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Overlong , impressive , but mediocre Biblical epic by the classic filmmaker Raoul Walsh, 21 October 2017
5/10

¨The power , the pageantry , the sweep of one of the greatest love adventures of all¨ . Biblical costumer with the hunk Richard Egan as the great Persian king , statesmanlike as well as conqueror ruler , and the gorgeous Joan Collins as Judean maid , the young Jewish girl , Hadassah , goes on to become the Biblical Esther , the Queen of Persia , who saves the Jewish nation from annihilation at the hands of its archenemy , Haman . As the stiff king wants to her in place of the murdered queen , Daniella Roca . The movie is partially true to the Biblical account of a Jewish woman who , at the risk of her own life, stands up to the King and a man named Haman , Sergio Fantoni , who was almost successful in convincing the king to wipe out all of the Jews in the land . In the Bible, one of the best lines is spoken by Mordecai , played by Denis O'Dea , Esther's uncle , who tries to assuage Esther's fear by saying, "Who knows, perhaps you have been chosen for such a time as this" . It was written : ¨Gather together all the fair young virgins unto the palace and let the maiden which pleased the king be queen¨ . In the end , Haman constructed a gallows from which to hang Mordecai whom he insisted was subversive , but things go awry .

This is the classical and biblical story of Esther , a book in the Old Testament and King Artexerxis , a powerful Babylonian king . This is breathtaking movie in every sense : filmmaker used spectacular palaces , luxurious gowns , stirring dances full of beauties , and lots of extras . Writing and direction , however are average . ¨Esther and the king¨ is in the greatest Cecil B DeMille tradition , the best in mass audience , displaying great production design and lavishly made . There is romance , battles and intrigue as is common with many Old Testament accounts . Epic , rambling events and spectacle are regularly blended in this flick realized in Peplum style , if raggedly and tortuously scripted story of Esther and the King . Wooden acting by Richard Egan and marvelous Joan Collins , though this vehicle first was announced for Hedy Lamarr in 1953 . Here Esther is portrayed as one who is not only fun-loving but brave and wise and Artexerxes is portrayed as a man who carefully measures his decisions and falls deeply in love with Esther . It boasts superior secondary cast plenty of known American/Italian actors . As support cast is pretty well , such as Dennis O'Dea , Rick Battaglia , Gabrielle Tinti , Rosalba Neri , Folco Lulli , Renato Baldini and Sergio Fantoni as Haman who was hanged on his own gallows . There is another version about these deeds titled ¨One night with the king¨ (2006) by Michael O. Sajbel with Tiffany Dupont as Hadassah / Esther , Luke Goss as King Xerxes , John Noble as Prince Admantha , Omar Sharif as Prince Memucan , John Rhys-Davies as Mordecai and James Callis a Haman, the Agagite

This long epic Italian/USA co-production shot in Cinemascope and color by De Luxe well photographed by Mario Bava . Evocative and moving musical score by Angel Francesco Lavagnino . The motion picture financed by Galatea Production and realised by Twenty Century Fox Corporation was professional but middlingly directed by Raoul Walsh . Raoul was an expert on action , thriller , Film Noir , Western genres . He made several adventure/epic movies as ¨Blackbeard pirate¨, ¨Sea Devils¨, ¨Captain Horacio Hornblower¨, ¨The world in his arms¨ and this ¨Esther and the king¨ and at the same time collaborated , but uncredited , in ¨Helen of Troy¨ by Robert Wise .

Cold Sweat (1970)
Continental and violent routine thriller about a strong confrontation between Bronson and nasty crooks, 21 October 2017
6/10

Charles Bronson takes his drearily and ultra-violent vendetta after his spouse , Liv Ullman and daughter , are kidnapped by a drug boss , James Mason , and his hoodlums: Michael Constantine , Luigi Pistilli , Jean Topart.

This brutal thriller contains noisy action , car chases , intrigue , and lots of violence among crooks . However , filmmaking and writing are average .Typical Bronson flick has Charles in his ordinary role as an avenger taking law on his own hands. Based on the novel by Richard Matheson called "Ride the nightmare" which is butchered to produce the ordinary vengeance movie .It boasts superior cast with prestigious secondaries as Luigi Pistilli, Michael Constantine , the great James Mason and Jill Ireland, Bronson's wife. Special mention for Jean Topart as a moronic henchman and Liv Ulmman who gives a nice acting as anguished and captured wife.

It displays an atmospheric and thrilling score by Michael Magne. Including evocative cinematography shot on location in Francia , Azul Coast. This turgid motion picture was regularly directed by the prolific Terence Young, including some flaws and gaps. Young was an uneven filmmaker with hits and flops. As he made three of the best Bond films :Doctor No , Thunderball, From Russia with love , he also directed other genres , Western : Red Sun , Dramas /intrigue : Klansman, Bloodline , Jigsaw man , The poppy is also flower, wait until dark ; Costumer : Adventures of Moll Flanders , Adventure : The Rover and WWII : Triple Cross .Rating 5,5/10 , acceptable and passable . The movie will appeal to Bronson fans. Charles does all that can be expect of him and he will reward his legions of enthusiasts.

Outlandish as well as violent Spaghetti Western with good cast and decently directed, 20 October 2017
7/10

This moving and pretty surreal Spaghetti packs impressive duels , crossfire , rare events , and turns with exciting final . For money , for pleasure, for revenge, he doesn't care why he kills or how ; as Django heads west for vengeance . Four gunslingers (Richard Conte , Enrico Maria Salerno , Adolfo Celi , Tomas Milian) killed Django's (Robin Clarke) brother a long time ago . The merciless Django seeks for revenge and hunts them down without mercy and is willing to kill them . Soon ¨Django¨ or ¨Cash¨ tracks the others to a strange town where inhabitants strung up the gang . The stranger executes a single-handedly revenge , as he shoots , ravages and murders each person involved in his brother's killing.

