Monday, June 30, 2014

RIP Lois Geary

American actress Lois Geary died on Saturday June 28, 2014 at her home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Born Lois Ann Geary on July 25, 1929 in Fort Wayne, Indiana she was the second of six children. After living in Cincinnati, Ohio for 23 years she moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1961. Here she became a fixture in the arts community, appearing in countless local stage productions and several films including “Silverado” (1985) and the Terence Hill Euro-western TV series “Doc West” and its sequel “Triggerman” (2008) as Grandma Melody Mitchell. Lois was also a tireless advocate for animals, volunteering at adoption clinics, animal shelters, and with animal habitat conservation groups.

New DVD Releases

Die sieben Pistolen des MacGregor
(7 Guns for the MacGregors)
Director: Franco Giraldi
Cast: Robert Woods, Fernando Sancho, Agata Flori, George Rigaud,
Label: Explosive Media
Country: Germany 
Region: 0, PAL
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 - 16:9
Audio: German Dolby Digital 2.0, English Dolby Digital 2.0, Italian Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles: German
Runtime: 92 min
Bonus features: Making-of, gallery, trailer
Available: June 30, 2014

7 donne per i Mac Gregor
(Up the MacGregors)
Director: Franco Giraldi
Cast: David Bailey, Agata Flori, Leo Anchoriz, George Rigaud
Country: Italy
Region: 0, PAL
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 widescreen, 16:9 Anamorphic,
Audio:  Italian Dolby Digital 1.0, English Dolby Digital 1.0
Subtitles: Italian
Runtime: 90 minutes
Bonus features: photo gallery, English opening credits, interview with Granco Giraldi (English subs)
ASIN: B001E467LW
Available: June 30, 2014

NEW 4th Almeria Western Film Festival

The Almeria City Council announces its Western Film Festival will be held October 10-12, 2014.

The fourth edition of Almeria Western Film Festival (AWFF) will be held from October 10 to 12 in Tabernas. This was announced through a press release at the local council, now its main producer. "The festival is consolidated after three consecutive years as a key approach to tourism and cinema showing off Tabernas and the province," while highlighting that they have the support of the Council of Almería and the Junta de Andalucía.
The news comes a week after the creators of the event, Cesar Mendez and Danny Garcia, announced they were disassociating themselves from the festival after the City recorded the name of the festival. It was done, according to the mayor Mari Nieves Jaén, to "protect it" and not to stop them.
Thus, the City of Tabernas says AWFF organization will have a team "that will give a new impetus to the event." "Several sections, a western film retrospective and current cinema films are proposed, and different parallel activities focusing on gender, which will boost tourism and leisure in our region. We want a festival that fans can come to see these films for the general public of all ages," says Mari Nieves Jaén.
Under the current organization, the "main purpose" of the festival is "to bring value to the town" as the setting for "recordings in the national and international film industry," and recall that about sixty years ago what took place in the early films in the Tabernas desert. "The organization aims to turn the festival into a cultural and recreational event, national and international, based specifically on the western character," read the note, which anticipates that the fourth edition of AWFF allow fans to maintain" a direct encounter with visiting professionals."
The Council also emphasized that the festival is "reinvented" in this issue and offer a "program of activities related to tourism and western Almería as "Land of Cinema."
Danny Garcia: "This festival is a farce"
The insults continue toward the Almeria Western Film Festival. "This festival is a travesty," says Danny Garcia after learning that the City of Tabernas assumes the organizing of the event he created alongside César Méndez in 2011.
Garcia showed his displeasure after the Consistory registered the name of the festival without them. Jaen Mayor Mari Nieves claimed last week to this newspaper that they did so after learning that "The festival was offered to other municipalities," but never with the intention to "waive" the founders of AWFF. These statements are now refuted by Danny Garcia. "We always wanted the festival to develop in different locations. So we talked with the City of Nijar, because we wanted to make the opening in San Jose. Our planned projections included the capital Almeria, but the mayor was not interested in anything happening in Tabernas."
Garcia, who also claims "30,000 euros was invested in the first edition," says the AWFF was born to "pay homage to the movie people who put Almería on the map and not a few village politicians with delusions of grandeur."
In this regard, the mayor of Tabernas has said that Garcia and Mendez did not want the politicians to have a presence at AWFF. "They did not want us to be in the picture, when the festival also had the support of the Council and Board," said Jaén, who recalls an attempt to "boycott" the organizers at the close of last year for this reason.
"A councilor threatened to take the prize when recriminations that appeared on the plates were not the logo of the festival but of the City Council, and down in small print was seen 'Almeria Western Film Festival'. They are the ones who sabotaged the event," argues Danny Garcia.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

'Twixt Red Man and White

‘Twixt Red Man and White – English title
A 1910 British production [Cricks and Martin Films (Croydon)]
Director: David Aylott
Cinematography: [black & white]
Running time:
Trapper – A.E. Colby
Indian guide – Johnny Butt
Cowboy – David Aylott
A trapper apparently kills and Indian who he finds cheating him in cards. The Indians seeking revenge go after the trapper but he gives himself up to save his comrades from an attack. The thought to be dead Indian was only unconscious and comes too and saves the trapper who he then challenges to a fight to the death

