Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Donne alla frontier – Italian title
Sette donne per una strage – Italian title
Frauen, die durch die Hölle gehen – Austrian title
Las siete magníficas – Spanish title
De overlevende – Danish title
Le triomphe des sept desperadas – French title
Die durch die Hölle gehen – German title
I sfagi kratise epta meres – Greek title
Seven Vengeful Women – English title
The Tall Women – U.S.A. title
A 1966 Italian, Austrian, Spanish, Liechtenstein co-production [Danny Films (Rome), Danubia Film (Vienna), L.M.Film (Madrid), Euro Film (Vaduz)]
Producer: Zeljko Kunkera, Sidney W. Pink
Director: Sidney W. Pink, Cehett Grooper (Rudolf Zehetgruber)
Story: Mike Ashley (Mino Roli)
Screenplay: Mike Ashley (Mino Roli), Jim Heneghan, Werner Hauff, Sidney Pink
Cinematography: Marcello Gatti, Alvaro Lanzoni [Eastmancolor, Technicope]
Music: Gregory G. Segura (Gregorio García Segura), Carlo Savina, Gerhard Froboeß
Running time: 104 minutes
Mary Ann – Anne Baxter
Usrula – Maria Perschy (Herta-Maria Perschy)
Gus McIntosh – Gustavo Rojo (Gustavo Pinto)
Katy Grimaldi – Adriana Ambessi
Betty Grimaldi – Rosella Como
Bridget – Christa Linder (Crista Linder)
Popé – Luis Prendes (Luis Estrada)
Blanche – Mara Cruz (María González)
Pilar – Pearl Cristal (Perla Lijtik)
Dorothy – María Mahor (María Horcajada)
Colonel Howard – John Clark
White Cloud – Fernando Hilbeck (Fernando Gavalda)
White Cloud’s squaw – Alejandra Nilo
With: Valentino Macchi, George Rigaud (Pedro Delissetche), Dorit Dom, Renate Lanz, Franco Mariotti, Mila Stanic, Reginald Gillian, J.L. Bayonas (José Luis Bayonas), Ben Tatar, Howard Hagan, Catherine Elliott, Carl Rapp

Seven courageous women endeavor to survive alone in the Western wilderness after their traveling party is massacred by Indians in this western. During the attack, the women find a cave and plot their continued survival. The leader decides to keep going towards Fort Lafayette. It will be difficult as they must cross the Arizona desert without horses, guns, or food. Meanwhile a posse sets out to find the missing women. They and their leader find the ladies, but unfortunately, the renegade Indians attack. The posse leader conceals the women in a burial ground while he and his men fight back. All of the men but the leader are slain. He joins the women and they resume their arduous journey. The Indian marauder is planning a final attack when the tribal leader intervenes. He has watched the courageous women and admires their fortitude. The chief decides to protect them on their journey to safety. ~ Sandra Brennan
YouTube film clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IH-ayzD8Q0U

Monday, December 30, 2013

Sony Movie Channel Euro-westerns

In addition to showing Western film scattered throughout their schedule all through the year, Sony Movie Channel is offering a fine mix of Euro-westerns on New Year’s Day and again on January 25 and 26.

January 1, 2014
Frontier Hellcat - 10:20 a.m.
Rampage at Apache Wells – 10:20 p.m.
January 25, 2014
Frontier Hellcat – 4:25 a.m.
Rampage at Apache Wells - 5:55 a.m.
The Texican – 7:30 a.m.
Landraiders – 9:00 a.m.
January 26, 2014
A Man Called Sledge – 3:20 p.m.

Who Are Those Guys? - Mimo Billi

Domenico ‘Mimo’ Gilli was born in Imola, Emilio-Romagna, Italy on March 21, 1910. In the 1950s and 1960s he appeared in various character roles in numerous Italian comedy and musical films. He was also seen in soap operas and television in 1964, he played the role of a host in the television drama ‘Les Miserables’ (1964).
According to some sources, was born in Bologna not in Imola and in 1915 instead of 1910. After college he moved to Bergamo then on to Genoa and finally to Rome. He found work in the film industry as a production secretary.
From 1935 to 1946 he lived in Africa where he had gone with its own touring theater company to perform in Abyssinia, Somalia and Eritrea.
Mimo enlisted as a volunteer at the outbreak of World War II, but was taken prisoner at the battle of Agordat and was able to return to Italy after the conclusion of the war. Mimo returned to the film industry again as a production secretary and then appeared in small roles in several films and also appeared in some stage productions. Some of his best remembered films include “Il moralista” (1959), “The Story of Joseph and His Brethren” (1962), “Gidget Goes to Rome” (1963), “Mandragola” (1966). Billi appeared in only two Euro-westerns: “The Sign of Zorro” (1962) and “Adios Gringo” (1965)
Most of his career has been spent on television where he’s appeared in many ‘soap operas’ where he
found the hearts of the Italian viewing public.
Mimo Billi died in Rome, Italy on November 26, 1974.

