7 to 7.75 stars: The Good.
These movies exemplify the Eurowestern and are usually popular among genre fans. Some are appealing to non-genre audiences, but others are an acquired taste. Examples: Sabata, Viva Django, The Silent Stranger, and Gatling Gun.
Many of the Eurowesterns that I am most fond of are found among these movies. A “*” is used to indicate this ‘fondness’.’
7.75 of of 10
God Forgives . . . I Don’t! (1967, Guiseppi Collizzi)*
Why? First of Cat Stevens movies is funny, violent, and has great spaghetti western style. A huge hit in Italy, this movie turned out to be one of the most historically important in the genre. It spawned two direct sequels. Carmineo imitated these movies with an unofficial ‘sequel’ starring Jorge Hiltonl. Barboni was also making a Cat Stevens type film with Hill and Spencer until he grew weary of the genre and started playing everything as silly slapstick ~~ producing the two Trinity films. Spencer played the same character in movies such as It Can Be Done and Buddy Goes West. Hill reprised the Cat Stevens / Trinity character in My Name Is Nobody and Nobody Is The Greatest. After 2000 Hill was still playing a version of the character on Italian television. Finally, Hill and Spencer would star in a series of popular non-western comedies. This long series of films started with God Forgives, I Don’t! This movie is also #32 on SWDB’s list of the best Eurowesterns as voted for on their forums (voting is ongoing!). Also, it is #9 on SWDB’s Alternative Top 20.
Treasure of Silver Lake (1962, Harald Reinl)*
Trailer (US) I have really come to like the Winnetou movies. The aesthetic of these films is great, with the bright colors, fake cacti, great Yugoslavian locations. If you give them a chance, you might find them enjoyable.
Half-Breed (1966, Harald Philipp)*
The Dirty Outlaws (1967, Franco Rosetti)*
Arizona Colt (1967, Michele Lupo)*
Trailer (It) Trailer Theme More selections from the score. The ultimate pop-western. Tongue-in-cheek, violent, and cartoonish following the influential A Pistol For Ringo. One of my favorite Giuliano Gemma movies.
Johnny Yuma (1966. Romolo Guerrieri)*
Seven Dollars on the Red (1966, Alberto Cardone)
The Ruthless Four (1968, Giorgio Capitani)
And God Said To Cain (1970, Antonio Margheriti)*
Margheriti’s best western film with great, Gothic horror atmosphere.This movie is #25 on SWDB’s list of the best Eurowesterns as voted for on their forums (voting is ongoing!) Also, it is #2 on SWDB’s Alternative Top 20.
Vengeance Is Mine (1968, Giovanni Fago)
This film is #8 on SWDB’s Alternative Top 20.
Taste of Vengeance (1968, Mario Siciliano)
Blindman (1971, Ferdinando Baldi)
A Reason to Live, A Reason to Die (1972, Tonino Valerri)
Four of The Apocalypse (1975, Lucio Fulci)
Lucio Fulci’s 2nd best western is a great revisionist film based the stories of Brett Harte. This movie is #35 on SWDB’s list of the best Eurowesterns as voted for on their forums (voting is ongoing).
China 9, Liberty 37 (1978, Monte Hellman)*
Warren Oates and Fabio Testi are great in this late revisionist western by Monte Hellman. The score is one of my favorites.
High Plains Drifter (1973, Clint Eastwood)
Some claim that this film was inspired by Django the Bastard, Eastwood’s first directorial effort produced one of the best American Eurowesterns.
7.5 of of 10
$1,000 on the Black (1966, Alberto Cardone)
A Minute To Pray, A Second To Die (1968, Franco Giraldi)
A movie that competes with The Great Silence for the title of the bleakest Italian western. Gritty, dark, and oppressive.
Navajo Joe (1966, Sergio Corbucci)*
A much more clever Sergio Corbucci movie than is often recognized. From casting, score, to plot situations this movie is a sly spoof of the American westerns the Italian directors grew up watching. This movie is #24 on SWDB’s list of the best Eurowesterns as voted for on their forums (voting is ongoing!). Also, it is #7 on SWDB’s Alternative Top 20.
