontier mentality we nurture is arguably more coastal (or naval) than it is inland. As François Truffaut once remarked to Alfred Hitchcock, our weather is fundamentally uncinematic, too. Plus, do British actors really look as good as Gary Cooper or Randolph Scott when they saddle up?

For all these reasons, the very few famous instances of British Westerns have tended to be spoofs. Consider the likes of Carry on Cowboy (1965), with Sid James as a trigger-happy varmint called “The Rumpo Kid”, and Joan Sims as a sharp-shooting saloon owner. (That year was prime time for lampooning the genre – Hollywood’s answer was Cat Ballou, with an Oscar-winning Lee Marvin in a double role.)

Edgar Wright’s semi-professional debut A Fistful of Fingers (1995), made when he was just 20, is a more contemporary example. The combination of Britishness and Western lends itself almost automatically, it seems, to bumbling pastiche. That film has a character known only as “Squint”, and EastEnders’s Nicola Stapleton as “Floozy”, not to mention Jeremy Beadle as himself. (“The Greatest Western Ever Made… in Somerset!”, ran the poster copy.)

You can argue the toss over a few earlier Westerns, in the genre’s mid-century heyday, being at least semi-British. Savage Guns (1961), sometimes called the first spaghetti Western, was shot in Spain with American stars (Richard Basehart, Don Taylor), but it was overseen by Brits with Hammer associations: directed by Michael Carreras (the producer of Hammer’s Dracula and Frankenstein films) and produced by their screenwriter, Jimmy Sangster. Meanwhile, Raoul Walsh’s The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958) was partly shot at Pinewood Studios, and starred our very own Kenneth More as a gadget designer who stumbles into small-town law enforcement, opposite Jayne Mansfield as – guess what? – a bombshell saloon owner.

Again, though, this was a comedy of the fish-out-of-water variety. Back then, there weren’t many ways of spinning a British Western as anything but. The journalist Paul Simpson, citing “lack of landscape” and “the pointlessness of competing with the Americans”, once argued that “Britain’s contribution to the Western has been on a par with Switzerland’s contribution to naval warfare.”

A scholarly paper on the “roast beef Western”, from the man who coined that term, the film historian Sheldon Hall, paints a somewhat more complex picture. Hall takes us down all the byways of this oft-aborted subgenre, and digs out almost every candidate available, including Michael Winterbottom’s The Claim (2000), starring Peter Mullan – a transplanting of Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge to the snowy mountains of northern California, two decades after the 1849 Gold Rush. I had high hopes for that film when it came out. The turgid results were acutely disappointing, and it vanished without trace at the box office.

Hall strangely omits the one film I believe stands tall as the lone great example of a British Western – probably because it’s one in disguise. It’s a starkly gripping period epic with horseback chases, bawdy tavern scenes, and a bloodcurdling core of vindictiveness which erupts into savage violence. It even has a Civil War setting – only, in this instance, it’s the English Civil War.

The film in question is Michael Reeves’s Witchfinder General (1968). It is far more commonly classed as horror, thanks to the bleak focus on religious persecution, torture scenes during witch trials, and the starring presence of Vincent Price, who was past his sell-by date as a macabre ham in his Poe cycle for Roger Corman.

Yet if you look past its chilling treatment of Price’s character, the real-life witchfinder Matthew Hopkins, many aspects of Reeves’s film are blatantly indebted to American Westerns of the 1950s and 1960s – especially the revenge Westerns of Anthony Mann and Budd Boetticher. With its lynch-mob hysteria, isn’t this also our very own answer to Nicholas Ray’s Johnny Guitar (1954), which has Mercedes McCambridge’s Emma Small igniting a fiery vendetta against Joan Crawford’s butch saloonkeeper?

The screenwriter and playwright John Logan (Gladiator, Skyfall) has delved into the making of Witchfinder General for his new play Double Feature, an intertwined diptych about behind-the-scenes combat on a pair of 1960s films shot in the UK. Half the play focuses on the skirmishes between Price (as played by a dead-on Jonathan Hyde) and Reeves (a cringing Rowan Polonski), who fought bitterly about the sardonic camp of Price’s customary acting style. The focus switches alternately throughout to Alfred Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren during the equally embattled making of Marnie, four years earlier.

