Branded a coward for surrendering his New Mexico fort to the Confederates without firing a shot, a Union colonel attempts to redeem himself by leading a band of condemned prisoners on a suicide mission to recapture it.
Rivaling Pirates and Spanish gold are the ingredients for this story. Blackie the pirate is the one who first hears from this shipment of gold when he encounters "Don" Pedro. He thinks of a... See full summary »
In this violent spaghetti western a murderous robber hijacks a payroll train, murders everyone aboard and then stashes his loot. A gunslinger learns about it and decides he wants the money ... See full summary »
Two nice guys, a wrestler (Bud Spencer) and an Ice-cream vendor (Giuliano Gemma) are mistaken for dangerous killers by an important local gangster, whose nickname is "Sorriso". With the ... See full summary »
After Cacopoulos (Eli Wallach) saves himself from being hanged on a false charge, he robs Cat Stevens (Terrence Hill) and Hutch Bessy (Bud Spencer) and steals their horses. This results in ... See full summary »
By his dying father's last wish Joe is sent to the Wild West to become a real guy. The dreamy young man despises guns and fights, likes poems and prefers bicycles to horses. Now his three ... See full summary »
The homestead encountered when the group leave the train (at 43 minutes) is the same as the McBain homestead in One Upon A Time In The West (1968) See more »
The film is set in 1862 but features Gatling guns that, presumably, formed part of the fort's arsenal when it was in Union hands.The gun was designed by Dr Richard J Gatling in 1861 and patented on November 4, 1862. Though two examples were employed near Petersburg and eight fitted on gunboats, it was not accepted by the American Army until 1866. So it's most improbable that it would have been available in a remote theatre of the Civil War. See more »
The spaghetti western sub-genre might have grown rancid by this period, but there are no doubts their titles were striking and creative, when which said simply rolled of your tongue. Tell me that this title isn't a lyrical joy. No stranger to the sub-genre with "My Name is Nobody" and "Day of Anger", director Tonino Valerii's 'A Reason to Live, A Reason to Die!" would be a hardy old-fashion western variation of "The Dirty Dozen". While it might be only half of that film, its remains an amusing fare thanks largely to the three central performances of Bud Spencer, James Coburn and Telly Savalas. The latter might not make an appearance until the hour mark, but it's the combination between the buoyant Spencer and low-key Coburn which drives it. The humour seems to come off thanks to Spencer timing and presence. Even though the greying Coburn and swaggering Savalas get top billing, it's Spencer who's really the star.
Like most films of this ilk, it's systematic with its staples as the theme of vengeance and redemption looms prominently. There's no real change of route, as it keeps it gritty and the straight-forward narrative never loses focuses, especially that of the character's motivations with it to throw up a sudden revelation (which my DVD synopsis' spoiled). The expandable characters are clichés, but workable as they serve their purpose with it ending on a bang. It actually starts with the end, to only retell the story from Spencer's character's point of view. This gives it like a mythical tale-like quality. It's well shot with a commendable music score. Valerii does a serviceable job behind the camera letting it move at a fair pace while constructing few intense scenes and cracking action sequences, like the delirious climatic showdown at the hillside forte (with it vivid locations), which had me thinking of "The Wild Bunch" (in which case Coburn would star in Peckinpah's "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid" the following year), but in the end you feel like there just wasn't enough going on. Some moments should have been much stronger than they were, like the personal battle between Coburn and Savalas.
Contrived, but tough and dirty entertainment.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?