Sunday, December 29, 2013

Death on High Mountain (1969)

Original title: La Morta Sull'alta Collina

Director: Fernando Cerchio

Writers: Eduardo Manzanos Brocher, Lorenzo Gicca Palli, Jose Mallorqui

Composer: Luis Bacalov

Starring: Peter Lee Lawrence, Luis Davila, Tano Cimarosa, Anges Spaak, Antonio gradoli, Nello Pazzafini, Silvio Bagolini, Giampiero Littera, Barbara Carroll, Jesus Guzman, Empedocle Buzzanca, Jose Marco Davo, Juan Antonio Elices, Nazzareno Natale, Manuel Segura, Ricardo valle, Rufino Ingles, Frank brana, Romano Puppo, Rafael Hernandez

More info: IMDb

Plot: Braddock (Gradoli) is an influential and highly respected citizen of the town of Two Arrows. He also represents a group of Mexican outlaws led by General Valiente (Cimarosa). Braddock plans an important robbery with only two young men, Loring (Lawrence) and Parker (Davila), standing in the way of the bandits.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

OK Spaghetti Western that's elevated by a strong performance by Luis Davila as Parker, a man with more to him than meets the eye.  Lawrence is playing a happy go lucky young pool playing rowdy type that we've seen a million times before in these kinds of pictures.  Tano Cimarosa plays the Mexican General Valiente whose only goal is to get all of the money for himself.  Unfortunately he's somewhat incompetent and Cimarosa plays him for laughs with lots of silly yelling. I can't stand that kind of character.  You know the type, the silly Mexican who moves and says everything with such broad gestures.  Ugh.

Hey, the General uses storyboards to plan his heist...or were these used for the film?

What makes this different than ANY Western I've ever seen is the inclusion of a billiards tournament!  How about that?!?!  I dug it.  Luis Bacalov's score isn't that bad except for the blatant use of his music from A BULLET FOR THE GENERAL (1966) which is a superior score.  I'm sure it was used for a good reason - that theme alone will elevate any picture as you can tell in the clip above that gives you the first few minutes (the BULLET theme is used as the opening credits theme here).  As far as the story and action go, it's OK.  I'm sure it won't take but a few days before I've forgotten most everything about it.  There are much more enjoyable Spaghetti Westerns than this one.

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