“Michael Reeves”, says Logan, “was a cineaste of the highest order – he lived and breathed cinema. He didn’t read books, didn’t listen to music. He woke up every morning to watch and learn about movies. He wanted to be on the cutting edge of his medium and do something provocative.”

As Reeves remarked while making Witchfinder General, he very much saw it as a 17th century British Western in the style of a Boetticher picture. At that time, the whole identity of commercial filmmaking was in flux. America had entered Vietnam, campus protest was erupting, and a cinema pitting good guys straightforwardly against bad, in the fashion of John Ford’s Stagecoach (1939), seemed hopelessly out of date, unless you were John Wayne.

Meanwhile, Sam Peckinpah was shooting The Wild Bunch (1969), which would foment a revolution by making it hard to pick a side. As Logan puts it, “From the very moment that William Holden says, ‘If they move, kill ’em’ at the start, The Wild Bunch changed the equation for American movies, and American Westerns in particular.

Over in Italy, the spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone were also “profoundly important” to Reeves. “Because Leone was able to take almost a Grand Guignol approach to filmmaking, apply it to a Western, and put heaps of DayGlo blood into it. So I think all of that must have been swirling in Michael Reeves’s imagination when he set out to make Witchfinder General.”

The relevance of Vietnam to a young filmmaker such as Reeves – a 24-year-old firebrand, whose third and final feature this was – is also fascinating to speculate upon. The protest movement had become global by 1968, with an estimated 10,000 people gathering in Trafalgar Square that March. “Certainly in America,” says Logan, “people saw their brothers going off to war, going off to unbelievable hardship, and coming back as different people. The corrosive effect of violence, either violence to oneself, or violence committed on other people, was everywhere. So for Michael Reeves, the English Civil War may very well have served as a metaphor. No good guys, no bad guys – and that’s the point.”

Witchfinder General has gained a cult status, especially over here, as seriously strong meat – a severe, uncompromising drama about the consequences of violence and the hypocrisy of moral crusades. As Logan admits, American audiences haven’t always fully understood it. “Because they don’t understand British history, they don’t know about the Battle of Naseby, and they’re not quite sure who Oliver Cromwell was.”

Indeed, the film’s American distributor, AIP, was so uncertain about Witchfinder as a commercial prospect that they retitled it The Conqueror Worm, recut it with Price reading out the poem of that name, and tried to pass it off as his latest Poe adaptation. All of this was done without Reeves’s prior knowledge or consent, which, at the very least, demoralized the young director. It must have done “a lot of damage”, Logan suggests, to his already fragile mental health. (He would die of a barbiturates and alcohol overdose a year later, which may or may not have been suicide.)

The tragedy of Reeves’s career was going out on such a high. Not only is Witchfinder General one of the greatest British genre pieces of that or any period, but it’s also the site of Price’s finest performance, murder though it was – as the play amply illustrates – to extract it from him.

Logan remarks that Westerns are often the place where established star personas undergo their most unsettling makeovers. Look at James Stewart in his vengeful westerns for Mann (The Naked Spur, The Man From Laramie), and consider what they did to the usually unimpeachable Henry Fonda, to have him saddle up as a shady freelance marshal in Edward Dmytryk’s Warlock (1959), and as the blue-eyed bad guy in Leone’s Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). Reeves, in turn, stripped away all the usual hallmarks of Price’s villainy to present Hopkins as a grey man, a stony nemesis at your door – an accountant with a death warrant.

“At the moment of Witchfinder General,” says Logan, “he was still known as the camp, over-the-top Vincent Price.” Audiences were growing tired of his florid theatrics, and AIP was even considering cancelling his contract. “But then afterwards, he suddenly has this flourish of The Abominable Dr Phibes, and Theatre of Blood, and Madhouse – these unbelievably great, latter-career, indelible performances.

“Michael Reeves was able, I think, partly by persuasion, and partly by assault, to change that perspective. For my money, Witchfinder General is the great performance in Vincent Price’s career. Because he’s reduced to ashes – in terms of a soul.”

If Witchfinder General will take some dislodging from its rightful place as cinema’s greatest example of a “roast beef Western”, it’s pleasing to note that the small screen is finally showing an interest in reviving the form. We have just had Hugo Blick’s The English – a six-part BBC/Amazon co-production with a largely British cast going out West, headed by Emily Blunt’s vengeful aristocrat. But if you want an example of the grudge match between a flinty marshal and a psychotic outlaw brought to our very doorsteps – well, those of Hebden Bridge – look no further than Happy Valley. The British Western is, it seems, in fine fettle – if you know where to find it.


