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A movie with Morricone's music
 mov-010 Once upon a time in revolution/C'era una volta la rivoluzione
71-09-official
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Once upon a time in revolution/C'era una volta la rivoluzione
Once upon a time in revolution/C'era una volta la rivoluzione
About the movie from IMDB

Overview

Director:Sergio Leone

Writers:Sergio Leone (story) and
Sergio Donati (story) ...
more
Release Date:29 October 1971 (Italy) more
Genre:Adventure / Western / Action / War more
Tagline:Rod Steiger and James Coburn will blow you apart in "A Fistful of Dynamite" ("Duck You Sucker") by the master of adventure Sergio Leone
Plot Outline:An IRA explosives expert on the run in Mexico meets an amoral Mexican bandit; together they get drawn into the Mexican revolution. more
Plot Synopsis:This plot synopsis is empty. Add a synopsis
Plot Keywords:Execution / Once Upon A Time In The Title / Explosion / Flashback Sequence / Cult Western more
Awards:1 win more

Cast (Cast overview, first billed only)

Rod Steiger ... Juan Miranda

James Coburn ... John H. Mallory
Romolo Valli ... Dr. Villega
Maria Monti ... Adelita, woman in stagecoach
Rik Battaglia ... Santerna (as Rick Battaglia)
Franco Graziosi ... Governor Jaime
Antoine Saint-John ... Gutierez / Col. Günther Reza (as Domingo Antoine)
Giulio Battiferri ... Miguel
Poldo Bendandi ... Executed Revolutionary
Omar Bonaro
Roy Bosier ... Landowner
John Frederick ... American
Amato Garbini
Michael Harvey ... Yankee
Biagio La Rocca ... Benito
more

Additional Details

Also Known As:A Fistful of Dynamite (UK) (USA) (alternative title)
C'era una volta la rivoluzione (Italy)
Duck, You Sucker (USA)
Once Upon a Time... the Revolution
more
Parents Guide:Add content advisory for parents
Runtime:157 min / USA:120 min (initial US release) / USA:138 min / USA:154 min (Laserdisc version)
Country:Italy
Language:Italian / Spanish
Color:Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:2.35 : 1 more
Sound Mix:Mono

Synopsis

In Mexico at the time of the Revolution, Juan, the leader of a bandit family, meets John Mallory, an IRA explosives expert on the run from the British. Seeing John's skill with explosives, Juan decides to persuade him to join the bandits in a raid on the great bank of Mesa Verde. John in the meantime has made contact with the revolutionaries, and intends to use his dynamite in their service(See here)

 
Review
A Fistful of Dynamite
This Sergio Leone film is definately the least seen of all his westerns. For some reason, this film is largely forgotten. It is never shown on cable, and the video was out of print for many years but has recently been re-released on both laserdisc and video. Hopefully now that it has been re-released, it will start getting the attention it deserves.

This movie is the exception to the rule that Leone gets better with time, but it is only a slight exception. After all, it's hard to beat Once Upon a Time in the West. Perhaps the slight imperfections comes because it was not originally a Leone project, and so he did not have quite as much control as usual.

This film, despite its name, is not a spaghetti western. It is what is called a "Zapata Western", after the famous Mexican revolutionary. These films are characterized by the simultaneously friendly and antagonistic relationship between a local bandit , and a foreigner who is an expert at revolution. In A Fistful of Dynamite , Juan Miranda (Ron Steiger) is a Mexican bandit who runs across Sean Mallory (James Coburn), who is an IRA terrorist on the run. After some initial hostility and a few explosions, Juan convinces Sean to rob the Bank of Mesa Verde. Sean, however, arranges things so that Juan frees hundreds of political prisoners while looking for the safe in the bank. After that, Juan slowly turns into a full- fledged revolutionary, while Sean loses his revolutionary fervor.

To contrast this plot with a few other Zapata Westerns, in The Mercenary, a Mexican who starts to get involved in the revolution is helped by a clever mercenary who treats himself to the Mexican's water, women, and gold. Quemada! ( also known as Burn! which stars Marlon Brando) is the story of a British officer (Brando) who helps start a revolution in the Antilles sugar farms by duping the soon-to-be leader of the slaves to rob a bank, then defend himself, and then defend his people.

One of the interesting things about A Fistful of Dynamite is the weird, offbeat, yet beautful Ennio Morricone score. From the Main Title's refrain of "Sean. Sean Sean Sean. Sean Sean.", to the March of the Beggars (Juan's Theme) croaking "wop. Wop. wop.", Morricone created something different than the usual spaghetti western, yet just as fun, and certainly just as moving.

