Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Five Man Army (1969)

Directors: Don Taylor & Italo Zingarelli

Starring: Peter Graves, James Daly, Bud Spencer, Nino Castelnuovo, Tetsuro Tanba, Claudio Gora

More info: IMDb

Tagline: A 5-Man Army heists a fortune in Mexican gold!

Plot: Set during the Mexican Revolution, a man known only as "The Dutchman" has a plan, and brings in four of his old acquaintences, including an old army buddy and a silent Japanese swordsman, to help him out by promising a $1000 reward if it succeeds. The plan turns out to be a fool's mission: rob a train carrying $500,000 in gold that's guarded by dozens of heavily armed soldiers and passes through a steady stream of military checkpoints.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? That's a given.

Outstanding Spaghetti Western! I love this flick and it's been so long since I last saw it I'd forgotten how awesome it is. Memory is a funny thing. All I could recall from my previous viewing all those years ago was the fantastic Ennio Morricone score and the brilliant way the train robbery (stealing one car in between others without anyone knowing!!!) was handled. There's so much more to like. The setup, the twists and turns, the plight of the Mexican people and the satisfying conclusion.

Morricone's Spaghetti Western scores are all terrific and rank among the best of all that genre had to offer (there are over 500 Spags from 1963-1977). The train robbery is the centerpiece to the film. It's handled so well and with such care. It's a little more than 3o minutes long, there's barely a word spoken and it's loaded with tension. As a musician I'm a huge fan of silence. Music is everywhere we go so to not hear it is refreshing. The same goes with talking so it's such a pleasure to see such an extended sequence with minimal speech. For fans of Westerns or, more specifically, Spaghetti Westerns, this is a MUST SEE. It's a damn shame that it hasn't been released in the States. Idiots.

No comments:

Post a Comment