Voices of the Spaghetti Western - “Kid Rodelo”

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 “Kid Rodelo”

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

Kid Rodelo – Don Murray (S) Claudio Rodríguez, (G) Michael Chevalier

Joe Harbin – Broderick Crawford (S) Benjamin Dominguez, (G) Alexander Welbat

Nora – Janet Leigh (S) Mari Ángeles Herranz, (G) Ilse Kiewiet

Link – Richard Carlson (S) Pedro Sempson, (G) Arnold Marquis

Thomas Reese – José Nieto (S) Luis María Lasala, (G) ?

Chavas – Miguel del Castillo (S) José Luis Baltanás, (G) ?

Alexander Welbat  (1927 – 1977)

Alexander Welbat was born in Berlin in August 1, 1927. As early as 1948, Welbat appeared again and again in film and television productions, including ‘Berliner Ballad’, the American production ‘Time to Live and Time to Die’, and the television series ‘Dr. Muffels Telebrause’, a satirical mixture of sketches and parodies of the New Frankfurt School, whose authors included Robert Gernhardt. In 1949 together with Rolf Ulrich, Klaus Becker and Joachim Teege, founded the cabaret “Die Stachelschweine” in Berlin, which performed in the Jazzkeller Badewanne. He also appeared in numerous radio plays such as “The Count of Monte Cristo”, “Asterix” and “Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame”.

He was very famous in dubbing (German voice for Anthony Quinn, Peter Ustinov and the Cookie Monster). He was married to actress Siegrid Hackenberg.

Welbat was married to Siegrid Hackenberg [1936-1980] (19??-1977) and was the father of actor and director Douglas Welbat [1957- ] and grandfather of writer, composer and actor Daniel Welbat [1989- ].

Alexander Welbat died from a stroke on November 17, 1977, in Hamburg, Germany.

Monday, April 29, 2024

Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors ~ Jorge Brito

[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.]

Jorge Brito is/was a Spanish stuntman and character actor. He appeared in only three films and one TV series between 1984 and 1987. He appeared in two Spaghetti westerns appearing in an uncredited role doing stunts in “Rustlers’ Rhapsody” and performing stunts in “Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold” both in 1984. I can find no other information on him.

BRITO, Jorge [Spanish] – stuntman, film actor.

Rustlers’ Rhapsody [also stunts]

Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold – 1984 [stunts]

Spaghetti Western locations Then and Now – “Shalako”

 This photo is from a scene in “Shalako” with Honor Blackman and Jack Hawkins which was filmed at Eniz, Almeria, Spain in 1968.

The same location today and little has changed.

European Western Comic Books – Avventure nel West


Western Adventures

This small comic book series consisted of only three issues published with articles by Leone Cimpellin. It was published in 1964 by DNP (Adventures in the West) with issue #1 released in January and finished with issue #3 in March of that year. I



01 (00.00.64) - “Lanceri del Bengala” (Bengal Lancers)

02 (00.00.64) - “Cilindro nero” (Black Cylinder)

03 (00.00.64) - "Sud carica" (Southern Charge)

Special Birthdays

Reinhard Koldehoff (actor) would have been 110 today but died in 1995.

Deryck Guyler (actor) would have been 110 today but died in 1999.

Agnès Spaak (actress) is 80 today.

Phil Pink (actor) is 75 today.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

RIP Gabriella Andreini


Italian actress Gabriella Andreini died in Salerno, Italy on April 28, 2024 one week after her 86th birthday. She was born Gabriella Baistrocchi on April 16, 1938 in Naples. She moved to Rome at a very young age to attend acting courses at the National Academy of Dramatic Art. After graduating, one of his first roles was with the Gassman-Randone company in Shakespeare's “Othello”. She also had the opportunity to work, with some frequency, in television prose: in 1957 in O'Neill's “Fermenti” directed by Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia, then in Turgenev's “A Month in the Countryside” and in several episodes of ‘Le inchieste del commissario Maigret’, directed originally by Mario Landi. She then appeared in around 30 films and TV series from 1957 to 1979 but never in a leading role. Gabriela also was a film dubber working mainly in cartoons and on Rai radio. Andreini appeared in two Spaghetti westerns as Nina in “Zorro the Rebel” in 1966 and as Miss Peabody in 1974’s “The Crazy Adventures of Len and Coby”.