Happy 70th Birthday Gary Busey

William Gareth Jacob Busey was born on June 29, 1944 in Goose Creek, Texas. He graduated from Nathan Hale High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1962. While attending Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas on a football scholarship, he became interested in acting. He then transferred to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where he quit school just one class short of graduation.
Busey made his film debut in “Angels Hard As They Come”, a low-budget 1971 hippies vs. bikers saga, with Busey as a hippie and Scott Glenn as one of the "big men with throbbing machines". For several years Busey worked in obscure films and low-profile appearances on TV series, including playing the last man killed in the final episode of the long-running western ‘Gunsmoke’. He also worked as a musician, playing drums in several struggling bands, and on Leon Russell's 1975 album Will O'the Wisp. He was nominated for an Oscar as the title character in “The Buddy Holly Story” (1978), but he has since drifted through numerous lesser roles, and is often typecast as a sneering villain.
In 1995 he suffered a near-deadly double overdose of cocaine and GHB. Busey has said that he came to God while he was hospitalized in the aftermath, and after the felony drug charges were dismissed he joined the Christian men's group Promise Keepers. For the next few years, Busey often appeared on Christian TV shows, talking about how the group's teachings had saved his marriage, and was ordained as a minister. In 1999, Busey was arrested for brawling with his wife Tiani. They divorced in 2001, but soon after, he was again arrested for allegedly beating her, but prosecutors said there was not enough evidence to take the case to court.
In 2000 Busey appeared in his only Euro-western “Hooded Angels” as the sheriff.
Recently Gary can be seen in a commercial for Amazon Fire.
Today we celebrate Gary Busey’s 70th birthday.

Remembering Lo Lieh

Lo Lieh was born Wang Lap-tat on June 29, 1939 in Pematang, Siantar, Indonesia. After his parents sent him back to China he attended acting school in Hong Kong, he began his martial arts training in 1962 and joined the Shaw Brothers Studio in the same year and went on to become one of the most famous actors in Hong Kong kung fu films in the late 1960s and 1970s.
Lo played Kao Hsia in 1970 film “Brothers Five”, alongside Cheng Pei-pei. In 1974 he played Wang Ho Chiang in his only Euro-western “The Stranger and the Gunfighter”, alongside Lee Van Cleef. Lieh also appeared in such Hong Kong films as “King Boxer” (aka “Five Fingers of Death”) (1972), he played Miyamoto in 1977 film “Fist of Fury II”, Lo played General Tien Ta in the 1978 film “The 36th Chamber of Shaolin”, alongside Gordon Liu and Lee Hoi San.
In the 1980s, Lo directed and starred in the 1980 film “Clan of the White Lotus”, he played the Triad Gangster Boss in 1988 film “Dragons Forever”, alongside Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao. Lo played Fei in 1989 film “Miracles” along with Jackie Chan, Richard Ng and Billy Chow.
His career continued into the 1990s and 2000s until 2001 and his last appearance in “Glass Tears”. He then retied at the age of 62.
Lo died from a heart attack on November 2, 2002 in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, China. He was 63.
Today we remember Lo Lieh on what would have been his 75th birthday.

Remembering Slim Pickens

Slim Pickens was born Louis Burton Lindley, Jr. on June 29, 1919 in Kingsburg, California. He was an excellent rider from age 4. Lindley graduated from Hanford High School, Hanford, California and was a member of the FFA. After graduating from school he joined the rodeo. He was told that working in the rodeo would be "slim pickings" (very little money), giving him his name, but he did well and eventually became a well-known rodeo clown.
After twenty years on the rodeo circuit, his distinctive Oklahoma-Texas drawl, his wide eyes and moon face and strong physical presence gained him a role in the western film, “Rocky Mountain” (1950) starring Errol Flynn. He quickly found a niche in both comic and villainous roles in that genre. With his hoarse voice and pronounced western twang, he was not always easy to cast outside the genre, but when he was, as in "Dr. Strangelove", the results were often memorable. He died on December 8, 1983 in Modesto, California, after a long and courageous battle against a brain tumor. His brother has acted under the name Easy Pickens [1921-2001]. Slim was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame [1982], Pro Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame [2005].
Slim appeared in one Euro-western: “The Deserter” (1971) as Sergeant Tattinger. He also appeared as Sheriff McKay in the “The Magnificent Stranger” (1966) that was made by editing two “Rawhide” TV episodes together and released in Italy to capitalize on the success of Clint in “Fistful of Dollars”.
Today we remember Slim Pickens on what would have been his 95th birthday.

Remembering Herman Hoffman

Herman Hoffman was born on June 29, 1909 in Montgomery, Alabama. A filmmaker and screenwriter Herman Hoffman worked for MGM from 1934 through the early 1970s, getting his start making promos for features films. Hoffman made his feature film directorial bow with “The MGM Story” (1950). In addition to features, Hoffman was also noted for his documentaries, particularly such Academy Award-nominated documentaries as “The Hoaxters” (1952) and “The Battle of Gettysburg” (1955). As a director, he frequently worked closely with producer Dore Schary. After leaving MGM in the 1970s, Hoffman went on to direct television episodes.
Hoffman is known to Euro-western fans as the writer of 1968’s “Guns of the Magnificent Seven” starring George Kennedy and Michael Ansara.
Herman died of pneumonia in Laguna Hill, California on March 26, 1989.
Today we remember Herman Hoffman on what would have been his 105th birthday

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Spaghetti Western Locations

We continue our search for film locations for “Texas Addio” (aka “The Avenger”). After disposing of the eight bandits who have surprised them when the Sullivan brothers had discovered the dead body of the girl from the tavern Burt and Jim ride on until till the stop at an old man’s hut. They inquire if he is Manuel Vargas which he acknowledges he is. Burt asks about Cisco Delgado but has to pay the old man for his help. Vargas leads them to a wagon carrying four women and escorted by five men. He tells Burt the women are Delgado’s prisoners and to go with the men but do not ask any questions. The two brothers fall into line and follow the wagon through the barren countryside.