BILLI, Mimo (aka Giacomo Billi, James Billi, Mimmo Billi) (Giacomo Billi) [3/21/1910, Imola, Emilio- Romagna, Italy - 11/26/1974, Rome, Lazio, Italy] - TV actor.
The Sign of Zorro - 1962
Adios Gringo - 1965

Sunday, December 29, 2013


Talento por amor – Spanish title
Gun Crazy – U.S.A. title
A Talent for Loving – U.K. title
A 1969 U.S.A., U.K. co-production [Paramount (Hollywood), Dudley Birch Films (London)]
Producer: Walter Shenson
Director: Richard Quine
Story: “A Talent for Loving” by Richard Condon
Screenplay: Jack Rose
Cinematography: Clifford Stone [color]
Music: Ken Thorne
Running time: 110 minutes
Major William Patten – Richard Widmark
Landowner – Cesar Romero (Cesar Romero, Jr.)
Mexican bandit – Topol (Chaim Topol)
Maria – Fran Jeffries (Frances Makris)
Moodie – Derek Nimmo
Franklin – Max Showalter
Lady Butler – Genevieve Page (Genevieve Bronjean)
Tortillaw – Joe Melin
Martinelli – John Bluthal
Jacaranda – Libby Morris
Benito – Mircha Carven
Jim Street – Judd Hamilton
Ms. Evalina Patten – Caroline Munro
Marilyn – Marie Rogers
Florita – Janet Storti
Don Patricio – Milo Quesada (Raúl Alonso)
Young Evalina – Stephanie Haynes
Mexican bandits - Jack Brami, Ricardo Montez

Set in Texas and northern Mexico in the decades around 1865, its basic premise is a fantastic one: In the 16th century an Aztec priest has cut off his own hand and used the bloody stump to lay a curse upon a blasphemous Spanish conquistador and all his direct descendants. The curse: that once any of the descendants, whether male or female, have tasted physical love, even in the form of a single kiss, they will spend the rest of their lives as being nearly sexually insatiable. Three centuries later the beautiful young virginal daughter of a fabulously wealthy Texas rancher and gambler is latest the victim of the curse; an elaborate set of contests and races is arranged to choose which of two cowboys will win her hand in marriage.

Remembering Wolfgang Kuhne

Wolfgang Kühne was born on Decemer 29, 1953 in Riesa, Sacony, Germany. He attended a special school physical-technical direction which he graduated in 1972 with high school and skilled workers as steelworkers. Then he studied until 1975 at the drama school in Rostock, which then enabled him to work at the Vorpommerschen Landesbühne Anklam to 1976 and at the Theater der Altmark until 1977. From 1977-1980, Kuehne did his military service, while in 1979 he was briefly detained for political reasons. In the following four years he worked as a freelancer in East Berlin at the theater, the cabaret, in radio and television and as a voice actor. In 1984 he moved to the Federal Republic of Germany, where he worked as a freelance actor, screenwriter, director and lecturer. In 2002, Kuehne advertising and consulting firm DerGuteTon.de. was born on December 29, 1953 in Riesa, Saxony, Germany. Kuehne attended a special school for physical-technical direction from which he graduated in 1972 as a skilled steelworker. Then he studied until 1975 at the drama school in Rostock, which then enabled him to work at the Vorpommerschen Landesbühne Anklam until 1976 and then at the Theater der Altmark until 1977. From 1977-1980, Kuehne performed his military service, while in 1979 he was briefly detained for political reasons. In the following four years he worked as a freelancer in East Berlin at the theater, the cabaret, in radio and television and as a voice actor. In 1984 he moved to the Federal Republic of Germany, where he worked as a freelance actor, screenwriter, director and lecturer. In 2002, Kuehne founded the advertising and consulting firm DerGuteTon.de.
Kühne appeared in only one Euro-western: “Death for Zapata” (1976) as Rodrigo and was a German voice dubber on “Shoot the Living, Pray for the Dead” (1970) as the voice of Freddy Unger and in 1971’s “A Fistful of Death” as the voice of Dennis Colt, “Renegade” (1987) as the voice of Curtis Thomas III, “Posse” (1993) as the German voice of Big Daddy Kane and Wolfgang was the voice of Ron Carey in both the Lucky Luke TV series (1991) and in “Troublemakers” (1994).
Wolfgang passed away on March 15, 2008 in Berlin, Germany.
Today we remember Wolfgang  Kühne on what would have been his 60th birthday.

Remembering Danica Acimac

Danica Acimac was born Danica Pomorišac on December 29, 1928 in Belgrade, Serbia. As a child, she began to work as an actress in the Serbian theater. Then in 1939 she was first heard on Radio Belgrade. This quickly ended during World War II. In 1950 she went to Cetinje with a group of art students and administrators and founded the Cetinjskog Theater Minja Dedic, while another group of students with Soja Jovanovic founded the Belgrade Drama Theatre
It was later in 1959 that Danica along with Lola Djukic made her first TV appearance. They appeared on live television which broadcasted a program that covered all of Yugoslavia on the small screen. Danica soon left these roles for the movies for which she is remembered for her roles in such films as “Licem u nalicje” (1965) and “Nevidljivi covek” (1976). Her only Euro-western was in 1967’s “Zlatna pracka” (The Golden Sling) in the role of Stanija.
Danica died on June 11, 2009 in Belgrade, Serbia.
Today we Remember Danica Acimac on what would have been her 85th birthday.