From the WAI vault


Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors ~ Constantin Brînzea

[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.]

Constantin Brînzea is/was a Romanian actor who appeared in twelve films between 1977 and 1984. In most of his films his character roles were uncredited so unless you know what he looked like you’d never be able to recognize him in his role.

Constantin appeared in only one Euro-western and that was as Quick Arrow in the 1978 film “Artista, dolarii si Ardelenii” (The Actress, the Dollars and the Transylvanians) directed by Mircea Veroiu.

BRINZEA, Constantin (aka Constantin Brânzea) (Constantin Brînzea) – film actor.

The Actress, the Dollars and the Transylvanians – 1978 (Quick Arrow)

Michael Coby & Paul Smith

 After the duo of Bud Spencer and Terence Hill had their big breakthrough at the beginning of the 1970s with the two western comedies “They Call Me Trinity and “Trinity is STILL My Name”, the film industry quickly began to copy the new successful concept. Shortly thereafter, a whole series of so-called doppelganger films were created, in which a sporty daredevil type was accompanied by a tall, powerful and bearded giant. These films were then marketed accordingly, so that there was a certain risk of confusion from them. Reason enough to take a closer look at Michael Coby and Paul Smith in particular.

[Courtesy Michael Ferguson]

Probably the best-known doppelganger duo were the USA-born Paul Smith and the Italian Michael Coby born Antonio Cantafora. This duo already had the greatest resemblance of all doppelganger duos from a purely visual point of view, but in addition, numerous stuntmen and supporting actors known from the Spencer/Hill films also provided additional risk of confusion. Paul Smith and Michael Coby starred together in a total of five films in 1974 and 1975. Like the original duo Spencer/Hill, they started with Western comedies “Carambola” and “The Crazy Adventures of Len and Coby”, but later transported their style into present day adventures. In Germany, the two were always called Toby (Coby) and Butch (Smith) in their films, but this was not the case in the originals.

Paul Lawrence Smith was born on June 24, 1936, in Everett, Massachusetts. His first film role was in 1960 in the film “Exodus”, which was shot in Israel. In 1967, he returned to Israel to serve as a volunteer in the Six-Day War. Smith remained in Israel, where he made a few films, became an Israeli citizen, adopted the Hebrew name Adam Eden, and met his second wife, Aviva ‘Eve’ Eden (2006-2012). In 1973, Paul had previously moved to Italy, where he shot the five Spencer/Hill lookalikes alongside Michael Coby. Four years later, in 1977, Smith returned to the U.S.A., where he made further films, including “Midnight Express” (1978), “Popeye” (1980), “Red Sonja” (1985) and “Maverick” (1994). His last appearance was in 1999 in the TV movie ‘D.R.E.A.M. Team’. In February 2006, Paul Smith returned to Israel. Since then, Paul Smith has been living in the small town of Ra'anana. He no longer made films but was a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences and as such is entitled to vote at the Oscars. In addition, he tried to spend more time with his family. He himself has a son Elliott from his first marriage, who still lives in the States. In addition, his wife Eve, also from her first marriage, had a daughter. Smith died on June 25, 2012. 

Michael Coby was born Antonio Cantafora on February 2, 1944, in Crotone, Calabria. After studying acting, he landed his first film role in 1967 in the Italian western “The Dirty Outlaws”. From then on, he could be seen again and again in Italo Westerns. Thanks to an outward resemblance to actor Terence Hill, he was hired in the mid-1970s for the Spencer/Hill lookalike films alongside Paul Smith. For these films he adopted the English-sounding pseudonym Michael Coby, which he abandoned in the mid-1980s. From then on, he reverted to his real name. While his doppelganger partner is drawn to the U.S.A. in his further career, Cantafora remained largely faithful to European film. It was only in 1983 that he was drawn to Brazil for a film “Gabriela, cravo e canela”. In 1987 he even filmed with the great Federico Fellini “Fellini's Intervista”, but the big breakthrough as an actor eluded him. "Simone e Matteo" - director Giuliano Carnimeo expressed this circumstance as follows: "He was a serious actor, a professional who, unfortunately, in his career did not have the luck that he should have deserved." His last appearance was in 2003 as a detective in Dario Argento's serial killer thriller “The Card Player”.


