Quality spaghetti western, very poor DVD
T O'Brien | Chicago, Il United States | 06/14/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A Professional Gun is a very good spaghetti western by Sergio Corbucci that suffers from a horrible DVD release. The story follows a group of revolutionaries who are fighting the government during the Mexican revolution. Fighting alongside them is a mercenary who has supplied them with and taught them how to use more advanced weaponry. There is an uneasy alliance between the mercenary and the rebel leader that at times is very comical. To make things worse, the army has hired a gunman to hunt down both men and kill them. The movie on its own is very good with excellent action sequences, good characters, and another great score by Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai. Fans of spaghetti westerns should check out this movie but stay away from the DVD. Franco Nero stars as Kowalski, the mercenary who sees a chance to make some money during the revolution. He is good as usual with no complaints on my side. Tony Musante plays Paco, the revolutionary leader who makes the uneasy agreement with the foreign mercenary. Jack Palance gets top billing even though his part is rather small. Even with so little to do, Palance gives another great performance as the villain. Also, wait for the showdown at the end between two of the main characters, it should not be missed. The DVD is absolutely horrible. The picture and sound quality are brutal with very poor extras. The one thing that is kind of amusing is the trivia quiz. One of those things where its so bad its good. If you have a chance find the cleaned up widescreen presentation of this movie that TCM aired a couple of years ago. A great spaghetti western but watch out for this dud of a DVD!"
One of the greatest.... but horrible DVD
Sebastian Haselbeck | Germany | 08/14/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Please please please someone bring this great spaghetti western IL MERCENARIO - A Professional Gun to DVD. Please uncut! Please widescreen! Stop releasing such horrible trash DVDs and give the film material to someone who will finally release this film in an appropriate way. Thousands if not millions of fans world wide are waiting for THIS film to be released on a good DVD. It's only available in Japan (sold out, no wonder!!!) and Italy (no english language track or subtitle) so please please release it!! Remaster it! Make it uncut and widescreen! Stop this full-screen horrible cheap-ass dvd stuff"
If You Like Your Fun With a Dash of Politics...
Raymond Rice | Presque Isle, ME USA | 11/01/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Any film inspired by a Franco Solinas story is guaranteed to have its share of Leftist politics, and "A Professional Gun" is no exception. Although not as pointed as Damiani's "Bullet for the General" nor as exquisitely-plotted as Solimas' "The Big Gundown" (both of which were released just before this film), Corbucci's movie is engaging, entertaining, and often innovative. Following his "Django" and "The Great Silence," it is also a major change of pace--less brutal and sadistic, tinged at times with humanity, even if the violence quotient soars exponentially near the end. Franco Nero's turn as Kowalski (aka "The Polack") is a wry twist on the Gringo figure. Here, the European is a weapons expert, selling his skills to whomever is willing to pay (although he clearly has a limited affection for the "underdog" peasant Mexican revolutionaries--but one that is always subordinate to his own well-being and comfort--in one scene, he actually takes a shower in the middle of the desert, just to prove his Euro-American willingness to conspicuously consume).Tony Musante (as Paco, a rebel leader who both gains and loses an army in the course of the film) is a good counterpoint--broad and physical in his acting, an obvious reiteration of Tomas Milian's "reluctant revolutionary leader" role (and one that Milian would craft to perfection a couple years later in "Tepepa" and Corbucci's own "Companeros"). Of course, the film has less to do with the Mexican Revolution than it does with Solinas' concern of American hegemony over the Third World in the late 1960's--but that just adds to the fun.A rousing score by Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai (Morricone writes a wonderful leitmotif for Kowalski); good photography by Alejandro Ulloa; and a very witty flashback narrative framework (which allows Kowalski to show just how unrepentingly capitalist he truly is!) help make this a fine afternoon's entertainment.One major qualification: The present DVD release is sub-par in both picture and audio quality. Plus, it's not widescreen, which considerably reduces the pleasure of Corbucci's excellent use of the 2.35 anamorphic format."