The Hellbenders (1966, Sergio Corbucci)*
Another Sergio Corbucci classic. The Southern patriarch of Albert Band’s The Tramplers returns in this film . . . and later in Django. As with most Corbucci’s movies, this movie is a put-on.
Johnny Oro (1966, Sergio Corbucci)*
Johnny Oro never gets the attention it deserves. It is funny Corbucci’s take on the Ringo films.
Run Man Run (1968, Sergio Sollima)
This film is slightly over-rated. It is a shallower, fun version of The Big Gundown. By 1968, Sollima was a better filmmaker . . . but this movie isn’t as powerful as his two earlier spaghetti westerns. I would say that it is closer to Corbucci’s Revolutionary comedies like Companeros than it is to Face to Face. This movie is #20 on SWDB’s list of the best Eurowesterns as voted for on their forums (voting is ongoing!)
The Hills Run Red (1967, Carlo Lizziani)
A Sky Full of Stars for a Roof (1968, Guilio Petroni)*
Though this is a heretical viewpoint, this may be better than Death Rides A Horse. The seemingly simple buddy story that rambles episodically through a series of situations is actually a movie about a man struggling with the consequence of violence. The score is one of Morricone’s finest.
John the Bastard (1967, Armando Crispino)
Beyond the Law (1968, Giorgio Stegani)*
If You Meet Sartana, Pray For Your Death (1968, Gianfranco Parolini)
This movie is also #21 on SWDB’s list of the best Eurowesterns as voted for on their forums (voting is ongoing!)
Kill The Wicked! (1967, Tonio Boccia)
A Few Bullets More (1967, Julio Buchs)*
Fury of Johnny Kid (1967, Gianni Puccini)*
California (1977, Michele Lupo)
Doc (1971, Frank Perry)
Chetan, Indian Boy (1976, Hark Bohm)*
Dark and gritty story about the friendship between a shepherd and a native american boy, this an interesting revisionist take on the earlier Winnetou movies. Very underrated, I was pleasantly surprised by this movie.
El Tunco Maclovico (1970, Alberto Mariscal)*
El Topo (1970, Alexandro Jodorowsky)
800 Bullets (2002, Alex de Iglesia)*
7.25 of 10
Professionals For A Massacre (1967, Nando Cicero)
Train For Durango (1968, Mario Caino)
Long Days of Vengeance (1967, Florestano Vancini)
Vengeance (1968, Antonio Margheriti)*
This movie is #49 on SWDB’s list of the best Eurowesterns as voted for on their forums (voting is ongoing!)
Two Faces of the Dollar (1967, Roberto Bianchi Montero)*
Sugar Colt (1967, Franco Giraldi)*
Gatling Gun (1968, Paolo Bianchini)*
One Silver Dollar (1965, Giorgio Ferroni)*
In A Colt’s Shadow (1965, Giovanni Grimadli)
Minnesota Clay (1964, Sergio Corbucci)
Ace High (1968, Giuseppi Colizzi)
This movie is #39 on SWDB’s list of the best Eurowesterns as voted for on their forums (voting is ongoing!)39
The Moment To Kill (1968, Guilano Carimeo)
Night of the Serpent (1969, Giulio Petroni)
At the End of the Rainbow (1971, Aldo Florio)
Any Gun Can Play (1967, Enzo Castellari)
Heads I Kill You, Tails You’re Dead! They Call Me Hallalujah (1971, Guiliano Carmineo)
Life Is Tough, Eh Providence? (1972, Guilio Petroni)
Shanghai Joe (1973, Mario Caino)*
The Grand Duel (1972, Giancarlo Santi)
A Bullet For Sandoval (1969, Julio Buchs)
This movie is #43 on SWDB’s list of the best Eurowesterns as voted for on their forums (voting is ongoing!)