Maccaroni western with habitual elements such as noisy action , chases , brawls , poker game , go riding , shootouts and it has some other very bizarre elements as Robin Clarke is crawling out of a mass grave or drinking cups of milk . This technical crudeness and rare histrionics in this movie mingle to create a bizarre and fascinating surreality . This pretty straight-forward film contains a complex screenplay filled with offbeat issues . The acting is pretty good , especially Tomas Milian's performance is great (as always), as a crazy albino . Here appears a lot of Italian secondaries , ordinary players in Spaghetti Western . As the supporting cast includes Adolfo Celi who plays the villainous landowner priest and does a great job . Like many other movies with Django in their title, this ¨Django Unbarmherzig Wie Die Sonne¨ or ¨Sentenza Di Morte¨ or ¨Death Sentence¨ has little to nothing to do with Sergio Corbucci's 1966 masterpiece "Django", however it is one of the best of these movies . This ¨Django Unbarmherzig Wie Die Sonne¨ was just given its Django-name in German and English, due to the success of Corbucci's masterpiece . According to the the producers decided to release the movie in countries outside Italy as "Django" as a way to take advantage of the success of a prior release , Django (1966) starring Franco Nero . There is plenty of action in the movie , guaranteeing some violence , shoot'em up or stunts every few minutes . There is a very odd implementation of shots in the camera work during some particular scenes as the film approaches its climax , as in the final and the exciting conclusion . The movie gets the usual Western issues , such as avenger antiheroes , violent facing off , exaggerated baddies , soundtrack with Morricone influence , among them . The sense of pacing is such that his film can be counted on to move quickly and smoothly . Italian production full of action , excessive characters , shootouts and lots of violence . This meaty Western contains an interesting but twisted plot , violence , thrills and results to be quite entertaining , though drags at times , balancing in ups and downs . A good example of Latino western genre from Italy ; it is daring , surreal and notoriously violent Spaghetti , so extreme in every way , it is one of the handful of great Italian Western . Offbeat Spaghetti Western and it is proceeded in violent style and unusual narration . The film packs violence , gunplay and high body-count ; it's fast moving and quite entertaining . It's a thrilling western with breathtaking confrontation between the protagonist Robin Clarke against a withdrawn rancher : Richard Conte (They came to Cordura) , a notorious card player Enrico Maria Salerno (who starred Spaghettis as ¨Train to Durango¨, ¨Bandidos¨, ¨3 Pistole Contro Cesare¨) , a despotic priest : Adolfo Celi (Yankee, Thunderball) and an insane albino : Tomas Milian with an obsession for gold . Robin Clark is fine , he ravages the screen , hit and run and kills . Tomas Milian as crazy albino is good , though pretentious and overacting , he stays interesting throughout . The Cuban Tomas Milian plays splendidly , he had got fame and fortune with his character ¨Cuchillo¨ from the trilogy directed by Sergio Sollima . Tomas created his own image and propelled himself to stardom in likewise fashion with such important Spaghetti as ¨The Bounty Killer¨ (1966) ¨The Big Gundown¨ (1967) with Lee Van Cleef, ¨Face to Face¨ (1967), ¨Django Kill!¨ (1967) and ¨Run, Man, Run¨ (1968) , ¨Sonny and Jed¨, ¨Tepepa ¨ and ¨Compañeros¨ , getting maxim popularity with his hippie cop character , Nico Giraldi , from ¨Cop in Blue Jeans¨ ,"Squadra Antimafia" ¨Squadra Antigangsters¨ and sequels . He nowadays continues acting in secondary as well as prestigious roles such as in ¨Traffic¨, ¨ The Yards ¨, ¨Amistad¨, ¨The burning season¨, ¨Nails¨, ¨JFK¨, ¨Havana¨, among others .

Good production design creating an excellent scenario with luminous outdoors , shimmer deserts under a shinning sun and fine sets in desert of Tabernas , Almeria . Good photography , including a nice remastering . As it displays a colorful and evocative cinematography in Technicolor Techniscope by Antonio Secchi . The cinematography and the locations are great , and so is the theme song , which I can't get out of my head. Great musical score by Gianni Ferrio , furthermore a catching and emotive leitmotif . The motion picture was well directed by Mario Lanfranchi at his best , in pseudonym Johnny Jordan . He began his career as a film director with this western , followed by several other movies of different genres. Known for his Operas as he was pioneer of Italia television and the first one to bring opera to the small screen, including Lucia Di Lammermoor , La Traviata , Turandot , La Sonnambula , and in 1956, with "Madama Butterfly", which did rise his wife Anna Moffo to the rank of diva . It is a must-see for us fans of Spaghetti Westerns and Tomas Milian fans .

A bustling comedy with an excellent plethora of Spanish players directed by the great maestro Luis Garcia Berlanga, 19 October 2017
6/10

Here Berlanga realizes another provoking film full of sourness and deep critical . Spanish coral film dealing with a merciless denounce to hypocrite society located at a luxury mansion and full of a high level of ingenious humor , including relentless critical but in malevolent intention . Spain , early the eighties in Spain , there appears a peculiar entrepreneur family ¨Planchadell and Calabuig¨, which owns a nougat Factory . The ¨Turron¨ makers family decides to advertise their products and they decide to set out on a trip to Madrid in order to publicize it in a Food Fair to convince some powerful people and Spanish princesses to buy their products . The family is formed by the widow Cuqui (Rosa Maria Sardá) , her brothers (Agustin Gonzalez , Pedro Ruiz) and cousin (Andrés Pajares) . As they move from Xixona (Alicante) to Madrid . Besides the disapproval from the family head , Don Fernando (Fernando Fernán Gómez) and company founder . But Don Fernando is only interested in an elderly Opera Singer (Maria Luisa Ponte) . Then , events are not as expected and things go wrong . The gastronomic fair is full of strange roles and Cuqui and her advertising adviser , Jacinto López (José Luis López Vazquez) , have to do everything to get his aims , but it results to be a disaster .

