“God Forgives . . . I Don’t!” (1967), one of the most influential Italian westerns of the 1960s

Below is the ‘family tree” of “God Forgives . . . I Don’t!”

Giuseppe Colizzi’s “God Forgives . . . I Don’t!” (1968), starring Terence Hill and Bud Spencer, does not often get mentioned as one of the most influential Italian westerns of the 1960’s western cycle. However, it was one of the highest grossing westerns in Italy. This allowed Colizzi to make two sequels, “Ace High” (1968) and “Boothill”. All three films show the influence of “The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly” in terms of characters and plot structure, especially the second film which recast Eli Wallach as a Greek version of Tuco (“The Ugly”).

Giuliano Carmineo essentially a ‘Cat Stevens’ (name of Terenace Hill’s character in GFID) movie with Jorge Hilton, “The Moment To Kill” (1968). A year after the final film in Colizzi’s trilogy, “Django” (1966) cinematographer Enzo Barboni was essentially making another Cat Stevens movie with Hill and Spencer when he decided to throw out the script and amp up the slapstick (humor was an element that had always been present in the the Colizzi trilogy). Like “God Forgives . . . I Don’t!”, “They Call Me Trinity” (1970) and “Trinity is STILL My Name!” (1971) were huge hits. The success of these movies altered the course of the genre, leading to the production of dozens of slapstick comedies, similar films and television series staring Hill and Spencer individually in roles similar to those they played in the Trinity films, and a long series of Hill and Spencer comedies in other non-western settings.

The most notable offspring of the Trinity films were probably the Nobody films produced by Sergio Leone. “My Name Is Nobody” combines themes and casts from the Trinity movies and Leone’s “Once Upon A Time In The West” (1968) in a story about the end of west, the origins of the western genre, and the twilight of the Italian western. It also combined the mentor / novice or father /son plot that “My Name Is Nobody” director Tonino Valerii used in his own classic Italian westerns “Day Of Anger” (1967) and “The Price Of Power” (1969). “A Genius, Two Partners, and a Dupe” (1975) continues the story of Nobody.

 

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