Remembering Christian Matras

Jean Jacques Christian Matras was born on December 29, 1903 in Valence, Drôme, Rhône Alpes, France. He was a reporter for Éclair-Journal before beginning his film career as a cinematographer and director. Matras was known for such films as “La Grande Illusion” (1937), “The Earrings of Madame de...” (1953) and “The Milky Way” (1969). He died on May 4, 1977 in Paris, France. Matras was a cinematographer on one Euro-western: “$5,000 on One Ace” (1964) starring Robert Woods and Fernando Sancho. Christian died on May 4, 1977 in Paris, France.
Today we remember Christian Matras on what would have been his 110th birthday.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Spaghetti Western Locations

We continue our search for “Return of the Seven” film locations. After cleaning out the remaining bandits in the village the now six mercenaries ride out of the village to track down the men kidnapped from the village.

Nothing remains of the village unless you really scour the brush and fields for foundation remains and bits and pieces of wooden beams and posts. Again the location is in Agost but this area is a bit easier to locate because two of the hills in the background have not been touched while the third resembles the tailings from a mine.

For a more detailed view of this site and other Spaghetti Western locations please visit my friend Captain Douglas’ excellent website: http://www.western-locations-spain.com                           
and Yoshi Yasuda’s location site: http://y-yasuda.net/film-location.htm            
[Captain Douglas has dedicated and entire section of his website to “The Return of the Seven” with behind the scenes photos and stories, highly recommended.]

Who Are Those Guys? - Raoul Billerey

Émile Gaston Maurice ‘Raoul’ Billerey was born on October 12, 1920 in Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France. Billerey became interested in the theater and he then met actor Pierre Renoir and after World War II, he made his debut on the Parisian stage in “L'amour des Trois oranges” in 1946 at the  d'Alexandre Arnoux Théâtre in Montparnasse. In the early 1950s he took up fencing with fencing-master Claude Carliez, He the collaborated artistically with director André Hunebelle in several swashbuckling films as stunt coordinator and master of arms such as “The Three Musketeers” in 1953 with Georges Marchal and Bourvil Cadet Rousselle in 1954 with Bourvil and Dany Robin, the “ l'Impossible Monsieur Pipelet” (1955) with a young Louis de Funès, “Le Bossu” in 1959 with Jean Marais, “Le Miracle des loups” in 1961 where this time he’s seen as an actor with Jean Marais and Roger Hanin like “Les Mystères de Paris” in 1962 with Jean Marais and Raymond Pellegrin. He appeared in his only Euro-western film “Fernand Cowboy” in 1956 as Mario alongside “Fernand Raynaud”.
He was also known was a fencing master and his skills were put to use in several of his films including a Chinese version of the “The 3 Musketeers”. Raoul appeared in over 150 films as a stuntman but he also became a very good actor appearing in many stage performances, speaking roles in over 30 films and several television appearances.
However, Raoul Billerey made ​​some "professional indiscretions" during this decade before again finding his friend Jean Marais and appearing in 1962’s “The Iron Mask”. During the 1960s he also turned to television where he appeared in ‘Thierry La Fronde de Robert Guez’ with Claude Drouot, Philippe Noiret and Jean Marais. Other television appearances included ‘Lagardère’ (1967) and ‘D'Artagnan’ (1969). Raoul also continued his stage work during the 1960s with appearances in “Lorenzaccio” (1964), “Qui est cette femme?” (1965), and “L'envers d'une conspiration” (1967). Raoul appeared in the Euro-western TV series ‘Fortune’ in 1967.
His career continued on stage, television and film until the turn of the 21st century. His last film appearance occurred in 2003 with “Les Ripoux 3”. 2003 saw his last stage appearance in “Jésus II de Joseph Delteil”.
With his wife Claudine he retired to their home in Limoux, Aude, France. Here his death went almost unnoticed on July 28, 2010.

BILLEREY, Raoul (aka Raoul Billeret, R. Billerey, Raoul Billeroy, Raoul Bilrey) (Émile Gaston Maurice Billerey) [10/12/1920, Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France - 7/28/2010, Limoux, Aude, France] – stage, TV actor, stuntman, fencing master, master of arms, married to Claudine Billerey (19??-2010).
Fernand Cowboy - 1956 (Mario)
Fortune (TV) - 1967

Friday, December 27, 2013

New DVD Release

Once Upon a Time in the West
Director: Sergio Leone
Starring: Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, Charles Bronson Claudia Cardinale
# SELF21419
Format DVD 9
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Language: Italian
Audio: Mono
Running time: 160 minutes
Special Edition DVD & booklet
Available: December 2013