In the flick there are especially busy comedy , ironical humor , frantic pace , joy , amusing gags , rowdy satire , noisy hustle and social critical . Furthermore , it contains certain confusion , bustle and relies heavily in exaggerated mayhem ; being in anyway clearly an inferior Berlanga film . A coral picture , but this time the formula doesn't work as well as precedent pictures . This is 10th and last collaboration between Azcona and Berlanga along 20 years , and it is their final and worst job through a long and fruitful career . The movie doesn't displays a clear structure , lacks dramatic developing and story hasn't enough interest . Shot in long , complex shots : ¨Planos Secuencia¨, with a lot of rare characters talking , shouting and walking . The main and support actors stand out under perfect direction of Berlanga very far from the tenderness that carried out in previous works , including a bitter , pessimistic mirror on the Spanish society by that time . It turned out to be a nice picture plenty of diverting situations as well as black humor and social hypocrisy . We can find very fun roles , all of them caricatures and mirrors of the Spanish society of the 80s , concerning the national reality in ironical and critical style . The movie displays a Spanish star-studded such as : Agustin Gonzalez , Chus Lampreave (Almodovar's ordinary) , José Luis Coll , Emilio Laguna , Diana Peñalver , and Luis Ciges . It belongs to the third period in Berlanga career characterized by commercial and comical films , adding a point of view as critical as realist .

Direction by Luis Garcia Berlanga is passable , he shows his skill for edition , realizing long shots with crowd who moves easily and shows the miseries of an amoral society . Berlanga filmed several polemic movies during the 50s , all of them were beset by difficulties with the censors caused by real critical to social stratum such as ¨Bienvenido Mister Marshall¨ (1953) , a very good film which tended not to be very well received by the censor for its acidity and considered to be one of the best Spanish films of the history , including a strong portrait of Spanish society and plenty of sharpness . But the main problem is that if you are foreigner you will have to know well the Spanish society to understand the double-senses . His next joint venture was ¨Los Jueves, Milagro¨ (1957), it was modified by the censors and delayed for several years before its eventual release . Subsequently , Berlanga made ¨Placido¨ (1961) masterfully played by Cassen , this is the film debut for the great producer Alfredo Matas and received an Oscar nomination in 1963 , being well-received at the International Festivals , reviewing the useless charity , it's a sublime film but with censorship realized by this great maestro Luis Garcia Berlanga . Later on , Berlanga made one of his best films: ¨El Verdugo¨ (1963), one of the undisputed masterpieces and fundamental in filmography of Luis Garcia Berlanga and shot at the height of his creativity, in a period cultural difficult, where the enormous censorship of the political regime, exacerbated the ingenuity and imagination of the scriptwriters . He continued filming other interesting pictures as in 1973 he went to Paris to begin filming ¨Grandeur nature¨ with Michael Piccoli , another problematic film , focusing this time on the fetishism of a man who falls in love with a doll . After Francoist dictatorship , Berlanga along with his regular screenwriter Azcona carry out the realization a known trilogy about the political and social Spanish situation , concerning on the peculiar aristocratic family of the Marquis of Leguinechehe filmed a trilogy comprising ¨La Escopeta Nacional¨ (1978), ¨Patrimonio Nacional¨ (1981) and ¨Nacional III¨ (1982), where he clarified the evident disorders in the Spanish upper , middle-class upon being confronted with a new political status quo , realizing a sour denounce of the Spanish society . Berlanga shot a peculiar film titled ¨La Vaquilla¨ (1985) plenty of Spanish-star-cast and set in the Spanish Civil War , resulting to be the first time dealing with this convulsive period in comedy style . Following the same themes, he went on filming coral films as ¨Todos a Carcel¨ (1993) that won three Goya Awards for Best Film, Best Director and Best Sound ; being his final film : ¨Paris Tombuctu¨. Rating : 6/10 . Essential and indispensable watching for Berlanga aficionados . .

A medium-budget Spaghetti/Chorizo Western co-produced by Italy/Spain and professionally realized by Leon Klimovsky with two American stars, 19 October 2017
6/10

Flat adaptation of usual Spaghetti themes with a few missing ingredients . Run-of-the-prairie horse opera has an American drifter named Jones (John Ireland) becomes involved in a deadly family dispute . A powerful Mexican rancher called Don Diego (Roberto Camardiel) orders his son (Robert Woods) and henchman (Mariano Vidal Molina) the killing of his daughter's boyfriend . Jones/John Ireland stumbles upon danger and intrigue when he enters a mysterious town and he also earns the wrath of the father when he finds the hanged body and buries it . Don Diego is a stiff-upper-lip father who tyrannically dominates his children . Jones attempts to bring order and justice but his enemies are intent on killing him . Meanwhile , Barbara (Daniela Giordano) , owner's daughter , tries to revenge those responsible for his sweetheart's death.

