A-1 Sergio Leone western, great Coburn & Steiger roles too!
K. Corn | Indianapolis,, IN United States | 11/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I hadn't seen this film in years but it was showing the other night when I was at my mother's house. We were both riveted by it and I suddenly remembered seeing thie Sergio Leone movie as a kid and being haunted by the music as well as the plot. The plot involves an Irish revolutionary who is experienced in blowing things up who escapes the law in Ireland, goes on the lam and ends up in Mexico, only to be taken in by a bunch of criminals (the boss played to perfection by Rod Steiger) who nickname Coburn "Firecracker" for his amazing skill with dynamite. The whole bunch is, in turn, caught up in the Mexican Revolution.
I know this was supposed to be a part of a trilogy by Leone but this movie stands alone just fine. Both Coburn and Steiger play guys who are, at first, totally self-interested and then begin to need each other but so slowly that it is completely believable. Nothing seems inevitable in this movie and saccharine, sentimental and schlocky this movie is not.
After watching this, I just wondered: WHY don't they make movies like this anymore, not only full of action and pure macho (there are plenty of those movies still being made) but the kind of male characters that have some depth, heart and believable, unique personalities?"
"You can't leave now, you're a great, grand, glorious hero o
Michael Crane | Orland Park, IL USA | 07/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Duck, You Sucker" (also known as "A Fistful of Dynamite") is one of those films you need to watch a couple of times before you can fully appreciate it. It's another Western epic from Sergio Leone, yet it is extremely different from his famous "Man with No Name" trilogy. Filled with more deep personal conflicts, transformations and revelations, this makes for one entertaining film.
Juan is a despicable thief and sometimes murderer who's not afraid to get his hands a little dirty if it means getting goods and money for he and his family. John is an Irish Revolutionary who has expertise in blowing just about anything up to smithereens. When Juan sees the man in action, he gets the idea that John could help him empty out the bank of his dreams. With Juan's trigger finger and John's dynamite tossing, how could it go wrong? The only thing is Juan ends up getting himself involved in an unexpected revolution that he never wanted to be a part of, and for better or worse the two end up forming a very odd bond and team.
I wouldn't call this my favorite Leone film, but it is one I find myself watching again and again. There's just something very appealing about it, and that's no easy feat when you really set out to have your main guy, Rod Steiger who plays "Juan," to be as despicable and vile as they come. Within the first 10 minutes or so, we see him kill somebody, rob a group of snobs and even rape a woman snob (though the rape isn't violent and is relatively short, it still is rape). I really thought there was no way in hell I would be able to sympathize for a character like that, but I knew there was the great James Coburn who could make the movie work for me. Surprise, Leone really does actually get you to care about Juan as you see him grow and mature through this little quest (he's still very flawed and shallow at times, but the growth and transformation is undeniable). And Colburn, who plays "John," is also not without his many flaws, as he's a tortured soul who can't seem to let go of the past. The two men are absolutely fantastic in their roles.
This new 2-Disc edition of "Duck, You Sucker" includes the complete 157 minute version that wasn't shown in the U.S., which includes a lot of extended scenes and flashbacks (most noticeably the three minute flashback at the end that was usually trimmed down to keep the flow and avoid confusion). The movie looks and sounds great, and if you're afraid the 5.1 surround will ruin the authenticity or credibility of the film, you can always watch it in mono. There are some nice featurettes and a commentary from a film historian, Sir Christopher Frayling.
"Duck, You Sucker" has a great balance of action, comedy, drama and even heart at times. Again, I don't know if I would call this his best film, but it is definitely one of Sergio Leone's more entertaining films. I'd say put this on your list at some point, especially if you're a huge film buff, as it is a very different movie experience. So sit down, grab some popcorn and enjoy the show, but beware if at some point in your living room you hear a fuse and some stranger in the distance yelling, "Duck, you sucker!" -Michael Crane"
A little known adventure classic
Ironmike | California | 06/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film was nearly lost to American viewers for many years. This story is unique in the sense that a renegade Irishman bands with a Mexican rogue and his family amidst the madness of Mexico torn by civil war. There are some brutal moments and some very funny scenes. The feeling of the time is captured as only Leone could do. Some terrific battle scenes and one of the best train wrecks ever filmed. Great dialog and great musical score by Ennio Morricone is both haunting and flowing. Plenty of action and adventure for the hardcore fan of the Italian films. Check it out."