The sixth archiveable film in an incredibly fertile period for Sergio Corbucci—all westerns, another one here starring Franco Nero, with a score from Ennio Morricone
Nero’s lone antihero (always out for himself here and the almighty dollar) isn’t the rugged western hero—but this time a well-dressed, slick businessperson-like hired hand
Nero voice over that I think Corbucci forgets about
Like most of Corbucci’s work there is politics or revolution vs. greed—usually entire characters that are all about a cause (here Fernando Rey as the professor vs Palance—there usually isn’t a ton of nuance)
Corbucci’s trademark zooming in and out effectively
Haha I love that in many of his films there’s a bad guy eating chicken with his hands here
The states and oil as an enemy in a film in 1970
Palance introduced at 41 minutes, creepy, long hair, has a pet hawk and no hand
Rey introduced really at 48 minutes- a talented cast — what great range for Rey to play his intellectual professor here when you consider his work with Bunuel or in The French Connection
A bit of a wink at viewers from Corbucci and Nero with the coffin in the scene from Django
The tower scene climax is great- Corbucci is zooming between Nero on the hill, Rey on the ground and Palance on the tower
Shot at the church at 109 minutes—a longer take, Tomas Milian in the doorway, the flame in the foreground
A great depth of field shot at 112 minutes during the shootout
Recommend but doesn’t hit the top 10 range/quality
So I guess Tarantino was paying Corbucci a little homage when he had Caleb Dekatu eating chicken with his bare hands in Lancer. Nice. Your Corbucci study has me wondering, if we call Ford, Hawks, Leone, Peckinpah, and Eastwood tier A of western directors, is Corbucci at the fore of the next tier, or would you have someone else ahead of him? Also, do you buy Tarantino’s theory that many of Corbucci’s films are metaphors for fascism?
@Matt Harris — haha yep good call there on Caleb smashing the chicken in Lancer. This sort of thing has been going on since the silent era though with like Eisenstein showing fat rich guys sitting around eating with food on their face. I just get a kick of out of Corbucci doing it over and over and I’m like “yep, this guy is going to die at the hands of Nero soon”
Anthony Mann made some great westerns http://thecinemaarchives.com/2020/02/21/the-157th-best-director-of-all-time-anthony-mann/ I think Corbucci may be right there with Mann in the next tier. I’m horrible about sorting things by genre though so I could be missing one or two.
Interesting on Tarantino and Corbucci/facism. I’m not sure. He’s clearly pitting the selfish nihilistic gunman against the idealistic revolutionary in many films– but he always seems to upend both of them constantly.
— also, from what I know from Corbucci — my guess is Leone has a villain eating chicken at some point before he did- haha
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