Maccaroni/Paella western with habitual elements such as noisy action , chases , thrills , saloon brawls , poker game , go riding , shootouts and some evocative images about a hanging tree . Adding a particular relationship between father/Roberto Camardiel and son/Robert Woods , but the complications that arise are handled crudely and abruptly while the final involves a redemption of the main starring . The technical crudeness and rare histrionics in this movie , -including brutal hanging and point-blank shots- , mingle to create a bizarre and fascinating surreality . What is most interesting about the euro-westerns made in Italy and Spain in 1960s and 70s are the creative and idiosyncratic ways that the directors came up with to deal with short budgets and limited resources . Given the peculiar economics of the Italian/Spanish industry there was a great deal of freedom for how to make satisfying movies for an ample export audience . Unfortunately, many of the 400-500 films made during this cycle were poorly made . The offspring of ¨Fistful of Dollars¨ , ¨For a fistful of dollars more¨ and ¨The Good , Bad , and the Ugly¨ was fruitful but in low quality . In fact , this ¨La Sfida Dei MacKenna" , "A Dollar and a Grave" , or "Challenge of the McKennas¨ is a modest b-western that brings to mind the lesser Randolph Scott , Joel McCrea or Audie Murphy vehicles of the 1950s but with American secondaries as Ireland and Woods as stand-in . This is why there is still a devoted cult audience for this attractive , weird , and often unpredictable genre . This one turns to be an acceptable Pasta/Tortilla Western with two USA stars and a lot of ordinary support players . It stars John Ireland , an American second-class actor who played several Westerns , as American as European . Here he gives a decent acting as an ex-Evangelist priest who killed his wife and lover , he is an upsetting as well as pacifist man who is gone to take his guns . As Ireland performed US Westerns as ¨Arizona Bushwackers¨, ¨Gunfight at OK Corral¨, ¨The gunslinger¨, ¨Little Big Horn¨, ¨Return of Jesse James¨, ¨Doolins of Oklahoma¨ , ¨I shot Jesse James¨ and Spaghetti Westerns as ¨Odio Per Odio¨ (Domenico Paolella) , ¨Tutto Per Tutto¨ (Umberto Lenzi) , ¨The Machine Gun¨ (Paolo Bianchini) , and ¨Jeremias' Women¨ (Ramón Fernández) . While co-starring Robert Woods played several Spaghetti Westerns as ¨A colt for 4 candles¨ (Ignacio Iquino) , ¨La Spacconata¨ (Al Bradley) , ¨Pistoleros of Arizona¨ (Alfonso Balcázar) , ¨Sette Pistole Per MacGregor¨ (Franco Giraldi) and ¨Quel Caldo Maledetto Giorno Di Fuoco¨ along with John Ireland . In the film appears customary actors from Spaghetti or Paella Western as Roberto Camardiel , Daniela Giordano , Giovanni Cianfriglia as Ken Wood , Nando Poggi , Sergio Mendizábal , Mariano Vidal Molina and Annabella Incontrera Saloon girl . This WAI contains an atmospheric and functional cinematography by Francisco Sanchez , though being extremely necessary a perfect remastering . Shot in Lazio , Rome surroundings where in the 60s and 70s were made lots of Spaghetti Westerns . The movie is visually static both in terms of the camera setups and editing while the soundtrack brings to mind the best euro-westerns . Pretty good Spaghetti sounds with imaginative and appropriate musical score by Francesco De Massi.

This ¨Western alla'italiana¨, or ¨Tortilla¨ or ¨Gazpacho¨ Western was efficiently produced by José Frade/Atlantida Films and professionally made by León Klimovsky , under pseudonym Henry Mankiewicz , but it has a number of flaws and gaps , being strictly a Western fodder . His first one was a comical Western titled ¨Torrejon City¨ starred by Tony Leblanc , the second was ¨Alambradas De Violencia¨ or ¨A few dollars for Django¨ with Anthony Steffen . León subsequently directed other westerns , most of them pretty mediocre , such as ¨Reverendo Colt¨ , ¨One dollar , one tomb¨ , ¨Fuera De Ley¨ , ¨Hand up dead man¨ , ¨Quinto fighting pound¨ , among others . León was a craftsman who directed all kinds of genres , as Warlike : ¨June 44 attack force Normandy¨ , ¨A bullet for Rommel¨ , ¨Bridge over Elba¨ , being expert on terror genre , usually with his fetish actor , Paul Naschy , as ¨Night of Walpurgis¨ , ¨Revolt of dead ones¨ , ¨The Devil possessed¨, ¨A dragonfly for each dead¨ , ¨Orgy of the vampire¨, ¨The saga of the Draculas¨, ¨Marshall of hell¨ , and ¨Doctor Jekill versus Wolfman¨. Rating : 5,5/10 , passable but not a enough to save it from overall dullness.

This yarn concerns the essential life of the Spanish nun Saint Teresa , focusing her sufferings , mortification, and ecstasy, 18 October 2017
6/10

