Kerry H. (haasker) from OREGON CITY, OR Reviewed on 3/28/2016...
Truly awful. Should have been called "A Man Called Sludge". Interesting only for seeing James Garner playing a different type of character than he is known for. Other than that, hopeless tripe. Bad plot, bad acting, so so cinematography, bad direction, nothing more to be said.
Late Spaghetti western
T O'Brien | Chicago, Il United States | 01/17/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A Man Called Sledge stars James Garner as Luther Sledge, an outlaw who attempts to lead his gang in a robbery of an enormous gold shipment guarded by a Gatling gun and a cavalry company. Claude Akins, Dennis Weaver, and John Marley as gang members with other recognizable faces from other spaghetti westerns. Not one of the best westerns made in Italy, but very entertaining. Very pessimistic ending. An excellent musical score( as is typical with spaghetti westerns although it isn't Ennio Morricone). Garner is very good as the lead role, a part similar to his role in Hour of the Gun as Wyatt Earp. Well worth the price!"
The curse of other men's gold
Steven Hellerstedt | 09/13/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There's a cache of gold stored in that there prison, and notorious outlaw Luther Sledge wants it. The trouble is - how do you rob a gold wagon when it's either locked up in a state prison or is being escorted by forty professionally trained sharpshooters? James Garner plays the title character in A MAN CALLED SLEDGE, a kind of good spaghetti western/big heist hybrid that was written and co-directed by actor Vic Morrow.
The movie treats us to an extended introduction to Sledge before bothering to get to the plot proper. Luther Sledge is the grimmest western character I've seen Garner play, and his foray to the dark side had me worried for a while. Sledge has none of the easy charm of Bret Maverick, or either lead character in Garner's "Support Your Local..." movies. Garner is second only to Cary Grant in his ability to charm his way through a movie. It's that ability - and Jack Elam - that make the "Support Your Local..." movies so much fun. Even cast against type Garner, though, is the best thing about this movie.
If everything in this movie were as good as Garner this one would be a classic. The wide-screen desert location photography, if not quite a feast for the eyes, is certainly a hearty snack. Co-stars Dennis Weaver and Claude Akins were veteran character actors who'd proven in the past they could work up to the material. Unfortunately their characters are underwritten, making of them something less than clichés. The character underwritten to practical invisibility belongs to poor Laura Antonelli, who plays Sledge's love interest. Although their love plays an increasingly important role in the plot, she isn't in the film for more that a couple of brief scenes. Not nearly long enough to sell us on their love, or to care all that much when it's jeopardized. Continuity is another issue that plagues this movie. Some of the action sequences are simply confusing. For instance, at one point in the movie one of the main characters is in trouble. We see the source of that trouble, hear a scream, and then see the injured character tumbling to the ground. But we never see what happened! Whenever it was sloppy editing, not enough second unit film available, or a planned and purposeful exclusion, it doesn't help the movie at all. A tepid endorsement for this one. The story's intriguing, the acting is strong, and it looks pretty. "
This is the best western I have ever seen
Evan Pitts | 12/25/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For some reason, this movie sticks with me. I think maybe it has to do with the feelings certain characters have about their situation: bravery in the face of horror, desperation and traitorism (more of an action that a feeling, but you get my point. It was a very good movie for western fans. James Garner doesn't disappoint."
EddieLove | NYC, USA | 04/26/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Often lauded as James Garner's one foray into playing a bad guy, this Spaghetti Western is a pretty mixed bag. There's a tense shoot-out in the opening scenes and a daring gold heist in the middle. But, finally the whole picture turns into a tale of gold fever among badmen. It's colorful, but not very involving."
Copying a copy cat who is copying you
Lost In Kansas | Arkansas City KS | 02/14/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I hear by fully admitt that I love Italian westerns! I have an extensive video collection of them, plus a very large library of books based on them. What does that mean? Nothing except I know my Italian wessterns. SLEDGE is an American film company trying to cash in on the Italian western craze. This wasn't new back then, Eastwood came back to America and made Hang'em High and Burt Lnadcaster's Lawman was made here too all of which were copies of the Italian formula. SLEDGE tried to go one step further and go to Europe and made an authenic Italian western by Americans. If that doesn't make much sense then you now know the problem with this movie. It is too much of a downer even for Italians who loved the down beat plots such as The Great Silence. Vic Marrow the tv actor and first/only time director knows his Italian westerns but his heavy handed scenes put off the viewer. Garner is totally unlikeable here. The hero of an Italian western could be a bad as_, but they usually had some quirk that balanced out their personality so that the viewer liked them. Not here you never like Garner and that is hard to do with a TV western icon such as him. The very depressing ending of this movie leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. The Great Silence is known for its tragic and very gut wrenching ending but it has a style of sadness that SLEDGE never gets. As for the music, again it is copy of Italian soundtracks that does quite fit. Maybe that is what it the main problem is the elements of this western don't fit well together. Sometimes when you copy of a painting or drawing the images aren't quite right and the least bit of incorrection stands out and mars the picture. SLEDGE is an oddity of the Italian western period that was dying when this came out."