A master gunfighter teams up with a banjo-playing drifter and a Mexican tramp to foil the town leaders of Daugherty, Texas, who want to steal $100,000 from their own bank to buy land that the approaching railroad will cross.
Lee Van Cleef,
History Professor Brad Fletcher heads west for his health, but falls in with Soloman Bennett's outlaw gang. Fascinated by their way of life, Fletcher finally takes over the gang, leading with a new 'efficient' ruthlessness.Written by
Tom Seldon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Siringo is preparing to give a letter about an upcoming bank robbery to a sheriff, the "letter" shown in an insert shot is clearly a small card with the words "TO THE MARSHAL" written on it rather than an actual letter. See more »
Professor Brad Fletcher:
I've an announcement to make, and I find it... very painful. I'm unable to... continue this history course. But as you perhaps know, it's not a matter of my own volition. However, the study of history can be suspended... and resumed at any point. Because, though all men must die in time, other men will make history live. And each man can choose his own part in history. We've been forced to choose: when the war between the States declared that we were either Union loyalists or ...
[...] See more »
Carlo Simi is given a "sets and costumes" credit on Italian prints, while English prints credit him as the "art director". See more »
When 'Face to Face' was brought before the BBFC by Butcher's Film Service, it was cut from 112 minutes to 93 minutes to receive an 'A' rating. The 93-minute version of the English dub (featuring the voices of Tomas Milian and William Berger reprising their on-screen roles) was for some time the most widely available, having been released on Explosive Media's (out of print) 2-disc DVD release and Kino Lorber's Blu-ray, while the uncut English version was later released by Explosive Media on a single-disc DVD and in the first print run (of 1000 copies) of their Blu-ray release, which also contains the shorter English version.
The scenes removed from the 93-minute English version were:
The scene where Fletcher and Bennet spending a stormy night in one of Bennet's hideouts. Fletcher removes some floorboards to find medicine for Bennet's gunshot wounds, and Bennet, with Fletcher's help, removes a bullet from his body with a knife (the English audio for the second half of this scene was included in Explosive Media's original 2-disc release).
Fletcher learns to shoot at a tree with Bennet's revolver. However, he hesitates when ordered to shoot a rabbit. Both men then spy on Charley Siringo - Beau wants to kill him, but Fletcher suggests creating a diversion.
Bennet telling Reagen, a member of Sam Taylor's gang, that he shot him for "business" reasons, and walking away from his body when he dies (the English audio for this scene was included in Explosive Media's original 2-disc release).
Belle de Winton's discussion about her deceased Confederate lover with Fletcher, and Bennet/Fletcher's reactions - Bennet implies that he and Belle are having (or have had) an affair, which Fletcher politely respects.
Siringo's arrival at the de Winton estate, where he (aided by Vance and Aaron) kills a sheriff sent to capture Bennet. (The edited English version picks up from when, after Siringo kills the sheriff, Bennet discusses his level of trust for him.)
Fletcher meeting Rusty Rogers at Puerto del Fuego, and expressing admiration for him. Maximilian then tells Fletcher that Puerto del Fuego is full of "ghosts of the past", but Fletcher feels that he has never seen anyone look more "happy, alive and free" (the English audio for the second half of this scene appears in Explosive Media's 2-disc release).
Fletcher and Beau's mock duel, and Fletcher's explanations of the roles the other outlaws (except for himself, Maria and Bennet) will play in the Williow Creek bank robbery (in the edited English version, Jason's line "We go to Willow Creek, and knock off the bank" is used to create a transition shot to Bennet in the Mexican disguise he wears for the robbery).
Bennet being pestered by Paco, the Mexican peasant, followed by Mrs. Watson's (Mrs. Lee in the English version) argument with Willow Creek's sheriff about Siringo's letter regarding the robbery, just before Fletcher and Maria enter town. (In the uncut version, she throws away Siringo's letter in anger over the sheriff's lack of cooperation. In the edited English version, she throws the letter away after apparently using it as a tissue.)
A brief close-up of Fletcher walking towards the bag of stolen money during the bank robbery shoot-out.
A discussion between a group of lawmen about Fletcher's rise to power among Bennet's Raiders and Siringo's hunting for Aaron Chase.
An extra shot of Fletcher's men watching a goon punch Wallace (on Explosive Media's 2-disc release, the groan Wallace makes is unique; on the Blu-ray and single-disc DVD, the groan is a repeat of one Wallace makes earlier in the scene).
Reasons of state, Wallace. You studied history, so you know what I mean. Not out of hate... but with compassion.
Faccia a facia (Face to face) is directed by Sergio Sollima and Sollima co-writes the screenplay with Sergio Donati. It stars Gian Maria Volontè, Tomas Milian and William Berger. Music is by Ennio Morricone and cinematography by Emilio Foriscot and Rafael Pacheco.
Brad Fletcher (Volontè), a New England professor, is plagued by ill health and is advised to relocate to the West for better climate conditioning. Once in Texas he is unfortunately taken hostage by wounded outlaw Beauregard Bennet (Milian), the result of which begins a turning of the character based tables...
Sergio Sollima followed his excellent La resa dei conti (The Big Gundown) with this similar, if more complex, classic piece of spag cinema. Often cited as a picture with deep political motives, which Sollima denied, it really is in simplified terms a story about a good man going bad and a bad man going good. There are of course political and social observations, coming as it does down in the South post the Civil War, while some of the literate philosophising rewards more on subsequent revisits to the pic.
Very talky for sure, it does however contain some superb action sequences, particularly in the last quarter, which in turn is crowned by a very Leonesque finale of quality framing. The trio of lead actors, each a Spag Western legend, are on superb form, while Sollima and his cinematographers provide an epic location based scope to the piece. Be sure to not see any abridged or dubbed version, see it only in its full length with natural Italian accompanied by the various subtitle options. 8/10
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