Glamorous and luxurious movie with a good cast , such as Paz Vega , Leonor Watling , Eusebio Poncela , Geraldine Chaplin , Manuel Morón , Francesc Garrido , José Luis Gómez , Andrés Gertrúdix and Ángel De Andrés López . Being a thought-provoking drama based on the life of Spain's mystic Saint Teresa , set in the Catholic Castilla , in the middle of the Sixteenth Century . It concerns about Saint Teresa of Jesús , baptized as Teresa Sánchez De Cepeda y Ahumada (28 March 1515 – 4 October 1582) , focusing her sufferings , sacrifices , raptures and set in times of religious pursue , Reform , Contra-Reform and Santo Oficio . Teresa was a prominent Spanish mystic , Roman Catholic saint , Carmelite nun and author during the Counter Reformation , and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer . Set in Castilla and dealing with the struggles against all odds in foundation her first convent , claiming that she has visions with Jesus , about the hard reform the Order of Carmelites and , subsequently , attracting the attention of the Inquisition during the sixteenth century Spain . As the daughter of a nobleman (Alvaro De Luna) Teresa De Ahumada (Paz Vega) joins a convent administrated by the Superior Mother (Geraldine Chaplin) seeking a spiritual life . After a period of apprenticeship and prays , she becomes a reformer in the Carmelite Order of her time and the movement she initiated , later joined by Saint John of the Cross , eventually led to the establishment of the Discalced Carmelites , though neither she nor John were alive when the two orders separated . The flick also concerns about her relationships to important people as Francisco De Borja (Javier Mejia) , Fray Daza (Eusebio Poncela), Fray Alcántara (José Luis Gómez) and bishop of Toledo (Angel De Andrés López) . Teresa was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI . Her books, which include her autobiography : The Life of Teresa of Jesus and her seminal work The Interior Castle , and The Way of Perfection are an integral part of Spanish Renaissance literature as well as Christian mysticism and Christian meditation practices . At the beginning of the film Teresa , who is the daughter of a nobleman has a socialite life , has suitors who fight for her by fencing . Later on , Teresa fascinated by accounts of the lives of the saints joins a convent administrated by the Superior Mother seeking God and a spiritual as well as peaceful life . As Teresa entered a Carmelite Monastery of the Incarnation in Ávila , 1535 , but she found herself increasingly in disharmony with the spiritual malaise prevailing at the monastery . After a period of prays and sacrifice in which she embraces a deeper devotion to the Virgin Mary as her spiritual mother , she claims that she has visions with Jesus attracting the attention of the Inquisition in times of religious pursue and Protestant Reform . In the cloister -an area where only monastics have access- , she suffered greatly from illness ; early in her sickness, she experienced periods of religious ecstasy through the use of devotional books and prays . Saint Teresa carried out mystic attitudes following the example of similar writings of medieval mystics , consisted of directions for examinations of conscience and for spiritual self-concentration and inner contemplation . She claimed that during her illness she rose from the lowest stage, "recollection", to the "devotions of silence" or even to the ¨Mysticism¨ and "devotions of ecstasy", which was one of perfect union with God . During this final stage, she said she frequently experienced a rich "blessing of tears" . She , then began to inflict various tortures and mortification of the flesh upon herself . But her confessor, the Jesuit Saint Francis Borgia , reassured her of the divine inspiration of her thoughts . Teresa became firmly convinced that Jesus Christ presented himself to her in bodily form , though invisible.

A dramatic film based on the life of Spain's feminist mystic Saint Teresa , regarding her self-punishments , lashings , mortification , raptures and about her early days when Santa Teresa schemes the creation a first convent called San José . This Spanish movie turns out to be an acceptable flick , but slow-moving , being a moving portrayal of the greatest religious woman , made in enough budget , including colorful cinematography and sensitive score . This picture contains a lot of historical remarks , adding known characters of the Spain history . The film was panned by critics , suffering the extreme contempt , being really scorned by focusing excessively in erotic/religious visions . It packs a glamorous cinematography by the prestigious cameraman José Luis Alcaine . Luxury scenarios , mostly interiors , including brilliant costumes and spectacular production design by Rafael Palmero , ; in fact, the movie is dedicated in memoriam to this classic designer . Religious and evocative musical score by two great composers : Ángel Illarramendi and Michael Nyman . Directed by Ray Loriga who made a passable but really boring film .

Other films regarding this famous Saint are the followings : ¨Teresa De Jesús¨(1962) by Juán De Orduña with Aurora Bautista , José Bódalo , Roberto Camardiel , Antonio Durán , Alfredo Mayo and ¨Teresa¨ (2015) by Jorge Dorado with Marian Alvarez , Carla Diaz , Terele Pavez , Antonio De La Torre , Aitiana Sanchez Gijón . And the best results to be the TV series ¨Teresa De Jesús¨ (1985) by Josefina Molina with Concha Velasco , Virginia Mataix , Silvia Munt , Maria Massip , Magui Mira.

Mediocre Paella/Spaghetti Western co-produced by Spain/Italy , being regularly directed by Alfonso Balcazar, 16 October 2017
5/10

Arizona, 1887 . In the beginning we are then introduced to our stalwart hero , a card player named Doc MacGregor (Carl Mohner as Karl Möhner) who is relentlessly pursued by ambitious bounty hunters . When Doc is riding he meets a dead man , and as he replaces the identity of a legendary gunslinger . Doc along with the bounty hunter Slade Carroll (Luis Dávila) arrive in a town where Doc is mistaken for sheriff Kitchener , as taking his identity Doc becomes the city Marshall and Slade as deputy . Along the way , they face off tramplers and a famous Mexican outlaw called Pablo Reyes (Fernando Sancho) . Doc MacGregor is actually a surgeon and at the end he heals a sympathetic boy (Loris Loddi) . Doc and Slade suffer double-crosses , attacks , betrayal by a corrupt Mayor (Umberto Raho) as well as a lot of twists and turns until a final assault on the town .