Who Are Those Singers & Musicians? ~ Lydia MacDonald


Lydia Macdonald was born Lydia De Domenico in Edinburgh, Scotland on March 5, 1923. She was a Scottish bilingual singer who contributed to various Italian film soundtracks from the 1950’s to the 1970’s.

Lydia was born to a Welsh-born mother and Italian father, Lydia went to Italy in 1939 on what was intended to be a family holiday, Obliged to remain in Italy and complete her education in Rome due to the outbreak of World War II she befriended several young leaders of the emerging Italian jazz scene, including Armando Trovajoli, Piero Umiliani and (especially) Piero Piccioni with whose Orchestra 013 she participated as principal vocalist. During Rome's liberation by the allies in 1944, she broadcast on both the British and American Forces networks. Returning home to Scotland immediately after the War she was soon spotted and auditioned by bandleader Ted Heath who recruited her as his first female vocalist and thereby one of the first female popular singers to perform before mass peacetime audiences between 1946 and 1949. After leaving the Heath band, exhausted by its very heavy touring schedule, she moved to Rome in 1950 where she reconnected with the musician friends she had made in the War years. Soon, as a bilingual singer and lyricist, she found herself in demand to contribute the blossoming Italian film industry, collaborating throughout the 1950s/60s and early 1970s with the leading composers and arrangers of the day, including Piero Piccioni, Ennio Morricone, Piero Umiliani, Armando Trovajoli and numerous others. This was notable for its cultural significance; by contrast with the rich flow of Italian immigrants to Scotland in the early and mid-20th Century, there was minimal migration the other way, so Lydia's move from Scotland to Italy to build a career is all the more notable for that. In the early 1970s, she returned to Edinburgh to retire where she remained until she passed away in Edinburgh on March 26, 1998 shortly after turning 75.

Mac DONALD, Lydia (aka Lidia Mac Donald, Lydia McDonald) (Lydia De Domenico) [3/5/1923, Edinburgh, Scotland, U.K. – 3/26/1998, Edinburgh, Scotland, U.K.] – songwriter, singer, member of Ted Heath’s orchestra.

Blood for a Silver Dollar – 1965 [sings: “Give Me Back”]

Special Birthdays

Piero Zuffi (director) would have been 115 today but died in 2006.

Donatas Banionis (actor) would have been 100 today but died in 2014.

Kurt Böwe (actor) would have been 115 today but died in 2000.

Riccardo Pizzuti (actor) is 90 today.

Neil Summers (stunts, actor) is 80 today.

Penélope Cruz (actress) is 50 today.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors ~ Félix Briones, Félix Briones Jr.

Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors ~ Félix Briones, Félix Briones Jr.

[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.]

The Spanish actor and his son are not to be confused with the more famous father and son matadors of the same name. According to the Diccionario del cine Español Félix Briones Hernandez was born in Toledo, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain in 1895 and started his film career in 1945. His first credited role was in the 1948 film “Aventuras de don Juan de Mairena” in the role of El Rojo. He’d go on to appear in over 60 films ending with a role in the 1961 film “Fantasmas en la casa” as the sale owner.

His only appearance in a Euro-western was in the three-part film “Tres eran tres” (Three Were Three) in the segment “Una de indios” (One of the Indians) in an uncredited role.

BRIONES, Félix (Félix Briones Hernandez) [1895, Toledo, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain – 19??, Spain] actor, married to ? father of actor Félix Briones hijo [19??-19??].

Three Were Three – 1954

Félix Briones hijo was the son of Félix Briones Hernandez. He appeared in only three films between 1954–1955. Whether he’s still living is unlikely but is unknown since there’s even less information available about him than his father.

Like his father his only appearance in a Euro-western was in the three-part film “Tres eran tres” (Three Were Three) in the segment “Una de indios” (One of the Indians) in an uncredited role.

BRIONES Félix hijo., [19??, Spain -19??, Spain] – film actor, son of actor Félix Briones [1895-19??].