The music is well suited to the equally quirky direction by Leone. This movie is full of fast zooms, extreme closeups, exaggerated, cartoonish visuals and sounds. A good example is the scene in which Juan is travelling with the upper-class snobs, who proceed to stuff their faces with all sorts of food (which Leone shows in extreme close-ups), and make fun of Juan and the poor Mexicans like him. The same phrases are repeated over and over, faster and faster, until the train is finally stopped by Juan's men. And one of my favorite scenes in the movie is when Sean first reveals his incredible array of explosives, and the camera zooms to Juan's amazed eyes.. the organ music swells, and we see Sean standing there with a banner floating above him which reads "Banco National de Mesa Verde". It's one of those things that Leone does that reveals exactly what a character is feeling, even though nothing has been said. And, of course, a banner floating in midair above someone is just never done in movies. When Leone does it, it is suprising and hilarious.

A Fistful of Dynamite is a film unique in the Leone body of work. It is a comic film, yet serious at the same time. Even though Juan is the comic character, in this film the comic character is every bit as important as the serious one (John) (as opposed to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly or Once Upon a Time in the West ). It is Juan that we see develop ideals, while at the same time Sean loses his ("When I started using dyanmite, I used to believe in a lot of things. All of it! Now I believe only in dynamite"). In elevating the comic character to the equal of the serious one, Leone creates a film that is sensitive as it is cartoonish . "What about me?" we hear Juan ask at the end of the film. After these sad parting words, that Juan realizes that now he must fight by himself, thus losing his comic, sidekick quality, and becoming a serious John-type character. This is the only time that such a switch happens in Leone's oevre, and I'm glad it does. (Here)

In its uncut version, Sergio Leone's final foray into Western territory opens with a quote from Mao -- flashed a few words at a time, à la Godard -- establishing its political nature immediately. Though not the first to see the spaghetti Western's potential for political commentary, Leone predictably claims the burgeoning (since the 1968 uprisings) genre variation as his own. A fantastic opening pitting Rod Steiger's earthy bandito against a stagecoach filled with rich bigots begins the film on a fantastic note that Leone has difficulty sustaining. But what the film loses in momentum, it gains in complexity. Pairing Steiger's character with James Coburn's nearly disillusioned Irish revolutionary expands the scope of the film in ways other than the geographical. While other political spaghetti Westerns simply pitted the haves against the have-nots, Duck, You Sucker! (named after a "popular" American catchphrase known only to Leone), attempts to portray the full scope of revolution. That the director includes chilling scenes of wholesale massacre on the part of the ruling class would seem to betray his sympathies, but he also portrays the impact of revolutionary activity on those who rebel. Mao's words about revolution being an act of violence take on new meaning in light of the losses incurred by the two heroes over the course of the film. Does Leone endorse the statement, reject it, or simply view it as an inevitability? Whatever the case, the debate is housed in a film unmistakable for the work of any other director -- one that's larger than life but still quite affecting and contains inimitable suspense sequences. Though it includes too many awkwardly paced passages to qualify as anyone's favorite Leone film, the film's disastrous financial performance in America granted it an undeserved obscurity. The strange (even by his own standards) score by Ennio Morricone alone makes it worth seeking out. ~ Keith Phipps, All Movie Guide (See here)

Strange and entertaining political Leone western,
Originally and horribly titled "Duck, you sucker", Fistful of Dynamite is a very political western circa early `70s. Rod Steiger plays the role of a Mexican bandit who ends up in a partnership with James Coburn.Coburn is an expat Irish revolutionary, complete with dynamite and a motorcycle on the run in Mexico. Both are simply excellent in their roles even though Coburn has a tendency to fall in and out of his Irish accent.
Politics plays a central role in this film. It opens with a quote from Chairman Mao on the nature of violence and revolution. The first scene is chock full of class warfare as Steiger's character is humiliated by the upper-class riders on the stage. Slowly Stieger is converted from bandit to revolutionary by Coburn. This is also one of Leone's most violent films (which is saying a lot); in one scene government troops are shown massacring hundreds in retaliation for rebel attacks.

You don't have to be left wing to enjoy Fistful of Dynamite. Neither side is really pictured in a positive manner; even the rebel leadership is duplicitous and even treasonous. In the end this is a very entertaining film, which has been in the shadow of Leone's other works. Interestingly he originally wanted to call this "Once Upon a Time, a Revolution", the first part of a Once Upon a Time trilogy. And of course don't miss the eerie and downright weird Ennio Morricone score (which I've been looking for since I watched this film). (See here)

 
Play the film 2-1 46'32"
Play the film 2-2 49'12"
 
 
 
 
 
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