This "L'uomo Dalla Pistola D'Oro" , also titled "Doc, Hands of Steel" , or "Man with the Golden Pistol" or "The Man Who Came to Kill" or "El Pistolero De Oro" results to be a so-so tortilla/Pasta Western in which two drifters arrive in a little town to resolve conflicts among nasty robbers and corrupt authority . All in all , this film is predominantly a Spanish film rather than an Italian one . It's a two country co-production but is clearly dominated by the Spanish contingent and the traditional leanings of the Spanish producers of the time have their stamp on the entire proceedings . The Spanish westerns of this era were far more likely to try and emulate their American source material than cultivate a distinctive style of their own the way the Italians were doing but their product , though if you like westerns remains lightly watchable , but also it turns out to be middling . Mediocre Butifarra Western realized in traditional style with a screenplay written by Giovanni Simonelli , José Antonio De La Loma and Alfonso Balcázar himself , including boring dialogue , silly situations , plot twists and turns . Italian-Spanish co-production filmed in Catalunya , full of familiar faces , action , exaggerated characters , crossfire and lots of shots and fights . The film packs thrills , shootouts , brawls , and results to be entertaining but very mediocre . It's a middle-budget film with ordinary actors , technicians , decent production values and average results . There is plenty of action in the movie , guaranteeing some shoot'em up or stunts every few minutes . It's an exciting western with breathtaking showdown between protagonists , Carl Mohner and Luis Davila , against their enemies , adding some thrilling scenes at the ending . It stars Carl Möhner (1921–2005) who performed other Westerns as ¨30 Winchesters for El Diablo" or "Gold Train" , but also acted in thrillers and dramas as ¨Babysitter¨, ¨It takes a thief¨, ¨The last bridge¨, ¨Cave of the living dead¨, ¨Sink the Bismark¨ and his greatest hit was ¨Rififi¨ . Co-stars Luis Davila who takes on a band of crooks , unethical Mayor & his gang . Davila starred during the sixties and seventies several action films as well as Chorizo or Paella Western such as ¨Relevo para pistolero¨, "Dynamite Jim" , ¨Viva Carrancho¨, ¨Tumba para Forajido¨ and "Pancho Villa" , some of them directed by Alfonso Balcazar . The cast and support cast are passable . Furthermore , there appears ordinary secondaries of Spaghetti/Paella Western , as Spanish/Italian players : Gloria Milland as a beautiful widow , Óscar Pellicer , Umberto Raho and the little boy Loris Loddi . And , of course, the great Fernando Sancho in his usual role as a Mexican outlaw , as he is terrific , he subsequently would play similar roles in other Spaghettis . Atmospheric cinematography by Mario Capriotti in Scope and Eastmancolor . Being regularly photographed and necessary a fine remastering because the film-copy is washed-out .

The picture mostly filmed in atmospheric scenarios on location in Fraga , (Huesca) , similar to Almeria , and a Western village located in ¨Spugles De Llobregat¨ , it resulted to be the locations where were shot lots of Westerns produced and directed by Catalan people as Alfonso Balcazar , J.J. Balcazar , José Antonio De La Loma , Juán Bosch , Juán Xiol , Manuel Esteba , Ignacio F. Iquino , and Julio Buchs , among others , because Almeria was too far and the Fraga landscapes bear remarkable resemblance . There are many fine technicians and nice assistant direction and adequate production design by the usual Juan Albert Soler , he creates an acceptable scenario . And evocative musical score by Angelo Francesco Lavagnino.

This motion picture was middlingly directed by Alfonso Balcazar , and with no originality ; he managed to make a fluid and filled with punches as well as gun-play , though mediocre . Alfonso often uses pseudonym Al Bagran . Alfonso alongside his brothers Juan Jose Balcazar and Francisco Balcázar produced and directed a lot of Chorizo or Butifarra Western , most of them starred by Jorge Martin or George Martin , Luis Davila , Daniel Martin or Robert Woods ; such as 1972 The return of Clint , 1972 Judas... ¡Toma Monedas! , 1968 Sartana no Perdone or Sonora , 1967 With Death on Your Back, 1966 Dinamita Jim , 1965 Doc , Manos De Plata , 1965 Viva Carrancho , 1965 Five Thousand Dollars on One Ace . Rating : 4.5/10 . Average

Hold Up! (2012)
Spain/Argentina co-production with fine acting , adequate production design , colorful cinematography and well set in the fifties, 16 October 2017
6/10

Nice film set in 50s Spain with luxurious production design , glamorous photography , good performances , alright filmmaking ; though developing a complex intrigue and results to be overlong . Madrid , 1955 , there takes place a jewelry robbing . Three weeks earlier , a group of Argentinians loyal to the deposed president Peron plan a robbery to recover the jewels that used to belong to the president's late wife Evita . As Peron wants the Evita's jewels to give them his new lover , as he assigns to retrieve the valuable pieces of jewellery to Landa (Daniel Fanego) . Then , Landa hires two thieves : Merello (Guillermo Francella) and Miguel (Nicolás Cabré) . Meanwhile , Miguel falls for a young nurse (Amaia Salamanca) . Both of whom arrange to go Madrid and assault a jewelry shop where find the precious pieces . But their arrogance at winning put on the radar of two tough Police Inspectors , who are working on his own personal agenda . Ultimately, greed , pride , ego , desperation and reckoning all play a role in how involvement in this group .

An nicely crafted , well-played flick that deservedly had several prizes , founded on a perfectly calibrated screenplay whose emotional grip tightens as it proceeds . There takes place a thrilling cat and mouse game , as well as an intense battle of wits between a wise as well as veteran robber excellently played by Guillermo Francella and a cerebral , stubborn Police Inspector , magnetically performed by Oscar Jaenada . Being inspired by real events when in the Francoist period took place a heist at a known jewelry . Guillermo Francella is simply awesome , he steals the show as an old , cunning and intelligent thief . Agreeable main and support cast give nice acting as Nicolás Cabré , Amaia Salamanca , Óscar Jaenada , Jordi Martínez , Felipe García Vélez and special mention for Daniel Fanego as the astute Landa .

