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Django? Is that really you?
Yet another unofficial Django sequel, or at least one of many westerns, post Corbucci's masterpiece, that have the main character named Django. Sadly, it's rather run of the mill and it failed to capture my attention in any major way. Gianni Garko, as Gary Hudson (a pseudonym representative of the creativity of the film), takes on the Django name as a bounty hunter who will learn to pay a steep price for his greed.
I was reminded of the Hitchcock/Truffaut interviews (coincidentally published that same year) where they came to the conclusion that the "better the villain, the better the film." Henry Fonda in Once Upon A Time in the West, for instance, would be a great example of this. Unfortunately for us, Guerrieri did not seem to be too familiar with this concept; had he made a quick trip to the bookstore before starting the film, he might not have thought it such a splendid idea to put more mascara on the bad guy, than on the female lead. Sadly the appearance of the villain, Manuel, was not the only laughable thing and a lot of the supporting characters are as grotesque as they are dull. Garko also makes a poor Franco Nero replacement here, even though he is usually quite good in other movies.
On a more positive note, the camera work is decent, there are a couple of fun shoot-outs and the locations are easy on the eye.
I compagni (1963)
Underrated Italian Masterpiece
The difference between this film and a lot of other strike/union related films, is that it has a sense of humor and is not taken with its own self importance. As a matter a fact, the film is quite measured and cautious in its outlook. There are no heroics here, everybody is a full fledged human being with his/her weaknesses and strengths. Mastroianni is particularly wonderful here in a very nuanced performance, where he goes from nebbish professor to inspirational and powerful leader in matters of seconds. The script is very strong and Rotunno's cinematography is excellent. Monicelli injects the film with so many details that hit their mark, that he has gone from a very good director to a great one in my estimation. The early scenes at the factory are truly remarkable in a uniquely cinematic way. They hardly contain any dialogue and put you in the workers place in a remarkably efficient way.