La parola di un fuorilegge... è legge! - Italian title
La lunga cavalcata - Italian title
Cavalgada infernal - Brazilian title
Veriset ratsastajat - Finnish title
La chevauchée terrible - French title
Einen vor den latz geknallt - German title
Tote brauchen keine Dollars - German title
Der Schwarze Cowboy - German title
Osiemdziesiat szesc tysiecy dolarów - Polish title
Cavalgada fantastica - Portuguese title
Cursa Grea - Romanian title
Por la senda más dura - Spanish title
Den våldsamma flykten - Swedish title
Take Another Hard Ride - English title
Take a Hard Ride - U.S.A. title
A 1975 U.S.A., Italian co-production [Fox Fanfare Music (Hollywood), Euro-General (Rome)]
Producers: Harry Benson, Leon Chooluck
Director: Anthony M. Dawson (Antonio Margheriti)
Story: Jerry Ludwig (Jerrod L. Ludwig, Eric Bercovici (Enrico Bercovici)
Screenplay: Jerry Ludwig (Jerrod L. Ludwig, Eric Bercovici (Enrico Bercovici)
Cinematography: Riccardo Pallottini [De Luxe color, widescreen]
Music: Jerry Goldsmith (Jerald Goldsmith)
Frank Pike - Jim Brown (James Brown)
Peter Kiefer - Lee Van Cleef (Clarence Van Cleef, Jr.)
Tyree - Fred Williamson (Frederick Williamson)
Catherine - Catherine Spaak
Kashtok - Jim Kelly (James Kelly)
Sheriff Kane - Barry Sullivan (Patrick Sullivan)
Bob Morgan - Dana Andrews (Carver Andrews)
Duper - Harry Carey, Jr. (Henry Carey, Jr.)
Skave - Robert Donner
Cloyd - Charles McGregor
Cangey - Leonard Smith
Halsey - Ronald Howard
Calvera - Ricardo Palacios (Ricardo Diez)
Chico - Robin Levitt
Angel - Buddy Joe Hooker
Ned - Hal Needham (Harold Needham)
Card player - Paul Costello

Mr. Morgan has finished a cattle drive north from Mexico into the United States, which has earned $ 86,000, before he dies of a sudden heart attack he entrusts the money to his ramrod Frank Pike to deliver the money to his wife Linda, who lives in Sonora. During the trip to Mexico, Pike is pursued by a bounty hunter, Peter Kiefer, who in order to help him succeed in his endeavor hires several outlaws and even teams up with the bandit Calvera and his whole gang. Pike, however, finds an ally in Tyree, a gunman and professional card sharp. At a critical point in the journey the two save a woman, a former prostitute, who, in order to help the two, pretends to steal the bag of money and draws upon her the machine gun fire of the bounty hunters. Before the last decisive showdown, Pike entrusts money to little Chico and then hides in an abandoned mine that he intends to blow up. By a miracle, Pike and Tyree are swept into a river and swim to safety, the two friends then once again head toward Sonora.

YouTube trailer link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S316P3fRql0

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy 75th Birthday José Luis Alcaine

José Luis Alcaine Escaño was born on December 26, 1938 in Tangier, Morocco. Alcaine is a cinematographer and was the first to use fluorescent light tubes as the main light in the 1970s.
His prolific film work has been rewarded with five Goya Awards for Best Cinematography in a total of seventeen nominations. He is known for his work on “Volver” (2006), “The Skin I Live In” (2011) and “Bad Education” (2004). He has been married to makeup artist Mariló Osuna since December 15, 2006. He was previously married to director, screenwriter Cecilia Bartolomé. In 2009, NotroFilms offered to direct his first TV series: “Doctor Mateo” which was screened for two seasons.
Alcaine was the cinematographer on two Euro-westerns: “Rustlers’ Rhapsody” (1984) and “Gunslinger’s Revenge” (1999).
Today we celebrate José Luis Alcaine’s 75th birthday.

Remembering Maurizio Arena

Maurizio Arena was born Maurizio Di Lorenzo on December 26, 1933 in Rome, Italy. He is the brother of actress Rosanna Di Lorenzo [1938- ]. Maurizio chose the name Arena as a pseudonym in honor of the actress Anna Arena, who he was romantically linked to for a few years, despite the strong difference of age. Arena was very famous especially in the 1950s, thanks to the success of the film trilogy directed by Dino Risi “Poveri ma belli”, “Belle ma povere” (both 1957) and “Poveri milionari” (1958), embodying the kind popular, young, handsome and apathetic Roman of his time.
He also tried to be a director, without much success. He produced and starred in the 1960 film “Il principe fusto”, whose cast also included his mother and father. The film foreshadowed in some way, the lack of affinity of its values ​​with those of a certain Roman aristocracy, as demonstrated by the contrasting the love story of Beatrice de Savoia (1943). “Il prinicipe fusto” was shot while Fellini was making “La dolce vita”, centered on the Via Veneto which also saw Arena among its "natural actors". Arena would go on to appear in over 80 films during his short career including two Euro-westerns “The Terror of Oklahoma” (1959) as Clay Norton and “The Grandsons of Zorro” (1975) as Fiar Miguel.
Like many of his fellow actors, he took the risk of becoming a singer and in the last years of his short life, he introduced himself as a healer. He died on November 21, 1979 at the age of 45 following a heart attack he had suffered in his villa in Casal Palocco.