In addition , it displays a colorful photography in juicy atmosphere , being filmed by David Omedes , deemed to be one of the best Spanish cameramen , who has shot successes as ¨Salvador¨, "To Hell with the Ugly", ¨Special's chef¨ , ¨My mothers likes women¨ and ¨A night at old Mexico¨ . Being filmed on location in Valencia , Alcoi , Alacant, Alicante, Comunidad Valenciana, Cercedilla, Madrid, Ciudad de la Luz, Alicante, Comunidad Valenciana, Spain . Lively and atmospheric musical score by Federico Jusid . He composed the original soundtrack for more than 40 feature films and over 20 television series . His work includes the score for the Academy Award-winner for Best Foreign Film The Secret in Their Eyes (2009, by Juan José Campanella), for which he received the nomination for the Spanish Academy Goya Award for Best Original Score. He has recently worked with Alberto Iglesias writing additional compositions for the original score of Ridley Scott's Exodus: Gods and Kings , The Life Unexpected (Jorge Torregrossa) , Everybody has a Plan (Anna Piterbarg), The Escape (Eduardo Mignogna), The Hidden Face (Andrés Baiz), I Want To Be A Soldier (Christian Molina). Well and lavishly produced by Pedro Costa , Gerardo Herrero and producer Axel Kuschevatzky . It won Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards 2013 : Silver Condor Best Foreign Film , Spanish Language for Eduard Cortés and Nominated Silver Condor Best Costume Design to Myriam Ibáñez as costume designer and Pedro Costa Producciones Cinematográficas S.A. as producer .

The motion picture was professionally directed by Eduard Cortés . Here Cortés , also writer , was inspired by the true events of a band who carried out a jewelry hold-up and they took a lot of valuable jewels . Cortés has directed great number of notorious films . His film ¨Nobody's life¨ with Jose Coronado , was very nicely received , being debut director Eduard Cortés , from the world of television , where he has extensive experience as a director of TV3 regional channel . He has realized several TV episodes for known series and subsequently shooting other films as ¨Ingrid¨ , ¨Otros Dias Vendran¨ , ¨La Caverna¨, ¨Atraco¨ and his greatest hit : ¨The Pelayos¨ with Daniel Bhrul , Luis Homar , Miguel Angel Silvestre . The motion picture will appeal to quartet protagonist fans : Guillermo Francella , Óscar Jaenada , Amaia Salamanca , Daniel Fanego ; all of them make an excellent work . Rating : acceptable and passable , 6/10 , worthwhile watching

Amusing Spanish comedy plenty of bungling characters , movement , confusion and mayhem, 15 October 2017
6/10

The legend tells a fabulous treasure , a valuable dagger , since then , mean cons and powerful people have searched in vain . Forged in ancient Egypt , Dagger of Rasputin is a legendary jewel that gives almost absolute power to its possessor . Caesar , Attila and Napoleon were some of their illustrious owners . The track jewel is lost in Russia, with the death of its last owner , the mad monk Rasputín who was killed by Prince Yuppusoff and thrown into the river . But suddenly, in a Spanish prison , one of the inmates called Araña (Antonio Molero) joins other two delinquents : Jacinto (Antonio Resines) and Papeles (Jesús Bonilla) . These three cellmates undertake dangerous as well as fun adventures to locate the whereabouts of the precious dagger . All of them carry out a relentless search for finding the tracks that lead the dagger . Their risked feats are filled with breakouts , leaks and chases , which will take you to the heart of the deep Russia . It follows in a crazy adventure , a rambunctious race to see who can claim the loot first . As a crazy pursuit across Russian ¨Dachas¨ , orphanage , Kremlin square , Lenin mummy , churches and a luxurious Spa to find the treasure that had allegedly been delivered to Russia .

This is an bemusing as well as nutty comedy , plenty of humor , frolics , entertainment , funny happenings , and plot twists . This agreeable picture concerns a silly quest pulled off by a bunch of unfortunate as well as botcher people but things go awry . As a Russian ¨Matrioska¨ sparks a madcap that rush to find the supernatural dagger . This film is made to entertain , and this movie , especially for a good time and a pleasant entertainment and is also pretty darn funny . Sitting in a strange middle ground between the completely absurd and the stylishly enjoyable . It takes a simple concept , a clumsy band of shameless folks turning into law-breaking lunatics and ruining their lives for the sake of an ancient treasure ; all of them investigating and running here and there to find it . There are some nice jokes in the film and the cast , playing eccentric characters , make a cosy fit . The flick interweaves fun comedy along with a social criticism about the Spanish crisis of the 2000s and a little bit of suspense and great amusement . This film packs attractive images , strange situations , swift frames , twists and turns ; but it especially contains catching touches of humor , tongue-in-cheek and irony . It takes a silly premise , a peculiar quest , being schemed , planned and proceeded by hapless people and in similar style to American films as ¨It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World¨ by Stanley Kramer and ¨Rat race¨ by Jerry Zucker , along with Italian classy ¨Rufufu¨ (1956) , a great Comedia all'Italiana by Mario Monicelli ; this latter was a brilliant parody to French production titled ¨Rififi¨(1956) and adding the typical Spanish idiosyncrasy with titles as ¨Atraco a Las Tres¨, or ¨Los Que Tocan el Piano¨ . Sympathetic acting from the bungler Antonio Molero , Jesús Bonilla filmmaker himself , and special mention for Antonio Resines who is identified by the Russian mafia as a carrier of a genetic anomaly related to the dagger . The film is full of familiar faces and cameos such as Carolina Bang , Juan Luis Galiardo as Zadkin , María Barranco as Alejandra , Fernando Conde as Psiquiatra , Mario Pardo , Gabino Diego , and Andrés Pajares as General Krilenco , a Stalin-lookalike , most of them give brief but enjoyable interpretations .

Being efficiently produced by the great producer Enrique Cerezo and Telecinco Cinema . Moving and Original Musical score by Roque Baños . Colorful and evocative Cinematography by Juan Molina shot in Madrid , Moscow and surroundings . The motion picture was professionally directed by Jesús Bonilla , though it has some flaws and gaps , being overlong . He directed in similar style ¨El Oro De Moscu¨ also produced by Enrique Cerezo and a similar plot in which a bustling group will take you to the heart of the entertainment and amusement , including a all-Spanish-cast with usual players as Alfredo Landa , Antonio Resines , Alexis Valdés , Gabino Diego , Neus Asensi , Juan Luis Galiardo , Sancho Gracia , María Barranco , Andrés Pajares , José Luis López Vázquez , Jorge Sanz , El Gran Wyoming , Carlos Latre , Antonio Resines and Florentino Fernández .