This area is called the Sierra Alhamilla and is a natural area located northwest of Almeria

For a more detailed view of this site and other Spaghetti Western locations please visit my friend Yoshi Yasuda’s location site:

Remembering Ruggero Maccari

Ruggero Maccari was born on June 28, 1919 in Rome, Lazio, Italy. Maccari was specially known by his collaboration with film director and screenwriter Ettore Scola. He wrote italian comedy films such as “Adua e le compagne” (1960), “The Easy Life” (1962), and “Brutti sporchi e cattivi” (1976).
Ruggero co-wrote screenplays for three Euro-westerns: “The Dream of Zorro” (1951), “The Sheriff” (1959) and “The Terrible Sheriff” (1962).
He was nominated to the Academy Award for Dino Risi's “Profumo di donna” (1974).
Maccari won a David di Donatello for Ettore Scola's La famiglia (1987); and he was a 4 time Nastro d'Argento winner for Antonio Pietrangeli’s “Io la conoscevo bene” (1965),  “A Special Day” (1977), Scola’s “Passione d’amore” (1981) La famiglia, Scola's Passione d'amore (1981).
Ruggero died on May 8, 1989 in Rome, Italy.
Today we remember Ruggero Maccari on what would have been his 95th birthday.

Remembering Kid Berg

Judah Bergman was born on June 28, 1909 in Stepney, London, England. He was apprenticed as a lather boy in a barber's shop, and began his boxing career at the Premierland, Back Church Lane, when he was 14. Jewish Berg boxed with a Star of David on his trunks.
Between 1923 and 1936, Berg had 192 professional fights, winning 157 of them. His record was 157–26–9. Fifty seven wins were by knock out.
In 1931 he moved to the USA, where he won 64 out of 76 fights there. He became British lightweight champion in 1934 by beating the holder Harry Mizler, and he lived to be the oldest British boxing champion. During his bouts in America, he was trained by legendary boxing trainer Ray Arcel. His last notable win came in 1939 against the up-and-coming prospect Tippy Larkin.
After retiring from boxing, he worked as a film stunt man, joined the Royal Air Force, and owned a restaurant in London. Berg appeared in as a rider in “Carry on Cowboy” (1965).
He was said to have a flamboyant out-of-the-ring life, which included an affair with Mae West and to have borne a long-lasting friendship with fellow East Ender Jack Spot, the colorful (and also Jewish) gangster.
Berg was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, the World Boxing Hall of Fame and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.
Berg died in London, England on April 22, 1991.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Guess Who I Am

I’m a Spanish child actor and later a stuntman.
I appeared in 10 Euro-westerns altogether.
Today I’m the President and Coordinator of the Association of Actors and Risk Specialists of Alicante.
Guess who I am.

Antonio Rosa correctly named Antonio Ruiz as this week's photo.


I gemelli del Texas – Italian title
Los gemelos del Texas – Spanish title
Texas Twins – English title
The Twins from Texas – English title
A 1964 Italian, Spanish co-production [Cineproduzione Emo Bistolfi (Rome), Fénix Cooperativa
Cinematográfica Feni Cooperative (Madrid)]
Producer: Emo Bistolfi
Director: Steno
Story: Santos Alcocer, Giulio Scarnicci, Renzo Tarabusi
Cinematography: Manuel Hernández Sanjuán [Eastmancolor]
Music: Gianni Ferrio
Running time: 89 minutes
Ezekial/Joe – Walter Chiari (Walter Annichiarico)
Jonathan Bullivan/Kid – Raimondo Vianello
Fanny – Diana Lorys (Anna Vega)
Malanza/Mackenzie – Alfonso Rojas (Alfonso Melquíades)
Arnold – Miguel del Castillo
Malanza/Mackenzie’s mother – Liana del Bazo (Eliana del Bazo)
Dominique – Carmen Esbrí
Betty – Marta May (Maria Ávila)
Señora Floto - Josefina Serratosa (Josefina Pereira)
Jeff – Tito García (Pablo González)
Madame Duval – Franca Polesello
Mike – Arnold Rao (Umberto Raho)
Undertaker – Joaquín Pamplona
Captain Lister - Guillermo Méndez
With: Bruno Scipioni, Eugenio Galadini

During an attack on a stagecoach by bandits, two sets of twins still in diapers are seperated. Two of the kids, are taken by an officer; the other two, by a bandit. After a few years, the adopted children of the officer become journalists, the other two wanted bandits. The latter are responsible for attempt to eliminate the two reporters, but the similarity leads to misunderstandings that upset the intended crime.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

An Eli Wallach Appreciation

Eli Wallach: 50 years of being very good, bad and (occasionally) ugly.
The Guardian
An ability to project villainy or cynicism or worldly power, often while mounted on a horse, was Eli Wallach's calling card in the movies. But he also had a kind of stern, cerebral handsomeness.

