Sunday, February 15, 2009

Long Days of Vengeance (1967)

Director: Florestano Vancini

Starring: Giuliano Gemma, Francisco Rabal

More Info: IMDB

Plot: After three years (of thirty) of hard labor, Ted Barnett escapes from prison to seek revenge on the three men who framed him.

My Rating: 7/10

Would I watch it again? Yeah

I'm not a huge fan of Giuliano Gemma but I do like a lot of his Spaghetti Westerns. They're better than most. He's just too much of a pretty boy. My favorite of his so far is DAY OF ANGER (1967) with Lee Van "BADASS" Cleef. That film kicks all kinds of international butt courtesy of Cleef and it's one of the few Spags I re-visit from time to time, partially because of the magnificent score by Riz Ortolani.

LDoV starts off with a nice little 6 minute build-up to Burnett's (Gemma) escape. He's off to get the guys who wrongfully put him there and he's doing it sportin' one of the fakest beards in history. Another couple of touch ups here and there and he'd look like the "It's" man from MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS.

Hey, kids! It's Jesus!

Here he is all cleaned up.

The rest of the film plays out like a Western COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO as he goes after the three men who betrayed him and stole his woman. As par for the course in Spags, we get the neat and plentiful camera angles...

There a very nice score by Ennio Morricone and Armando Trovajoli. And then there's the requisite shootout on the town's vacant streets for the finale but this one does something a little different.


Barnett feigns death (face down in the dirt). Two bad guys come over, flip him over with their boots and Barnett fires a few rounds killing them both and subsequently falling right on top of him. Cobb, the final breathing bastard that did him wrong, fires a few into Barnett's legs (OUCH) and the rest of the bullets into the bodies lying on top of him, hoping to go through and kill Barnett. They don't and as Cobb relodes, Barnett painfully reaches into his vest and pulls out the sheriff's pointed tin star, throws it and it finds it's way to Cobb's neck, killing him. You'd think that Barnett is just about dead (which would have been nice to have him die, but NOOOOO) but the girl that's sweet on him rushes over to him, smothers him with kisses and says she's going to take care of him now and he doesn't have a say in the matter. Ugh.


It's different, albeit still too happy for my tastes. I sometimes like my heroes to die because, as a great Tex Avery cartoon character used to say. "That's the lawwwww of the West".

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