Inferior Spanish/Italian co-production stars Charles Quiney and regularly directed by José Luis Merino , made in Spaghetti/Paella style, 12 October 2017
4/10

Below average story about the famous masked adventurer in Gazpacho/Maccaroni Western style financed by Carthago and Duca productions. This inferior Zorro with Spaghetti style is a mediocre adaptation inspired from Johnston McCulley character starred by Carlos Quiney as Antonio Sandoval / El Zorro (as Charles Quiney) , a dashing masked avenger . It deals with a land baron (Fernando Hilbeck) who attempts to rob a valuable Indian emerald and his nemesis , Antonio Sandoval , an aristocrat who is really Zorro. While , a beautiful woman (Malisa Longo) who is engaged to Arturo and schemes a plan to free her father (Antonio Jimenez Escribano) , -who knows location a treasure- , from a prison . As Zorro intervenes and breaks him out . Meanwhile , the nasty owner and his hoodlums (Pascuale Basile) take on the dashing masked avenger . And a Pinkerton Agency detective (Maria Mahor) is hired to discover true identity of the cunning Zorro . Later on , Zorro faces savage Indians and carries out a dangerous fight against a brave warrior . At the end takes place an Indian attack and a confrontation at a grotto where are joined the good guys and bad guys , but Zorro reunites forces and helps unfortunates .

Average story in ironical tone about the famous masked adventurer and in Gazpacho/Spaghetti Western style . This inferior Zorro in Spaghetti style is a mediocre adaptation inspired from Johnston McCulley character starred by Charles Quiney as the dashing masked avenger . This Chorizo/Pasta Western is filled with action , crossfire , thrills , intrigue , spectacular horse riding by Zorro and humor . This Zorro was middlingly starred by Charles Quiney , he took a chance and jumped from warlike action ("Hell Commandos" , ¨When heroes die¨) and adventures (Tiger of Kyber , Robin Hood) to costumed Western and various Zorros , as Quiney played ¨Zorro De Monterrey¨, ¨Last adventure Zorro¨ . Quiney steals the show as a foppish Zorro relishing his secret identity dressed in black ; executing bounds and leaps , twists and climbs and throughly enjoys himself . In the movie appears usual support actors , as Spanish as Italian : Fernando Hilbeck , María Mahor , Pasquale Basile , Enrique Ávila and Antonio Jimenez Escribano . Shot by cameraman Emanuele Di Cola on Spanish locations in Patones , Seseña , Aldea Del Fresno , Colmenar Viejo and Almeria . Pretty good musical score by the prolific Francesco De Massi .

The motion picture was lousily directed by Jose Luis Merino , under pseudonym Joseph Marvin and uncredited Luigi Capuano , though resulted to be below average . Merino is a skill and successfully craftsman . He often uses same actors , such as Stelvio Rossi , Peter Lee Lawrence , George Hilton and Charles Quiney . He has written/directed numerous films of all kinds of genres , such as Terror : Ivanna , The hanging woman ; Euro-spy : Colpo Sensazionale Al Servicio Del Sifar ; Chorizo/Spaghetti Western : More Dollars for the MacGregors , Frontera Sur , Réquiem for the gringo , Gatling gun , Seven ride to death , ; Wartime : Last Panzer battle , Hell commandos , A Bullet for Rommel , When heroes die ; Musical : Europa Canta , Aquellos Tiempos Del Cuple , and his most successful films are the fresh and diverting adventures : Tarzan and King Salomon's mines , Robin Hood , Rebelion De Bucaneros , El Zorro De Monterrey , and Last adventure of Zorro.

There are lots of Zorros , as European Zorros filmed by that time are the followings : ¨Zorro all Corte Di Spaña¨ (1963) by Luigi Capuano , ¨Zorro versus Maciste¨ by Umberto Lenzi with Pierre Brice , Alan Steel , Moira Orfei ; ¨El Jiuramento Di Zorro¨ by Ricardo Blasco with Guy Stockwell and Mikaela ; ¨Zorro Il Ribelle¨ by Piero Pirotti with Howard Ross ; ¨Il Figlio Di Zorro¨ (1973) by Gianfranco Baldanello and two directed by Jose Luis Merino with Charles Quiney and Maria Pia Conte as ¨Zorro the rider of vendetta¨ and ¨Zorro of Monterrey ¨ . Joaquin Marchent is deemed to be the Paella Western's best director , he made ¨El Coyote¨ , a Zorro-alike and the sequel titled ¨Revenge of Coyote¨ shot in Mexico ; after that , he filmed ¨The shadow of Zorro¨ and ¨Revenge of Zorro also titled ¨Vengeance of Zorro¨ and ¨L'Ombra Di Zorro¨ (1962) with Frank Latimore , Paul Piaget and Robert Hundar . And French version in similar style as ¨Le Tulipe Noie¨ (1964) with Alain Delon and Virna Lisi and ¨Zorro¨(1975) by Duccio Tessari with Alain Delon, Octavia Piccolo and Stanley Baker .

And American Zorros are the followings : The mute classic adaptation ¨Mark of Zorro¨ 1920, Fred Niblo, with Douglas Fairbanks, the classic ¨Mark of Zorro¨, 1940, Robert Mamoulian with Tyrone Power, Basil Rathbone and Linda Darnell), and followed by ¨The legend of Zorro¨ 2005, Martin Campbell again with Banderas and Catherine Zeta Jones, Tony Amendola, Pedro Armendariz and Rufus Sewell .


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