Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Once Upon a Time in Italy - The Spaghetti Western Collection |
A Bullet for the General / Companeros / Four of the Apocalypse / Keoma / Texas Adios
Actors: Gian Maria Volonté, Klaus Kinski, Fabio Testi, Lynne Frederick, Michael J. Pollard
Directors: Damiano Damiani, Enzo G. Castellari, Ferdinando Baldi, Lucio Fulci, Sergio Corbucci
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Comedy, Drama
Once Upon A Time In Italy, a generation of visionary filmmakers hijacked the genre of the American Western. Suddenly, standard stories of cowboys and Indians became a hyper-stylized opera of immoral heroes, ruthless act... more »
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Hours of spaghetti western nirvana
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 09/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you enjoy spag westerns, you're going to love this box set! Start with "A Bullet for the General." Like many other spaghettis, the film takes place in Mexico during the raucous revolutions of the early twentieth century. Bandits roam the countryside robbing and killing under the guise of revolutionary armies seeking social change. One band, led by the boisterous El Chuncho (Gian Maria Volonte), earns a living by stealing weapons and selling them to a powerful warlord named General Elias (Jaime Fernandez). El Chuncho's band preys on army patrols, trains, and anything else that allows them to fill their pockets. Along with his holier than thou former priest turned revolutionary brother El Santo (Klaus Kinski) and a beautiful woman named Adelita (Martine Beswick), El Chuncho and his thugs make a good living. When the group happens to rob a train loaded with armaments, they run into a dapper gringo named Bill Tate (Lou Castel), a mysterious man who initially poses as a prisoner so he can get into the good graces of El Chuncho's army. Amused by the American and thankful for his help in stopping the train, the group decides to take him on as a fellow bandito.
"Companeros" has Franco Nero playing a Swedish criminal named Yodlaf Pederson and Thomas Milian in the role of the shifty Vasco. Once again, the action takes place in strife torn Mexico during the revolutions of the early twentieth century. Vasco, a beret wearing, lackadaisical sort of fellow joins a revolutionary army led by General Mongo. What Milian's character doesn't know is that the general sent away for a tough Swede to help crack a safe in a village. When Pederson arrives on the scene, he and Vasco quickly tangle before the general sorts out matters. It turns out that opening this safe requires Pederson to cross the border into the United States in order to retrieve Professor Xantos (Fernando Rey), a socialist intellectual and the leader of his own revolutionary movement. He's the only man alive with the combination, and when Pederson learns that the wealth of Mexico resides in the vault, he makes tracks for the border with Vasco along for the ride.
With "Keoma," director Enzo G. Castellari proves he's better than most of his subsequent output ("Bronx Warriors" as just one example). The story stars Franco Nero as Keoma, a brooding, mixed blood loner returning home from the Civil War to find his family and his town suffering under the throes of a plague and a gang of thugs. The cast of characters in this picture is a veritable who's who of low budget Italian movies. You've got Olga Karlatos, sans a splinter to the eye, playing a woman infected with the plague. Donald O'Brien turns up in the role of gang leader Caldwell. Then there's Woody Strode as George, a one time slave owned by Keoma's father who now ambles about town drinking himself into a stupor and plucking a broken down banjo. William Berger turns in a competent performance as William Shannon, Keoma's father as well as the father of the loner's three half brothers. How can you go wrong with such a cast? You can't, so watch it and have fun.
Lucio Fulci's contribution to the spaghetti western genre contains some of the great cult classic actors of the Italian film era. Fabio Testi, who later teamed up with Fulci again for the mobster picture "Contraband," plays a renegade gambler named Stubby Preston. Testi's character looks the part; he wears the clothing of a dandy, possesses an oily smile that could melt steel, and has four or five decks of marked cards in his suitcase. Unfortunately for Preston, the local sheriff arrests him when he steps off the coach in a Utah town. It seems the townspeople are weary of dealing with miscreants, so they've taken the step of cleaning up the town the hard way. The process involves vigilante activities against all of the goons. Bodies litter the street the next morning when the sheriff orders Stubby and three of his fellow detainees to hit the bricks. The four individuals, now traveling companions, form an odd bunch. Besides Stubby, there's pregnant harridan Bunny (Lynne Frederick), the alcoholic Clem (Michael Pollard!), and a scary guy named Bud (Harry Baird) who actually says "I see dead people" years before "The Sixth Sense." For better or for worse, these four set out across the alkali flats (or is it a desert?) of Utah in search of Sand City, a town full of the vices all four have come to love.
In "Texas, Adios," Franco Nero plays Burt Sullivan, a slightly corrupt Texas sheriff with a fast gun and a chip on his shoulder. According to this lawman, his father died years before as a direct result of a confrontation with Cisco Delgado (Jose Suarez), a man who then moved to Mexico to build a small empire. Sullivan stews about revenge until he suddenly learns of his nemesis's whereabouts. Taking his younger brother Jim (Alberto Dell'Acqua) along, Sullivan bids adios to Texas and heads to Mexico. Life threatening calamities pop up right from the start. When cashing in coins for pesos at a bank in a small village, Burt and Jim witness a gang of desperados gun down a bunch of peasants. Then a particularly loathsome looking thug beats Jim Sullivan senseless in a bar after the youth makes a loud inquiry about the location of Delgado. Burt roars to the rescue, leaving behind a pile of bodies and a warning about staying out of other people's business, but the point has been made. Obviously, Delgado is a man of reputation in the area, and even asking about him in the wrong company will result in disaster. Indeed! This is a great series of films well worth purchasing. I can't wait for more spaghetti westerns to hit the DVD market. Thanks, Anchor Bay!
David Wilson | Northville, MI United States | 03/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you've been exploring the world of spaghetti westerns at all, you've no doubt come across some pretty poor transfers. Stuff obviously made from worn out, scratched up and dirty film. You often have to be philosophical about it -- if you want to see some of these old movies, it's a matter of putting up with the ragged quality or do without. This set from Anchor Bay, on the other hand, is really something. They have done a fantastic job of restoring and transferring. The extra features are really nice as well -- interviews with Tomas Milian and Franco Nero. None of these movies is going to replace The Good the Bad & the Ugly as my all time favorite movie, but I really enjoyed getting to see them. I highly recommend this set."
Must own for Italo-Western Lovers
Sebastian Haselbeck | Germany | 01/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This box offers a fistful of great spaghetti westerns with very good picture and sound quality and a score of extras and all that at a fair price.
If you love Spaghetti Westerns, as I do, and maybe missed buying the Blue Underground Box, which is sold out now, then grab this one. You can't make anything wrong with this. An unforgettable pack of great gems of Italian cinema"
5 classic Spaghetti Westerns given the Anchor Bay treatment!
Jason Pumphrey | Falls Church, Virginia United States | 03/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you like Spaghetti Westerns,you'll love this great 5-DVD Box Set from Anchor Bay Entertainment!!! "Once Uopn A Time In Italy" includes beautiful film transfers of "A Bullet for the General","Companeros","Four of the Apocalypse","Keoma" and "Texas Adios" all in the original widescreen ratios!!! Plus some great DVD extras!!! Two thumbs up!!! Five stars!!! A+"