Monday, December 26, 2011

Ace High (1968)

Director: Giuseppe Colizzi

Starring: Eli Wallach, Terence Hill, Bud Spencer, Brock Peters, Kevin McCarthy, Tiffany Hoyveld,

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The smile that kills...

Plot: Cacopoulos (Wallach) takes $300,000 from two hombres of questionable moral fiber (Hill & Spencer), then proceeds to spread the cash around generously. His victims follow his trail, but when the men finally do meet, they must join forces to defend themselves against a murderous desperado. Before that battle is over, Cacopoulos has once again absconded with the cash. And the chase is on, leading them, ultimately, to a crooked Mississippi gaming house, a blazing gun battle, and lots of money for everyone.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Yeah.


Good flick. I was worried that Wallach would be borderline great performance or over the top like he was in THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (1966) (and I LOVED his performance in that one) but that fear didn't last long. He's got a little Tuco in him but with a bit more hate and vengeance. It's a good role for him. What I didn't care for, though, was Hill (and to a lesser degree, Spencer) as they play two major badasses on the wrong side of the law. The issue I've got is they come across as tough-guy-swaggering assholes that walk into town at the beginning and get their way. Clint Eastwood can pull that off beautifully but these two make it look silly. But once things start rolling with the three of these guys, all of that changes and they are much more easy to handle. Now we're right at halfway into the just over two hour movie.

Yeah, it's two hours but the second half fares much stronger than the first. ACE HIGH isn't loaded with action but the pacing (especially in the last hour) is strong. The performances are fine (except for what I noted above plus it's great seeing McCarthy in a Western), the direction, story, and everything else works well but it does suffer from being too long. What's there is enjoyable. It'd make my top 50 Spaghetti Westerns if I had to make a list after seeing all 500+ films of this genre made between '65 and '77.

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