Remembering Elisha Cook

Elisha Vanslyck Cook, Jr. was born on December 26, 1903 in San Francisco, California. He grew up in Chicago and started out in vaudeville and stock by the age of fourteen. He was a traveling actor in the East Coast and the Midwest before arriving in New York City, where Eugene O'Neill cast him in his play Ah, Wilderness!, which ran on Broadway for two years.
In 1936, Cook travelled to Hollywood and, after playing a series of college-aged parts, began a long period playing weaklings, sadistic losers and hoods. Cook's characters usually ended up being killed off; he was perhaps Hollywood's most notable fall guy for many years. In Universal's “Phantom Lady” (1944), he portrayed a slimy, intoxicated nightclub-orchestra drummer to memorable effect. He had a substantial uncredited role as Bobo in “I, the Jury” (1953). Other notable roles included Wilmer “The Maltese Falcon” (1941), Marty Waterman in “Born to Kill” (1947), Harry Jones in “The Big Sleep” (1946), "Stonewall" Torrey in “Shane” (1953), and George Peatty in “The Killing” (1956). At the other end of the cinematic spectrum, he appeared in William Castle's horror film House on Haunted Hill (1959) and Rosemary's Baby (1968).
Cook also appeared often on television in such series as ‘The Adventures of Superman’ (1953), ‘The Dennis Day Show’ (1953), ‘Perry Mason’ (1958, 1964), ‘The Real McCoys’ (1960).
Elisha Cook appeared in one Euro-western as the old convict befriended by Jim Brown in “El Condor” (1969). Cook died of a stroke on May 18, 1995 in Big Pine, California. He was 91.
Today we remember Elisha Cook on what would have been his 110th birthday.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013

I ain't much good at prayin', and you may not know me, Lord-
I ain't much seen in churches where they preach Thy Holy Word,
But you may have observed me out here on the lonely plains,
A-looking after cattle, feelin thankful when it rains,
Admirin' Thy great handiwork, the miracle of grass,
Aware of thy kind spirit in the way it comes to pass
That hired men on horseback and the livestock that we tend
Can look up at the stars at night and know we've got a Friend.
So here's ol' Christmas comin' on, remindin' us again
Of Him whose coming brought good will into the hearts of men
A cowboy ain't no preacher, Lord, but if you'll hear my prayer,
I'll ask as good as we have got for all men everywhere.
Don't let no hearts be bitter, Lord; don't let no child be cold.
Make easy beds for them that's sick, and them that's weak and old.
Let kindness bless the trail we ride, no matter what we're after,
And sorta keep us on Your side, in tears as well as laughter.
I've seen old cows a-starvin', and it ain't no happy sight;
Please don't leave no one hungry, Lord, on Thy good Christmas Night,
No man, no child, no woman, and no critter on four feet-
I'll aim to do my best to help You find 'em chuck to eat.
I'm just a sinful cowpoke, Lord -ain't got no business prayin' -
But still I hope You'll ketch a word or two what I am sayin'
We speak of Merry Christmas, Lord - I reckon You'll agree
There ain't no Merry Christmas for nobody that ain't free.
So one thing more I'll ask You, Lord, just help us what you can,
To save some seed for freedom for the future sons of man!
S. Omar Barker


Sunset - When a Man Dies

tramonto – Italian title
Sunset – When a Man Dies - English title
A 2012 Italian production [Terra Lontana (Rome)]
Producer: Roberto Urbani
Director: Roberto Urbani
Story: Roberto Urbani
Screenplay: Roberto Urbani
Cinematography: Dario di Mella [color]
Music: Giovanni Piccardi
Running time: 12 minutes
Daniel – Carlo Capriolli
Kid – Jacopo Losani
Young Daniel – Giacomo Nasta
Father – Pino Quartullo
Mother - Veruska Rossi
Man - Riccardo Scarafoni

It’s the Wild West. A man is crossing the desert and becoming more and more desperate. He is barely able to walk, as he is very dehydrated. When, across the barren land, he sees a flower and he knows he is going to survive. He rushes to a small stream of water, and as he is about to drink the water, a deep voice from across the stream stops him from drinking. The voice belongs to a gunman, and his name is Daniel.

YouTube trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0j4vswm-dc

Happy 70th Birthday

Hanna Schygulla was born on December 25, 1943 in Königshütte, Upper Silesia, Germany. Her father, a timber merchant by profession, was then drafted as an infantryman in the German Army and was captured by American forces in Italy, subsequently being held as a prisoner of war until 1948. In 1945, Schygulla, and her mother, arrived as refugees in Munich following the expulsion of the majority German population of Königshütte by Communist Poland. Much later, in the 1960s, Schygulla studied Romance languages and German studies, while taking acting lessons in Munich during her spare time.
Acting eventually became her focus, and she became particularly known for her film work with Rainer Werner Fassbinder. During the making of “Effi Briest” (1974), an adaptation of a German novel by Theodor Fontane, Fassbinder and Schygulla fell out over divergent interpretations of the character. Also a problem for Schygulla was her low pay, and she led a revolt against Fassbinder on this issue during the making of “Effi Briest”, shot in September 1972 sometime before its commercial release. Fassbinder's response was typically blunt: "I can't stand the sight of your face any more. You bust my balls". After this, they did not work together for several years until “The Marriage of Maria Braun” in 1978. The film was entered into the 29th Berlin International Film Festival, where Schygulla won the Silver Bear for Best Actress for her performance. Her only Euro-western appearance was in another Fassbinder film “Whity” in 1971 playing the role of Hanna.
Schygulla has acted in French, Italian, and American films. In the 1990s she also became known and well regarded as a chanson singer. In Juliane Lorenz's documentary film “Life, Love and Celluloid” (1998), on Fassbinder and related topics, Schygulla performs several songs.
In 2002, she appeared in “VB51”, a performance by the artist Vanessa Beecroft. In 2007, she appeared in the film “The Edge of Heaven”, directed by Fatih Akın, to wide acclaim. In 2007 she received the Honorary Award from the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival and in 2010 she received the Honorary Golden Bear from the Berlin Film Festival.
Today we celebrate Hanna Schygulla’s 70th birthday.