Three Were Three – 1954

From the WAI! vault


50th Anniversary of the premier of “The Crazy Bunch”


Today marks the 50th anniversary of the premier of “The Crazy Bunch” directed by Anthony Ascott and starring George Hilton and Cris Huerta. It tells the story of Tressette (George Hilton) who is out to recover $100,000 in gold stolen from Frisco Joe (Riccardo Garrone) on a wagon train to Yuma. The money has been taken by Frank Faina (Enzo Maggio) and the inept Poison (Tony Norton). Faina puts the money in a bank safety deposit box and hides himself and the key in an insane asylum. Tressette must get his hands on the key, but he and his partner Bambi (Cris Huerta) have a few tricks up their sleeve, such as a gun that fires when he whistles, a birthday cake stuffed with dynamite and best of all a huge club. With all this on their side you just know they will succeed in the end.

The film took in 88,280 lire and ranks 404th on the list of most profitable Spaghetti westerns shown in Italy.


Di Tressette ce n’è uno, tutti gli altri son nessuno – Italian title

Continuavano a chiamarlo tressette… bussava solo a batoni – Italian title

Dicky Luft Em Sacramento – Brazilian title

Vestes skore kugler – Danish title

Villi Joukko – Finnish title

Kiero Dick ja lännen villi porukka – Finnish title

Dick Lufte in Sacramento – German title

Der Dicke, das Schlitzohr und drei Halleluja – German title

Vestens Villeste Gutter  - Norwegian title

Galningarna – Swedish title

The Crazy Bunch – English title


A 1974 Italian film production [Dania Film (Rome)]

Producers: Luciano Martino, Mino Loy

Director: Anthony Ascott (Giuliano Carnimeo)

Story: Tito Carpi (Fiorenzo Carpi)

Screenplay: Tito Carpi (Fiorenzo Carpi)

Cinematography: Emilio Foriscot, Federico Zanni [Eastmancolor, Techniscope]

Music: Alessandro Alessandroni

Running time: 95 minutes


Tresette/Tricky Dicky - George Hilton (Jorge Acosta y Lara)

Bambi/ Paco - Cris Huerta (Crisanto Brieva)

Poison/Veleno/Twinkle Toes - Tony Norton (Antonio Monselesan)

Letto - Memmo Carotenuto (Guglielmo Carotenuto)

Carlo Stryker - Nello Pazzafini (Giovanni Pazzafini)

‘Pimple Nose’ Stryker – Sergio Smacchi

Marmalade Stryker – Pietro Torrisi

Pink Eye Stryker - Artemio Antonini

Bald Stryker brother - Puccio Ceccarelli (Pietro Ceccarelli)

Stryker brother – Aldo Cecconi

Frisco Joe/Tutti Frutti - Riccardo Garrone

Pete Brambilla – Franco Narducci (Francesco Narducci)

Bank director - Renato Baldini

Bank cashier - Alfonso Giganti

Smith - Valentino Simeoni

Mrs. Smith – Maria De Sista

Drakeman - Dante Maggio

Hank - Riccardo Petrazzi

Grizzly – Aldo Pediinotti

Goldilocks - Veriano Ginesi (Voriano Ginesi)

Hook - Freddy Unger (Goffredo Unger)

Slim Proportions/Frank Faina/Frank the High-Handed Fairy - Enzo Maggio (Vincenzo


Asylum director - Umberto D’Orsi

Asylum director’s assistant - Gino Pagnani (Luigi Fusconi)

Doctor - Furio Meniconi

Asylum servant – Dante Cleri

Sheriff - Renzo Pevarello

Cactus River horseman – Giglio Giglo (Pio Giglio)

Camp card players – Ettore Arena, Oscar Giustini, Fortunato Arena

Asylum murderers - Sergio Ukmar, Ottorino Polentini

Man trying to leave Strikers Ranch – Giulio Mauroni

'Statue of Liberty' - Ennio Colajanni

With: Oscar Giustini, Nicola Pistoia

Italian Cowboys


Italian Cowboys – Universal title


A 2019 Italian television mini-series [Quadrio srl. (Milan), Pop Cult (Bologna)]

Producer: Carola Cavalli, Giusi Santoro

Director: Giulio Filippo Giunti

Story: Giulio Filippo Giunti, Giorgia Boldrini

Teleplay: Giulio Filippo Giunti, Giorgia Boldrini

Photography: Andrea Dal Pian [color]