For the film world in which he worked for more than half a century, Eli Wallach established his brand identity as "il brutto", the Ugly, in Sergio Leone's 1966 spaghetti western Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo or The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Lee Van Cleef was the Bad and Clint Eastwood, notionally, was the Good). He was Tuco, the duplicitous hatchet-faced gunslinger who we see announced onscreen with his Ugly moniker, just as he makes a hideous grimace, having been just rescued from a lynching, the rope around his neck. He makes common cause with Eastwood's Blondie as they search for hidden Confederate gold in the old west. Tuco is the predator, alternately cringing and contemptuously aggressive, raging at Blondie, sneering at others, shooting someone from his bubble bath who had come to kill him.
Wallach wasn't necessarily a bad guy and certainly not ugly in his other roles – in fact, he had a kind of stern cerebral handsomeness, and grew to resemble Sigmund Freud. But his ability to project villainy or cynicism or worldly power, often while mounted on a horse, was to be his calling card in the movies. He was a founder member of the actors' studio, and in the theatre was noted for taking leading roles of great subtlety, but in films he was in demand as a character player whose face lent gristle and presence. He was like Ernest Borgnine or Karl Malden but nearly always cast as the guy wearing the black hat.
Wallach was a generic baddie in the 1961 epic western How the West Was Won as outlaw Charlie Gant, who has a grudge against George Peppard's Marshal Zeb and plans rob a train with his gang (including the young Harry Dean Stanton). In The Magnificent Seven, in 1960, Wallace was Calvera, another grisly predator, the Mexican villain who with his gang of banditos is menacing the villagers who have hired the seven to protect them. Confronting Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner, the slippery Calvera attempts at first to cut a deal, suggesting they go into partnership and then responds with jeering incomprehension to the mercenaries' honourable loyalty to their employers. He jibes: "If God didn't want them sheared he would not have made them sheep!"
In John Huston's The Misfits (1961) he is Guido, the questionable buddy of Clark Gable's puffy-faced old cowboy – Guido's designs on Marilyn reveal his role to be another in Wallach's gallery of rogues, and his robust "brutto" quality offsets the greater handsomeness of Gable and his co-star Montgomery Clift.
Wallach worked continuously almost to the very end with an almost unbroken string of credits, including a mafia don in the ill-starred Godfather Part III. His last feature was Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, in which he played a boardroom patriarch who remembers the 1929 crash and looks old enough to have lived through it. One of his very last films was The Holiday, a treacly romantic comedy, in which for once he wasn't the bad guy. He played Arthur Abbott, a twinkly-eyed screenwriter from Hollywood's golden age who befriends the lovelorn Kate Winslet. In the noughties, Wallach was beginning to look like an icon of the golden age himself. On the stage, he was a subtle and complex actor; the movies really valued just one part of his acting persona, the dark and predatory part, but this powered a mighty career.

Remembering Richard Bull

Richard Bull was born on June 26, 1924 in Zion, Illionois. Bull was a character actor and appeared in a wide range of TV shows, from "Perry Mason" in the 1950s to "Mannix" in the 1960s to Kelsey Grammer's "Boss" in 2011. Bull played opposite his wife of 65 years, actress Barbara Collentine [1924- ], in several projects.
Among the movies he appeared in were his only Euro-western “Lawman” (1971) and "High Plains Drifter" and "Executive Action," both in 1973.
Bull died earlier this year on February 3, 2014 at the e Motion Picture Television Fund campus in Calabasas, California.
Today we remember Richard Bull on what would have been his 90th birthday.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

New DVD Release

In a Colt’s Shadow / Savage Gringo
(1966) / (1966)
Giovanni Grimaldi / Anthony Roman, Mario Bava
Label: Wild East
Volume 48
Region: 0
Widescreen, anamorphic
Extras: Picture galleries, theatrical trailers, interview “Alfredo Leone on Bava”
Available: June 17, 2014
*I’ve taken over writing the liner notes for Charles Ambler who died in late 2013.

RIP Eli Wallach

Eli Wallach, legendary American character actor best known for his supporting roles in the Western classics "The Magnificent Seven" and "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly," died Tuesday in New York City, at the age of 98.

Born Eli Herschel Wallach on December 7, 1915 in Brooklyn, New York. Wallach attended college at the University of Texas and earned a master's degree in education at City College of New York. He served as an Army medic in World War II and made his debut on Broadway in 1945.
Wallach won a Tony Award in 1951 for his performance as Alvaro in Tennessee Williams's "The Rose Tattoo," and made his film debut five years later in the Elia Kazan-directed "Baby Doll."
But his two most memorable roles were those of Mexican bandits. In 1960's "The Magnificent Seven," Wallach played Calvera, who regularly raids a Mexican village for food until its inhabitants are forced to turn to the eponymous characters for protection. In 1966, Wallach played Tuco opposite Clint Eastwood in "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly." Eli went on to appear in three more Euro-westerns: "Ace High" (1968) as Cacopoulos, "Long Live Your Death" (1971) as Max Lozoya and "The White, the Yellow and the Black" (1975) as Sheriff Edward 'Black Jack' Gideon)

Wallach is survived by his wife of 66 years, actress Anne Jackson, their three children, and grandnephew A.O. Scott, a New York Times film critic.