Remembering Larry Cross

Larry Cross was born Rusel Titus on December 25, 1913 in St. John, Nova Scotia, Canada. He was an actor who appeared in over 50 films and TV series. He’ best remembered for his roles as a reporter in “Time Lock” (1957), “The Gangster Show: The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui” (1972) as Sheet and as Henry Cabot Lodge  in “The Wind and the Lion” (1975). His only Euro-western was the role of Perkins in “Carry on Cowboy” (1965).
Cross died on June 29, 1976 in London, England.
Today we remember Larry Cross on what would have been his 100th birthday.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy 65th Birthday Edwige Fenech

Edwige Fenech was born Edwige Sfenek on December 24, 1948 in Bône, Constantine, France. She began her show business career as a participant in beauty contests (she won the title of "Miss Mannequin de la Cote d'Azur" at age 16 and even won a Miss France beauty contest) and worked as a photo model in. Fenech then moved from Nice to Rome in 1967 for her first Italian film “Samoa, regina della giungla” by Guido Malatesta. In 1968, she came under contract with Austrian director Franz Antel and from the late 1960s to early 1970s; she acted in various films of Antel (including his acclaimed “Frau Wirtin” series) as well as some Franz Marischka films.
Fenech starred in many genres of cinema but her greatest commercial success came with Italian sex comedies, particularly her early works “Ubalda, All Naked and Warm” (1972) and “Giovannona Long-Thigh” (1973), as well as the following l'insegnante (school teacher), la soldatessa (soldier), la poliziotta (policewoman) series and other films that featured Fenech in stereotypical professions, which further bolstered Fenech's position as the most popular actress of the genre. She often paired with Carlo Giuffrè and later with Renzo Montagnani in these films.
Fenech was also a regular in giallo films. Her works in this genre include “Five Dolls for an August Moon” (1970), “The Case of the Bloody Iris” (1971), “The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh” (1971), “Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key” (1972), “All the Colors of the Dark” (1972), and “Nude per l'assassino” (1975). Edwige appeared in only one Euro-western: “Heads or Tails” (1969) in the role of Manuela.
In the 1980s, she became a television personality, typically appearing with Barbara Bouchet on a chat show on Italian television.
After many years of work in movie production, she became a producer and produced, among others, “The Merchant of Venice” (2004) with Al Pacino, and Fenech accepted Quentin Tarantino's offer to star in another movie, “Hostel: Part II” (2007).
Today we celebrate Edwige Fenech’s 65th birthday.

Happy 85th Birthday Sigurd Fitzek

Sigurd Fitzek was born on Christmas Eve 1928 in Wroclaw, Lower Silesia Poland. After leaving school he wanted to become a farmer. After World War II, he came to Munich and later took over a riding school. Pursuing his desire to be an actor, he trained at the Munich Otto -Falkenberg School. In 1950 he went to the boy’s theater in Stuttgart. During this time he was seen in the role of the Indian chief Winnetou on the outdoor stage, together with his colleague Hellmut Lange, who played the role of Old Shatterhand. From 1960 to 1965 he worked regularly in small comedies at today's GOP Variety Theatre. During this time he acted with others in the pieces “Hocus Pocus” by Curt Goetz, “Do You Remember” by John Osborne and “A Thousand Clowns” by Herb Gardner.
In the mid-1950s Fitzek turned to television, where he was for decades seen in many television dramas, series and miniseries. In 1955 he appeared in the movie “Unruhige Nacht” and then in the role of the deserter soldier Baranovsky, during the last night before his scheduled execution. Four years later he was seen in the first Durbridge Classic “Der Andere”, in which he played the role of the journalist Robin Craven to the main cast.
Sigurd then took a turn as a radio actor, mainly working for the SDR. He had lead roles among others in “Der Fall Dynamit” (1956) with Wilhelm Kuerten, Hans Mahnke and Hans Helmut Dickow.
Fitzek also appeared in a few movies. For example, the Jerry Cotton filmMordnacht in Manhattan” (1965), his only Euro-western “Deadlock” (1970) as Enzo and “Fluchtweg St. Pauli – Großalarm für die Davidswache”.
Sigurd’s last film appearance was in 1997 TV series ‘Dr. Stefan Frank - Der Arzt, dem die Frauen
Today we celebrate Sigurd Fitzek’s 85th birthday.

