Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Dove si spara di più (Fury of Johnny Kid) (1967)
Dove si spara di più (Fury of Johnny Kid) (1967) is a minor Euro-Western which features major actors of European cult cinema. Its lasting impression upon European cult cinema is its historical value. Dove si spara di più boasts one of the first appearances of iconic Spanish actor Paul Naschy and is also one of his earliest forays into the technical side of filmmaking.
Peter Lee Lawrence (né Karl Hirenbach, billed here as Arthur Grant) portrays Johnny Mounters in Dove si spara di più, as the youngest son of the Mounters family who own a large ranch at the end of the valley. Across the way is competing family, the Campos clan, most represented by villainous son, Rodrigo, portrayed by Pietro Martellanza (billed as Peter Martell). The youngest Campos is sweet and passionate Giulietta (Cristina Galbó). The two families are engaged in a bloody rivalry. Johnny and Giulietta fall in love. Is everyone picking up on from where the source material originates?
Other sequences make no sense and are odd and seem out of place. Normally, I love characters acting nonsensically in cinema. There's an energy and spontaneity and freedom in those sequences. However, there are times when ridiculous sequences seem just nonsensical and plodding. For example, Lawrence's Johnny is a character who does not drink alcohol. Fair enough. So when Johnny gets angry or full of melancholy, he doesn't head to the saloon to knock back glasses of whiskey. Instead, he has the bartender pour him a glass of whiskey which he slides down the bar and shoots with his pistol before the glass falls off. Lawrence shoots quite a few glasses. Perhaps at the conception stage, this scene was either pivotal and/or clever. During its rendition, it seems grating and annoying.
Peter Lee Lawrence and Cristina Galbó were once married, and as far as my limited research has uncovered, Dove si spara di più is the only film in which the two star together. The best scene of the film is the meeting of the two. Johnny with Lefty in tow decide to rob a stagecoach, believed to be carrying a valuable Campos treasure. As Johnny pulls the riders out of the carriage, Giulietta emerges last. She pulls a small pistol from her purse and aims it at Johnny. Johnny is frozen, and adeptly, Giulietta shoots the black mask off of Johnny's face. The chemistry that the two hold shows instantly that it is love at first sight. This scene is the heart of Dove si spara di più; and had the love story been developed more, then film could have been something interesting. Instead, the love story is a vehicle for a familiar revenge tale and stock Western mythology.
1. Naschy, Paul. Memoirs of Wolfman. Midnight Marquee Press. Baltimore, Maryland. 2000. Pp.87-88.
2. Naschy, Paul. Memoirs of Wolfman. Midnight Marquee Press. Baltimore, Maryland. 2000. Pp.88-89.