Music: Riccardo Nanni

Running time: 8 episodes x 26 minutes



Sonny – Sandro Passarini

Pedro – Andrea Pedrielli

Clint – Diego Passarini

Carlos – Daniele Fortini

James Powell – Aldo Bregoli

Apache Kid – Andrea Fornasari

El Gato – Lorenzo Pinton

Mitchell – Paolo Rossi

Henry – Tiziano Marchetti

Amber – Ambra Fiorini

With: Giulio Filippo Giunti, Cesare Guiduzzi, Massimiliano Ubaldi, Marco Stefanelli, Lorenzo Trittera, Roberto Sgarbi, Umberto De Luca, Roberto Bebo Fillipini, Ludovico Della Martira, Margherita D’Alberti, Omar Bompani, Pierluigi Vignocchi, Eva Czerkaska, Victoria Pasini, Grazia Bendini, Arianna Totti, Andrew John McKenzie, Marco Manni, Graziano Pasini, Mirco Baschieri, Chiara Lambertini, Matteo Valdirosa, Luca Bullini

Disappointed by a series of rejections received from film producers to whom he had sent the script of a dramatic film, Giulio has an epiphany: he will change the story, he will make it a typical western film, a story of men, horses and revenge; he will produce it himself, and Cesare will be his guide in the world of Western riding and the Country lifestyle, which will take him around Italy to look for actors for his film. You have to find the right cast, people who know how to ride, throw the lasso, or do evolutions in the saddle, perform country dances for choreography... and then find the costumes, the equipment, the sets...

Trailer link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcPfFHCBBc8

Spaghetti Western Locations for “Face to Face”

We continue our search for locations for “Face to Face”. Returning to camp the men go through what they’ve stolen from the passengers. Cattle Annie walks in and asks Beau how many people he killed today. He looks at her and says,  “None… so far”. She then tells him he’s not the only man in the world and that she learned today that when certain men want a girl they just take her whether she like it or not. Marta bows her head and walks away. Vance, realizing what happened gets up from the table and follows her.

This scene was filmed in Hoyo de Manzanares, Spain near where the town of “Golden City” which was used in “Fistful of Dollars” was filmed.

For a more detailed view of this site and other Spaghetti Western locations please visit my friend Yoshi Yasuda’s location site: http://y-yasuda.net/film-location.htm  and Captain Douglas Film Locations http://www.western-locations-spain.com/

Special Birthdays

Dominique Boschero (actress) is 90 today.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Spaghetti Western Trivia - Margaret Lee’s unmade “Blood Bath”

I mentioned in the Margaret Lee obituary on April 24th a western she was to appear in that was never produced. Film historian and researcher Michael Ferguson e-mailed me this interesting information on what became of the project.

“For years I kept a close watch for "Blood Bath" and waiting for it to turn up in ads or on video. Producer Espartaco Santoni made and starred in two films the following year with similar titles both of which probably came out of the western's presales (which would have had to have been honored). Too bad the original sales brochure hasn't survived.”

On further reflection "Blood Bath" actually got made BUT not as a western. One of the two films mentioned above was “Blood Bath of Elizabeth Bathory” (aka “The Legend of Blood Castle” in 1973 starring Lucia Bosè and Espartaco Santoni and the other was “The Violent Blood Bath” (1974) starring Fernando Rey and Marisa Mell.

Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors ~ António Briguiela

[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.]

António Briguiela was most likely a Spanish actor who appeared in only one film and that was in the role of Pancho in 1980’s “Chicano”.

No other biographical information is available that I can find.

BRIGUIELA, António [Spanish] – film actor.

Chicano – 1980 (Pancho)

Two new Spanish, Japanese Blu-ray / DVD releases


“…Y Dios dijo a Cain”

(And God Said to Cain)



Director: Antonio Margheriti

Starring: Klaus Kinski, Marcella Michelangeli, Peter Carsten


Country: Spain

Label: Mon Inter

Aspect ratio: 16:9, 2.35:1

Languages: Spanish, English

Subtitles: Spanish, English

Running time: 97 minutes

ASIN: ‎B0D11Q57T3

Available: April 26, 2024

“真昼の用心棒 Mahiruno Yojinbo”

(Massacre Time)



Director: Lucio Fulci

Starring: Franco Nero, Geroge Hilton, Nino Castelnuovo


Country: Japan

Label: Eizō bunka-sha

Blu-ray/DVD combo and separately Blu-ray

Available: April 26, 2024