Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 12th, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1972
Director: Giulio Petroni
Writers: Franco Castellano, Günter Ebert, Antonino Marino, Giuseppe Moccia, Antoinette Pellevant, Giulio Petroni, Piero Regnoli
Cast: Tomas Milian, Gregg Palmer, Janet Agren, Maurice Poli, Giovanni Cianfriglia, Carla Mancini, Paul Muller
DVD released: April 10th, 2012
Approximate running time: 96 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
Region oding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.99
Synopsis: Providence (Tomas Milian) is an eccentric bounty hunter who always gets his man in the end.
Life Is Tough, Eh Providence?, was directed by Giulio Petroni, who only directed a handful of films including Death Rides a Horse and Tepepa a film which also starred Tomas Milian. The plot for Life Is Tough, Eh Providence, feels like a series of disjointed adventures as Milian’s character Providence just seems to be literally going around in circles. Direction wise Petroni does a solid job pacing and framing the action.
This is a latter day Spaghetti Western made long after the genre had seen its peak and by this time these films had shifted away from violence to a more comedic approach. Also this film like many other Spaghetti Western pictures made around this time is a buddy picture with Tomas Milian’s Providence being teamed up with Gregg Palmer’s Hurricane Smith. Milian is a master at playing odd ball characters and his performance as Providence has to be near the top as one of the most bizarre of his career.
The films broad slap stick comedy falls flat more often then it succeeds. Overall Milian and Palmer make a great duo as they complement each other effortlessly. This film’s greatest asset is Tomas Milian, who can make any film he is in worth watching at least once. Ennio Morricone supplies another fabulous score which is at times reminiscent to his score for A Fistful of Dynamite. Ultimately if you enjoy Spaghetti Western films like My Name is Trinity or My Name is nobody then will thoroughly enjoy this very unusual film.
Echo Bridge Entertainment presents Life is Tough, EH Providence in an anamorphic widescreen that retains this film’s intended 2.35:1 ‘scope’ aspect ratio. Colors tend to fluctuate, black levels look very weak, details look soft and at times smeary. There are issues with compression and edge enhancement is noticeable throughout. Having previously viewed this film via RHV’s very strong region 2 PAL Italian DVD release. I have to say that the difference is quality for this new release when compared to RHV’s release is huge. Also Echo Bridge Entertainment’s release looks to yet another poorly done PAL to NTSC conversion.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. Background noise and distortion are minimal and dialog comes through clearly enough to follow.
Being that this is a budget release it is not surprising that there is no extra content related to Life is Tough, EH Providence or the other seven films included with this release. The other seven films are as follows, Blood Money, Wanted, The Bounty Killer, Buddy Goes West, The Price of Power, Sartana in Death Valley and Sundance Cassidy and Butch the Kid. All of them films are at least presented in a letterboxed widescreen except, Sundance Cassidy and Butch the Kid (which is presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio that crops their intended aspect ratio) and Life is Tough, EH Providence, somehow gets an anamorphic widescreen transfer. Overall though the presentations of all of the film’s included with this release are at best serviceable. This is after all a budget release and its asking price is more than reasonable.