At Home With Eli Wallach:


I vendicatore dell’Ave Maria – Italian title
Vestens lovløse brødre – Danish title
Ave Maria Lännen rämäpäät – Finnish title
Kosto aamun koitteessa – Finnish title
Les vengeurs de L’Ave Maria – French title
Ein Zirkus und ein Halleluja – German title
Hevn ved morgengry – Norwegian title
Os quatro justiceiros – Portuguese title
Los vengadores del Ave Maria – Spanish title
Fighters of the Ave Maria – English title
Fighters from Ave Maria – English title
The Twilight Avengers – English title
A 1970 Italian production [P.A.C., Caravel Films (Rome)]
Producer: Attilio Dottesio, Lucio Marcuzzo
Director: Al Albert (Adalberto Albertini)
Story: Adalberto Albertini
Screenplay: Adalberto Albertini
Cinematography: Antonio Modica [Eastmancolor]
Music: Piero Umiliani (Romano Ferrera)
Running time: 98 minutes
Tony/John Garrison – Tony Kendall (Luciano Stella)
Pa Garrison – Spartaco Conversi
Sam Garrison – Peter Thorrys (Pietro Torrisi)
Peter/Paul Garrison – Albert Dell’Acqua (Alberto Dell’Acqua)
Katy/Cathy Wilson – Ida Meda
Cal Parker – Albet Farley (Alberto Farnese)
Sheriff Ferguson – Attilio Dottesio
Pedro Serrano – Remo Capitani (Renato Capitani)
Johnson/Stafford – Arrigo Peri (Filippo Perego)
Rose – Helen Parker (Maria Louisa Gentilini)
Parker henchmen – Renzo Pevarello, Riccardo Pizzuti, Albercio Donadeo
Saloon patrons – Osiride Pevarello, Enrico Chiappafreddo, Sergio Smacchi
Ma Garrison – Elena Veronese Puatto
Governor – Gennarino Pappgalli (Primo Gennaro)
Benny – Sergio Testori
Uncle – Arrigo Peri
Stafford – Filippo Perego

During the California Gold Rush a troupe of acrobats witness a robbery carried out by a gang of alleged Mexicans. The bandits are, however, Yankees, and the powerful father of one of them exterminates the family of the sheriff to release the arrested son. The family is saved by the troupe of acrobats, allied with a Mexican rebel, and together they defeat the evil outlaws.
YouTube trailer:

Happy 70th Birthday Robert Charlebois

Robert Charlebois was born on June 25, 1944 in Montréal, Québec, Canada. Robert is a Quebec author, composer, musician, performer and actor. Among his best known songs are Lindberg and Je reviendrai à Montréal. His lyrics, often written in joual, are funny, relying upon plays on words. He won the Sopot International Song Festival in 1970.
In 1970 he sang with Italian singer Patty Pravo the Italian song La solitudine. In the same year, he performed at the Festival Express train tour in Canada, but did not appear on the documentary film.
He co-starred with Terence Hill, Miou-Miou and Patrick McGoohan in the western “The Genius” (1975) as Steamengine Bill. Thirty-eight years later, Charlebois had a cameo as Jean-Seb Bigstone, the French-Canadian Broadway producer, in the 2012 Gad Elmaleh/Sophie Marceau film “Happiness Never Comes Alone”.
Today we celebrate Robert Charlebois’ 70th birthday

Remembering Don Ballock

Donald Eugene Balluck was born on June 25, 1929 in Cleveland, Ohio. Balluck began his career acting there and moved to New York in 1956 and to Los Angeles four years later to pursue writing. His first teleplay was a 1964 episode of "Dr. Kildare" starring Richard Chamberlain. Balluck went on to write episodes of "Run for Your Life" and "Daniel Boone," then became executive story editor for "High Chaparral." He wrote episodes for the 1970s series "Room 222," "The Rookies," "Streets of San Francisco," "Starsky and Hutch," "Baretta," "Police Woman" and "Hawaii Five-0" and was co-creator of "Here's Boomer." With producer and actor Michael Landon. Balluck worked as executive story consultant and wrote for "Little House on the Prairie" and its spinoff, starring Merlin Olsen, "Father Murphy." More recently, Balluck was executive story supervisor for "Fantasy Island" and "Hell Town" and wrote for "Magnum, P.I." and "Beauty and the Beast." Adept at westerns as well as police drama, Balluck was an active member of the Western Writers of America. He earned its Golden Spur Award for a 1982 episode of "Father Murphy" titled "Knights of the White Camelia." Balluck rarely ventured into motion pictures but did script the 1969 Euro-western "Four Rode Out" starring "Bonanza" television veteran Pernell Roberts.
Don was married to actress Riki Gordon [193?-197?] and is the father of novelist Pamela Jo Balluck [1958- ] and singer, songwriter Cynthia Jane Balluck [1960- ]. Balluck died in Burbank, California on April 7, 2000 of lung cancer and emphysema.
Today we remember Don Balluck on what would have been his 85th birthday.

Remembering Luigi Bazzoni

Luigi Bazzoni was born on June 25, 1929 in Salsomaggiore Terme, Parma, Italy. Luigi is the elder brother of the film director and cinematographer Camillo Bazzoni [1934- ] and a cousin of the Academy Award winner Vittorio Storaro [1940- ]. He began his career as assistant director to Mauro Bolognini. Later he became director of films and short films, gaining critical attention for two films “A Man, His Pride a Vengeance” and using the alias Marc Meyer the Euro-western “Blu Gang”. His short film “Di Domenica” achieved a Special Mention at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival.

 Luigi died on March 1, 2012 at Salsomaggiore Terme, Parma, Italy.

Today we remember Luigi Bazzoni on what would have been his 85th birthday.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

RIP Terry Richards

One of the UK's top stunt men, Terry Richards, who starred in more than 100 films including Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark has died aged 81.
He was known to hundreds of millions of people the world over as the black clad swordsman felled by Indiana Jones.
David Terence Richards - known to all as Terry - was born in south London on November 2, 1932.
He went on to serve with the Welsh Guards, and after leaving the regiment, was working in London as a scaffolder. One of his friends, also an ex-guard, said a film crew needed extras with military training, so Terry gave it a go.
After a few successful engagements, he was then asked if he would fall off the scaffold for a riot scene. The stunt paid a few extra pounds – and that was the beginning of his career.
Terry Richards joined the film industry proper in 1957, as an extra then soon as a stunt man, working with Kirk Douglas in The Vikings (1958).
The Stunt Register, an industry list of accredited performers, was created in 1960 and Terry was one of its founding members.
Terry appeared as Sanchez in an episode entitles Kidnapped of the Euro-western TV series The New Adventures of Zorro in 1990.