Fifteen Scaffolds for the Killer (1968, Nunzio Malasomma)
Clint the Stranger (1967, Alfonso Balcazar)
Gunfight at High Noon (1963, Joaquin Luis Romero Marchent)*
Fedra West (1968, Joaquin Luis Romero Marchent)
Cut Throats Nine (1972, Joaquin Luis Romero Marchent)
El Zorro Justicero (1969, Rafael Romero Marchent)
Guns of Nevada (1965, Ignacio F. Iquino)
Sartana, The Grave Digger (1969, Giuliano Carmineo)
The Last Pistolero (2002, Alessandro Dominici)
The Elusive Avengers (1967, Edmond Keosayan)
Blind Justice (1994, Jon Spence)*
7 of 10
A Stranger In Town (1967, Luigi Vanzi)
This film is #14 on SWDB’s Alternative Top 20.
The Stranger in Japan (1968, Luigi Vanzi)
Viva Django (1968, Ferdinando Baldi)*
Today We Kill, Tomorrow We Die (1968, Toninio Cervi)*
This film is #13 on SWDB’s Alternative Top 20
I Want Him Dead (1968, Paolo Bianchini)
Execution (1968, Domenico Paolella)*
Django the Bastard (1969, Sergio Garrone)*
Django Shoots First (1966, Alberto di Martino)
Vengeance Trail (1971, Pasqulae Squitieri)*
Boot Hill (1969, Giuseppi Colizzi)
Alive or Preferably Dead(1969, Duccio Tessari)
Wanted (1967, Giorgio Ferroni)
Death Walks in Laredo (1966, Enzo Peri)*
The Magnificent Texan (1967, Luigi Capuan0)
Texas Adios (1966, Ferdinando Baldi)
Kill Them All And Come Back Alone (1968, Enzo Castellari)*
Five Man Army (1969, Don Taylor)*
Matalo! (1970, Cesare Canevari)
This movie is also #36 on SWDB’s list of the best Eurowesterns as voted for on their forums (voting is ongoing!)
Blood At Sundown (1967, Edoardo Mulargia)
Four Rode Out (1970, John Peyser)
The Relentless Four (1965, Primo Zeglio)
The Road to Fort Alamo (1964, Mario Bava)
Gunman Called Nebraska (1966, Antonio Román and Mario Bava)
Dynamite Jack (1961, Jean Bastia)
Red Sun (1971, Terence Young)
One After Another (1969, Nico Nostro)
Those Dirt Dogs! (1973, Guilio Carmineo)
Return of Halleluha (1972, Guilio Carmineo)
His Name Was Holy Ghost (1972, Guilio Carmineo)
The Blue Gang (1973, Luigi Bazzoni)
Dead Mean Don’t Count (1968, Rafael Romero Marchent)
Joaquin Murieta (1965, George Sherman)
Apache Fury (1964, José María Elorrieta)
Why? A pleasant surprise. Quality direction by Elorrieta elevates this early Spanish b-western above similar movies by directors like Klimovsky. Intelligent use of widescreen, staging, composition in depth, texture, and camera movements reduce the need for multiple shots. Solid low budget filmmaking. Pan and scan versions would remove this element from the movie and make it much less interesting. However, the mass action is shot in a much more pedestrian manner.
This film is something of a companion piece to Kliimovsky’s inferior Ballad For A Bounty Killer, with the same sets and much of the same cast. A small group of people at a stage station fight Geronimo’s Apaches and each other in a bid to stay alive. There are a few silly, awkward scenes (including a stage coach attack), but for the most part it works. A very interesting review of this could be written, placing this movie in its context of Fascist Spain.
Like other early Spanish westerns, this movie is “leisurely paced” with lots of dialogue, so if you are looking for lots of action this movie will not satisfy you. However, it should be noted that it is no slower or talky than the most near-contemporary b-grade American Indian v. Calvary siege films on which it was modeled.