Monday, December 23, 2013


Tierra de fuego – Spanish title
Jessy non perdona uccide – Italian title
Vergeltung in Catano – German title
Land des feurs – French title
Jessy Does Not Forgive… He Kills – English title
Blazing Sun – English title
Land of Fire – English title
Sunscorched – U.S.A. title
A 1965 Spanish, Italian, German co-production [Balcázar Producciones Cinematográficas (Barcelona), Afilm (Rome), Creole Filmproduktion GmbH (Berlin)]
Producers: Ronald Rietti, Alfosno Balcázar
Director: Jaime Jesús Balcázar (Jaime Granda), Mark Stevens (Richard Stevens
Story: Alfonso Balcázar (Alfonso Granda)
Screnplay: Alfonso Balcázar (Alfonso Granda), José Antonio de la Loma (José Hernandez), Irving Dennis, Mark Stevens (Richard Stevens), Warren Kiefer
Cinematography: Francisco Marín (Francisco Harrada) [Eastmancolor, Techniscope]
Music: Michèle Auzépy
Running time: 98 minutes
Sheriff Jess Kinley/Masters – Mark Stevens (Richard Stevens)
Abel Dragna – Mario Adorf
Anna-Lisa Schmidt – Marianne Koch
Luke Shaw – Frank Oliveras (Francisco Oliveras)
Charlie Rivers – Antonio Iranzo (Antonio Escurijuela)
Lillian/Nellie Kinley – Vivien Dodds
Twitch – Óscar Pellicer
Reverend Dietrich/Dean – Julio Peña (Julio Muñoz)
Shoemaker - Albert Bessler
Sepp Dietrich – Mario Via
Saul – Luis Induni (Luigi Radici)
Judge - Felipe Peña
Kurt – Luis Rivera
Papa Schmidt - Jesús Puche
Meninlea – Gustavo Re
With: Frank Braña (Francisco Pérez), Ricardo Valor, Montserrat Lapua

Abel Dragna and his gang arrive in town and find out their old pal Jess Kinley, who used to ride with the gang, is the towns sheriff. The gang begins to bully the citizens to see how much they can get away with. When Jess fails to stop their actions they push a little harder including assaults and even a murder which they claim was in self-defense. When the Sheriff fails to jail the law breakers the town thinks he is a coward and takes his badge. A young woman named Anna-Lisa Schmidt, who helps her father run the town’s stable, continues to have faith in the sheriff and also has a crush on the older man. The town feels a sense of relief when Abel and his thugs leave town but they are filled with concern when the gang returns, having relieved another town of a few bags of gold. Jess decides to show the town he is not a coward and confronts both Abel and his own past. When Anna-Lisa is attacked by one of the thugs Jess and the town unite to defeat and eliminate the outlaws.

Remembering Franco Zauli

Franco Zauli was born on December 23, 1923 in Rome, Lazio, Italy. Encouraged by his family, at the age of six he began to play the piano, later graduating from the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome, despite his classical training, in the 1940s he began his career as a pianist as an accompanist, working among others with Wanda Osiris and Erminio Macario. At the end of the decade he began playing in several jazz groups, several varying activities will continue in the following decades .
In 1952 he enrolled in the SIAE and began to compose songs, some very successful as it is A Roma è sempre primavera (with lyrics by Pino Cassia, which won the Festival of Velletri in 1958) Se vuoi andare vai o Suspiranno nu nomme; over the years Franco composed the music for over three thousand songs and scores for films (including the Euro-western “Alleluia and Sartana Sons of God” (1972)), however, he also continued the work as a pianist, accompanying Bruno Venturini among others.
Zauli worked as a music consultant for several record labels, including SMR, Belldisc, Associate Producers, Kansas and other the various labels of the group Saar .
In the 1980s he assumed important roles in the management bodies of SIAE. He continued to work with the same passion as always until a few days before he was sticken by a sudden illness. He died of a heart attack on May 28, 2006 in Rome.
Today we remember Franco Zauli on what would have been his 90th birthday.

Remembering José Greco

Constanzo Greco Bucci was born on December 23, 1918 in Montorio nei Frentani, Molise, Italy. He later changed his real name to José Greco. When he was 10 years old, Greco and his family moved to New York City. He began dancing in Brooklyn with his sister Norina at a young age.
He made his professional dancing debut in 1937 at the Hippodrome Theatre in Manhattan. His most famous partners were La Argentinita (Encarnación López Júlvez) and, after her death, her sister Pilar López. In 1949, he started the José Greco Dance Company, with which he toured extensively.
Greco also appeared in a number of films, including “Sombrero” (1953), “Around the World in 80 Days” (1956), “Holiday for Lovers” (1959), “Ship of Fools” (1965), and his only Euro-western “The Proud and the Damned” (1968).

He received many honors and awards including being knighted by the Spanish government (Cruz Laureada del Caballero del Mérito Civil) and also received 4 honorary doctorates.
José started the José Greco Foundation for Hispanic Dance in 1972 and retired from the stage for the first time in 1974. He published an autobiography, Gypsy in My Soul: The Autobiography of José Greco, in 1977. He had six children, three boys and three girls. His sons José Luis and Paolo are composers; his son José Greco II is a dancer as are his three daughters, Alessandra, Carmela and Lola.
He came out of retirement in the late 1980s to form a company featuring his children. He appeared on stage for the last time in 1995, at the age of 77. Until his death he was Visiting Professor of Dance at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA.
Greco died of heart failure in his home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on December 31, 2000. He is survived by his wife Margaret-Ana Börger-Greco, professor of Spanish at Millersville University.
Today we remember José Greco on what would have been his 95th birthday.