Who Are Those Guys? - Txema Blasco

José María Blasco Etxeguren was born on July 13, 1941 in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Álava, País Vasco, Spain. Txema didn’t enter the film world until he was 50 years-old, although he had previously been involved in amateur theater groups where he cultivated his true passion to be an actor. He soon left his job as an accountant at a metallurgy company to fully pursue a career in acting.
He worked on three films with the same director, Pello Varela, among which “Coja usted al siguiente” was selected at the XXVI edition of the International Film Festival at San Sebastian. In 1991 he returned to make an appearance in a film by Henry Urbizu: “Todo por la pasta”. Since then his career has been deeply attached to films, working with such directors as, Julio Medem, Pello Varela and Montxo Armendariz.
He has been an actor who has devoted much time in television acting in the popular series of TVE, ‘Cuéntame cómo pasó’.
Txema appeared in only one Euro-western: “The Return of El Coyote” (1997).

BLASCO, Txema (aka José María Blasco, Chema Blasco) (José María Blasco Etxeguren) [7/13/1941, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Álava, País Vasco, Spain -     ] – TV actor.
The Return of El Coyote – 1997

Happy 55th Birthday Tatiana Filip

Tatiana Filip was born on June 24, 1959 in Bucharest, Romania. At 16 years of age when she was in high school she was into music and singing with Mircea Diaconu in a singing group. He recommended her to director Dan Pita, and that maybe because of her freckles, he chose her for the role of June, the main female role and girlfriend of Romulus Brad played by Mircea Diaconu in Romanian in the three Transylvania westerns. During the filming there was a piano on set and she was studying Bach and Beethoven for her exams. Tania says that she had she received support from her colleagues. "I was the baby of the band, and they took care of me but also teased me slightly. Then I entered the Faculty of Theatre and they became colleagues. I grew up as less-than them. At only 19 years of age Leana made her debut at the National Theatre in Bucharest with “Hagi Tudose” show conducted by Ion Cojar having as partner Constantin Rautchi, a magnificent actor.
Today with a Ph.D. she is a Professor at the National University of Theatre and Film and Director of Master where she likes to work with young future actors, which hopefully will lead them to a career in acting. Tatiana married the foreign ambassador Dan Ghibernea [1954- ] the couple have a daughter Alexandra [1979- ].
Today we celebrate Tatiana Filip’s 55th birthday.

Monday, June 23, 2014


Dos veces Judas – Spanish title
Due volte giuda – Italian title
Duas Vezes Traidor - Brazilian title
Deux fois traître – French title
Zweimal Judas – German title
Kugeln tragen keine Unterschrift – German title
Zwei x Judas – German title
Dyo fores prodotis – Greek title
Duas Vezes Traidor - Portuguese title
Den djävulska hämnaren – Swedish title
Shoot Twice – English title
They Were Called Graveyard – English title
Twice a Judas – English title 

A 1968 Spanish, Italian co-production [Balcázar Producciones Cinematográficas (Barcelona), Colt Porduzioni Cinematografiche, Medusa Produzione (Rome)]
Producer: Luis Marin
Director: Nando Cicero (Fernando Cicero)
Story: Jaime Jesus Balcazar
Screenplay: Jaime Jesús Balcázar
Cinematography: Francisco Marin (Francisco Herrada) [Eastmancolor, CinemaScope]
Music: Carlos Pes
Running time: 96 minutes
Luke Barrett – Antonio Sabato
Dingus/Victor Barrett – Klaus Kinski (Nikolaus Nakaszynski)
Betty/Ragaza – Cristina Galbó (Cristina Sánchez)
Doctor Russell – Pepe Calvo (José Salgado)
Mrs. Barrett – Emma Baron (Emma Barbon)
Donovan – Franco Leo
Sheriff – Damián Rabal
Mac Calhoun – Carlos Ronda
Murphy - Narciso Ibáñez Menta
Carson - Franco Beltramme
Madame – Linda Sini (Ermelinda Siniscalchi)
Mac Calhoun's daughter - Maite Matalonga
Jonathan - José Palomo (José Jiménez)
With: Claudia Rivelli, Ettore Bruson, Milo Quesada (Raúl Alonso), Gastone Pescucci, Giancarlo Pulone (Giovanni Pulone), Gaetano Scala, Nino Nini, Antoniettta Fiorrito, Giuseppe Sciacqua, Sergio De Vecchi, Ettore Broschi

Luke Barrett who’s lost his memory after a few blows, finds out he’s been hired by a gunman who’s made him a proposition to shoot a certain Dingus. At the time of the attack, Luke arrives in time to prevent a killing and saves her life and kills the assassin. Subsequently, however, in trying to reconstruct his identity, he learns the truth about Dingus: he’s, the son of an Indian woman, but grew up in the home of Barrett, he’s killed Susan, the wife of Luke, and his brother Victor, thus allowing him to use the Barrett name and taking control of all their assets. Luke, decided to ask for an explanation from Dingus, he goes to his ranch where he finds Russel the old family doctor, who confirms the whole truth. Dingus fearing the vengeance of Luke tries to kill him but is killed instead.
YouTube trailer:

Happy 60th Birthday Monika Woyotowicz

Monika Woytowicz was born on June 23, 1944 in Barth, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. After graduation Woytowicz attended actor training at the Drama School Leipzig from 1961-1965
Monika Woytowicz appeared in roles in DDR movies, as well as in the television series ‘Sachsens Glanz und Preußens Gloria’ (1983-1984) until she moved in 1983 to West Germany and there continued her television and film career. She was in the television series ‘Tatort’, ‘Liebling Kreuzberg’, ‘Siska’, ‘Ein Fall für zwei’, ‘Die Schwarzwaldklinik’, ‘Hotel Paradies’, ‘Anna Maria – Eine Frau geht ihren Weg’ and ‘Klinik unter Palmen’.
In addition, as a theater actress she played in Munich, Leipzig and Cologne, went on tour, organized readings, recitations and solo programs. From 1985 to 1987 she played the tragic role of Henny Schildknecht in the produced by the Geißendörfer film and television production for WDR ‘Lindenstraße’ which was very popular in Germany as a whole. Her daughter Ina Bleiweiß [1968- ] has played the role of Marion Beimer in ‘Lindenstraße’ from 1985 to 1995. In the series Liebling Kreuzberg Woytowicz (1997) she played the girlfriend of Robert Lovely (Manfred Krug), which deceived her husband.
Monika appeared in two Euro-westerns: “Osceola” – 1971 as Peggy Kerry and “Kit & Co.” (1974) as Lucille Arral.
She was married to the director Celino Bleiweiß [1938- ], of which she divorced in 2005. In 2003 Monika developed the skin disease vasculitis. She now lives in Bogenhausen and has retired from the film and television business since 2005 and since then holds readings, paints and wants to concentrate mainly on her family.
Today we celebrate Monika Woytowicz’s 70th birthday.

Happy 60th Birthday Günther Fischer

Günther Fischer was born on June 23, 1944 in Teplitz Schönau, Austria-Hungary. He received from his parents’ violin and piano lessons, and in 1960 founded his own trio for guitar, bass and accordion. From 1960 to 1963 he studied music at the Robert Schumann Conservatory in Zwickau. 1965 to 1969 he continued in his studies at the Academy of Music "Hanns Eisler" in East Berlin. He took lessons in clarinet, saxophone, conducting, composition and arrangement. At the same time he played in the Klaus Lenz Band. In 1967 he founded, together with pianist Reinhard Lakomy, drummer Wolfgang bitch Schneider and bassist Hans Schaetzke his own jazz band in 1969 when guitarist Fred Baumert pushed himself to the Günther Fischer quartet to a quintet (and 1979 with trumpeter Hans-Joachim grass worm advanced sextet). The band gave concerts with Uschi Brüning and Manfred Krug, later also with Veronika Fischer and Regine Dobberschütz.
In 1967 he founded a jazz group, which still exists today as Günther Fischer Band. Concert tours have taken the ensemble including through Europe, Asia and Africa. From 1969 to 1970, Armin Mueller-Stahl was a member of the band.
His compositions are stylistically diverse, ranging from funk and soul-jazz, beat and rock to Song Broken what continues in his later film music. He wrote, among other things, the film music for “Schöner Gigolo, armer Gigolo” (Federal Republic of Germany 1978) and “Didi und die Rache der Enterbten” (Federal Republic of Germany 1985). Even after unification, he wrote many film scores, such as for the TV series ‘Unser Lehrer Doktor Specht’, ‘Unser Lehrer Doktor Specht’, ‘Für alle Fälle Stefanie’, ‘Familie Dr. Kleist’.
Fischer composed the scores for three Euro-westerns: “Tecumseh” (1972), “Death for Zapata” (1976) and “Severino” (1977).
Since 1997 Günther Fischer lives in Cork, Ireland and is the father of Laura Fischer, who is herself a singer in the band Laura Fischer & Band and with whom he occasionally appears.
Today we celebrate Günther Fischer’s 70th birthday.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ennio Morricone to Receive Star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame

Film Music Reporter
Posted: June 19, 2014
The Walk of Fame Selection Committee announced today that Ennio Morricone is among the 30 honorees to receive a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame in 2015. He was selected to receive a star for his live performances on stage. The Italian composer who is known for such scores as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Untouchables and The Mission will be one of roughly a dozen film composers receiving the honor. Previous honorees include Elmer Bernstein, Alfred Newman, Bill Conti, Maurice Jarre, Henry Mancini, Max Steiner, Victor Young, Les Baxter, Ernest Gold, Alan Menken, Randy Newman and Hans Zimmer.

Spaghetti Western Locations

We continue our search for film locations for “Texas Addio” (aka “The Avenger”). After Delgado eliminates Menendez he’s told by McLeod that the Sullivan brothers are looking for him. Delgado tells McLeod to leave them alone. The scene shifts to Tejero Pass where Burt and Jim come upon the dead body of the saloon girl from the posada tied to a tree while trying to cut her free they are attacked from two sides by eight riders including the Mexican Burt beat up in the posada. Burt’s ordered to dig a grave for the girl, himself and his brother. Burt replies he’ll make it big enough for all of them and he and Jim unload their pistols into the eight riders.

This location is in a rambla called Rambla San Indalecio. It is south of Oasys (Mini Hollywood) and was used as the escape route for Indio and his gang after the El Paso bank holdup in “For a Few Dollars More”.

For a more detailed view of this site and other Spaghetti Western locations please visit my friend Yoshi Yasuda’s location site:

Remembering Olivier Mathot

Olivier Mathot was born Claude Albert Plaut on June 22, 1924 in Paris, Île-de-France, France. He began his entertainment career in 1944 and until the 1970s toured with Gilles Grangier, Jean Dréville, Raymond Bernard, Sacha Guitry, Christian-Jaque. He then veered towards the erotic and pornographic cinema, appearing in over a 120 films directed by such directors as Jess Franco, Alain Payet and Michel Lemoine. He directed a few films in the 1980s. Mathot appeared in four Euro-westerns: “The Return of Clay Stone”, “Three Dollars of Lead” both 1964, “The Crazy Nuns” (1972) and “Convoy of Women” (1974).
Olivier died in Paris, France on December 27, 2011.
Today we remember Olivier Mathot on what would have been his 90th birthday, 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

RIP Aleksandr Kavalerov

Aleksandr Aveksandrovich Kavalerov died on June 17, 2015 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Aleksandr  was a Soviet and Russian actor born in Leningrad, Russia, U.S.S.R. on July 10, 1951.  Kavalerov was his mother's surname; his father was Simon S. Epstein. Starting his cinema career in 1960, at the age of 9, he then appeared in several roles as kids and teenagers. Until 1980 he appeared in more than 25 movies. Later Kavalerov departed from cinema and returned again in 1990s-2000s, playing small roles in TV series such as his only Euro-western appearance: "Alaska Kid" (1993) as P'yany v bare.

First Day of Summer 2014

2020 Texas Gladiators

Anno 2020 – I gladiatori de futoro – Italian title
Texas 2000 – Italian title
Texas v 2000 – Finnish title
Le gladiateur – French title
Oi monomahoi tou Texas – Greek title
2020 - Os Gladiadores do Texas – Portuguese title
2020 los Rangers de Texas – Spanish title
One Eye Force – English title
Sudden Death – English title
Year 2020 – The Gladiators of the Future – English title
Gladiators of the Future – English title
The Rangers of Texas – English title
Texas Freedom Fighter – English title
2020 Freedom Fighters – U.K. title
2020 Texas Gladiators – U.S.A. title
A 1982 Italian production [Eureka Cinematografica (Rome)]
Producers: Helen Handris, Joe D’Amato (Aristide Massaccesi)
Director: Kevin Mancuso (Aristide Massaccesi), Luigi Montefiore
Story: Alex Carver (Luigi Montefiore)
Screenplay: Alex Carver (Luigi Montefiore), Aldo Florio
Cinematography: John Larson (Luciano Vittorio) [Eastmancolor]
Music: Francis Taylor (Carlo Maria Cordio)
Running time: 95 minutes
Nisus – David Green (Al Cliver)
Jab – Harrison Muller, Jr.
Catch Dog – Daniel Stephen (Daniel Stefanow)
Halakron – Peter Hooten (John Hooten)
Red Wolfe – Hal Yamanouchi
Maida – Sabrina Siani (Sabrina Seggiani)
Kezia – Isabella Rocchietta
Sheriff – Angelo Casadei
Black One – Donal O’Brien
With: Janna Ryann (Geretta Geretta), Iris Peynado
Stunts: Daniel Stephen (Daniel Stefanow)

The year is 2020 and the setting is post-nuclear holocaust Texas. It's a dusty, nasty world now as can be seen in the opening scenes when a band of drunken outlaws viciously rape and murder innocent nuns at a mission. They then crucify the priest. Their debauched reveling is interrupted by roving rangers who engage the villains in a blood-soaked, bone crunching fight. The rangers manage to save a terrified young woman from the melee, and the heroic leader and she fall in love and head for the peaceful land she describes to him. Years pass. The hero and the girl are married and she is pregnant. He is working at a refinery. Trouble erupts when a megalomaniacal Neo-Nazi dictator and his cruel minions attack the heavily fortified refinery and begin trying to convert the hapless workers to his insane idea of the New Order. Of course, the hero, after witnessing the rape of his wife, decides to get revenge. Unfortunately, the dictator blows the hero away with a machine gun. More time passes and the workers have become slaves to their new leader, but fortunately at this point, the story is far from over and eventually after considerably more blood is graphically spilled, the forces of good inevitably triumph.
YouTube trailer:

Remembering Anna Arena

Ada Anna Arena was born on June 21, 1919 in Quiliano, Savona, Liguria, Italy. Anna began, at a very young age, as a stage actress in local companies; in 1941 she made her entry into films, playing a small role in “C'è un fantasma nel castello”, by director Giorgio Simonelli, who specialized in this kind of film. While participating in a large number of films, Arena’s career was relegated to second tier films as a minor character actress.
The only exception is her participation, but still in a secondary role, was in “Il bell'Antonio”, the film was directed by Mauro Bolognini in 1960 and based on the novel by Vitaliano Brancati, whose screenplay was also worked on by Pierpaolo Pasolini.
As a side note; the well-known actor Maurizio Arena (born Maurizio Di Lorenzo) chose his pseudonym in tribute to the actress, who he was romantically linked for a few years, despite the strong difference in their age.
Anna appeared in only one Euro-western: “The Dream of Zorro” (1951) as a washer woman.
Arena died in Jesolo, Veneto, Italy on August 19, 1974.
Today we remember Anna Arena on what would have been her 95th birthday.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Guess Who I Am

I’m an Italian actress born in Codroipo in 1931.
I’ve appeared in over 40 films from 1960-1990 including one Euor-western.4
Today I’m active in promoting my circus.
Guess who I am.

An annonimous reader guessed correctly that this week's photo is that of Moira Orfei.