Remembering Lothar Olias

Lotar Olias was born on December 23, 1913 in Königsberg, East-Prussia, Germany. He attended the Klindworth-Scharwenka Conservatory in Berlin, where Moritz Mayer- Mahr and Institute Director Robitschek were his teachers. Already at that time he had composed songs for singers such as Max Hansen and Lucienne Boyer. He then wrote revues for the Berlin conservatory and Hamburg planet un Blomen. In 1937 he wrote his first film scores for several short films.
In 1932 Olias became a member of NSDAP and NSDAP culture warden in Berlin. For the Nazi leaders, he wrote in the 1930s several titles with Nazi content. These include the “SA-Totenmarsch”, “Braun und grau”, and the official Walter March. Nevertheless Olias did not belong to the Nazi government and court composer of the Nazi leadership. During World War II Olias was head of the theater front , the jackboots.
In 1939 he returned to Hamburg and participated in the founding of the literary cabaret “Bonbonnière” for which he composed in 1945 and wrote the lyrics. Since he received no major job offers, he for years worked at fairground jobs, and as a musician at weddings and as a fashion show presenter.
Then in 1949 he made ​​his breakthrough as a popular pop and film music composer. He also wrote popular songs and musical soundtracks to over 40 films in the 1950s and 1960s. In particular his only Euro-western score for “The Sheriff was a Lady” with songs sung by Freddy Quinn. The film became a great popular success and the songs are now considered classics. Olias composed regularly until 1964 for the films in which Quinn was seen as the main character. This partnership with Freddy Quinn began when they appeared at the Grand Prix Euro Vision Song Contest in Lausanne in 1956.
Olias died on October 21, 1990 in Hamburg-Ohlsdorf, Hamburg, Germany.
Today we remember Lotar Olias on what would have been his 100th birthday.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

New DVD Releases

C’era una volta il West
(Once Upon a Time in the West)
Director: Sergio Leone
Starring: Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Jason Robards, Claudia Cardinale
Country: Italy
Label: Amaray
Region: 2, PAL
Aspect ratio: 2.35
Language: Italian
Audio: High definition 5.1
Running time: 160 minutes
Restored by the Cineteca of Bologna, Italy
Available: December 18, 2013

Giu la testa
(Duck You Sucker)
Director: Sergio Leone
Starring: Rod Steiger, James Coburn
Country: Italy
Label: Amaray
Region: 2, PAL
Aspect ratio: 2.35
Language: Italian
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0
Running time: 175 minutes
Extras: Sergio Leone tribute
Restored by the Cineteca of Bologna, Italy
Available: December 18, 2013

Per Qualche Dollaro in Piu
(For a Few Dollars More)
Director: Sergio Leone
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volonte
Country: Italy
Label: Amaray
Region: 2, PAL
Aspect ratio: 2.35
Language: Italian
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0
Running time: 127 minutes
Extras: Sergio Leone tribute
Restored by the Cineteca of Bologna, Italy
Available: December 18, 2013

Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo
(The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)
Director: Sergio Leone
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Eli Wallach
Country: Italy
Label: Amaray
Region: 2, PAL
Aspect ratio: 2.35
Language: Italian
Audio: Italian Dolby 5.1
Running time: 175 minutes
Extras: Sergio Leone tribute
Restored by the Cineteca of Bologna, Italy
Available: December 18, 2013

Remembering Heinz Bernard

Heinz Bernard Löwenstein was born on December 22, 1923 in Nuremberg, Bavaira, Germany.  Of Jewish origin, he also lived and worked in Israel from 1971 to 1981. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA), graduating in 1951.
After graduation he worked in the Peter Allan Theatre, possibly the last group of travelling players to operate in the British Isles, performing every night in different towns and villages in the British countryside. He went on to become the manager of the famous leftist Unity Theatre in London. As manager of Unity Theatre he staged the first professional British production of a Brecht play, the Visions of Simone Marchard. Lionel Bart, who later gained fame as the author of the musical Oliver!, designed the poster.
Heinz Bernard also acted and directed in the travelling Century Theatre and taught at RADA, where he was director of admissions.
Heinz's name at birth was Heinz Messinger. He was adopted as a baby by a family called Löwenstein. After leaving RADA he worked under the professional name Harry Bernard, eventually dropping the Harry and becoming simply Heinz Bernard.
Following the death of his Israeli brother in the late 1960s, Heinz decided to emigrate to Israel. He acted the part of the Rabbi in the West End production of Fiddler on the Roof to raise money for the move. In Israel he became a legend on account of his performances in English teaching television programs, "Neighbours" (written by his wife Nettie) and "Here We Are". Each of the series was broadcast twice a week on the single national TV channel for over fifteen years, making him a familiar face to most Israelis. He appeared in many Israeli films of the seventies, working with Shaike Ophir, Ephraim Kishon and Menachem Golan. Among these films were two Euro-westerns: “God’s Gun” playing Judge Barrett alongside Lee Van Cleef and Jack Palance and “Kid Vengeance” as George again alongside Lee Van Cleef. Both films were made in 1976.
After 10 years in Israel, Heinz returned to England where he had to restart his career. He continued to work until his death of a rare blood disease in 1994.
Today we remember Heinz Bernard on what would have been his 90th birthday.