Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 1st, 2007
Theatrical Release Dates: Italy, 1963 (Gunfught at Red Sands), Italy, 1964 (Bullets Don’t Argue), Italy, 1966 (Seven Guns for the MacGregor’s & Seven Women for the MacGregor’s), Italy, 1972 (Life is Tough, EH Providence)
Directors: Ricardo Blasco (Gunfught at Red Sands), Mario Caiano (Bullets Don’t Argue), Franco Giraldi (Seven Guns for the MacGregor’s & Seven Women for the MacGregor’s), Giulio Petroni (Life is Tough, EH Providence)
Cast: Richard Harrison, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart (Gunfught at Red Sands), Rod Cameron, Horst Frank, Ángel Aranda, Vivi Bach & Luis Durán (Bullets Don’t Argue), Robert Woods, Fernando Sancho, Agata Flori, Nazzareno Zamperla, Paolo Magalotti, David Bailey, Alberto Dell’Acqua, Roberto Camardiel, Hugo Blanco (Seven Guns for the MacGregor’s & Seven Women for the MacGregor’s), Tomas Milian, Gregg Palmer, Janet Agren, Maurice Poli, Giovanni Cianfriglia (Life is Tough, EH Providence)
DVD Released: 2005
Approximate Running Time: 92 minutes (Gunfught at Red Sands), 90 minutes (Bullets Don’t Argue), 92 minutes (Seven Guns for the MacGregor’s), 90 minutes (Seven Women for the MacGregor’s), 96 minutes (Life is Tough, EH Providence)
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Gunfught at Red Sands), 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Bullets Don’t Argue), 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Seven Guns for the MacGregor’s), 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Seven Women for the MacGregor’s), 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Life is Tough, EH Providence)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Italian
DVD Release: RHV
Region Coding: Region 0 PAL (Italy)
Retail Price: $47.95
Gunfight at Red Sands: Intoxicated one night while playing cards at the saloon Manuel reveals where his family has hidden their gold. The next day Ricardo’s (Richard Harrison) homecoming from Mexico is a bittersweet since his father was killed by three gunmen who made away with the families gold. Ricardo with only a handful of clues to help him uncover the identity of the three bandits pledges to avenge his fallen father and hunt every one of them down.
Murder, Greed and Gold are all staples that would form the foundation of many Spaghetti Westerns. All three of these elements are exploited in Duel in Texas which is considered by many to be one of the first Spaghetti Westerns. Duel in Texas was directed by Ricardo Blasco who main claim to fame is a pair of Zorro films “The Three Swords of Zorro” and “Behind the Mask of Zorro”. Blasco’s direction for Duel in Texas is not as flashy as most Spaghetti Westerns that followed it does feature some solid camera work and a few stylish set pieces.
Revenge is Ricardo’s main motivation for finding his father’s killers and yet the plot tends to follow a more detective like narrative that only briefly showcases his revenge. The plot starts off slowly before Ricardo enters the fray and most of the characters in the films tend to be dull or too one dimensional. Two Euro-cult regulars Richard Harrison and Giacomo Rossi-Stuart are the films to main stars. Harrison plays the son seeking revenge while Rossi-Stuart plays a corrupt sheriff who is only worried about keeping the peace even if it means turning a blind eye to evil doers.
Duel in Texas features an early score from Ennio Morricone which is highlighted by the song “A Gringo like Me”. This song would be featured years later in the action film Sensitive New Age Killer. Even at this early stage of his career Morricone shows his ability to experiment with different styles of music and instruments. Ultimately Duel in Texas is an above average Spaghetti Western that starts off slowly and ends with a solid third act.
Bullets Don’t Argue: The Clayton brothers rob a bank on the day the town’s sheriff Pat Garrett (Rod Cameron) is getting married. The Clayton brothers are forced to commit murder when a witness recognizes them so they flee to Mexico. Pat Garrett never a man to give up so easily chases after them beyond his jurisdiction into Mexico.
Bullets Don’t Argue was directed by Mario Caiano who was no stranger to the Spaghetti Western genre having directing several of this genres stand out films like The Fighting Fists of Shanghai Joe and Man Who Cried for Revenge. Caiano’s most famous film of his career is the horror film Nightmare Castle which starred Barbara Steele. Visually Bullets Don’t Argue has many great set pieces and stylish compositions. The film is perfectly paced with each new obstacle that Pat Garrett faces spread out to their fullest affect. There are many great moments in the film with my favorite being when Pat Garrett escorts the Clayton Brothers across a desert and they are chased by Mexican bandits that want the money the brothers stole.
The films lead Rod Cameron as Pat Garrett does a solid job portraying this historic figure and I like the idea of having Garrett played by a much older actor like Cameron giving the character a sense of vulnerability that a younger actor would have lacked. Horst Frank is Billy Clayton the older and more criminal minded of the two brothers. Frank as usual does an excellent job playing another heavy. Ángel Aranda plays the younger Clayton brother George. Aranda gives what is without a doubt the best performance in the film. His does a wonderful job of taking the character from a wanted outlaw killer on the run to a man who wants to redeem himself and he in the end gets the chance. Even though his name doesn’t sound that familiar Ángel Aranda has starred in the following films Planet of the Vampires, The Hellbenders and Satan’s Blood.
The score for Bullets Don’t Argue is an early classic from composer Ennio Morricone which features a memorable theme song that ranks with the best of his work. Many of the sets and locations in this film they were also used for the film a Fistful of Dollars which was being filmed at the same time. Also is hard to believe but one time the producers of this film thought that it would be bigger then a Fistful of Dollars. Time has shown how wrong they were, still one most not overlook Bullets Don’t Argue since it is one of the better examples of what a great Spaghetti Western is.
Seven Guns for the MacGregor’s: The MacGregor clan sends their seven sons to Las Mesas to sell their 200 horses. The town is run by crooked business man named Crawford who bullies everyone into selling their horses way below cost or end up in an early grave. The MacGregor boys are thrown in jail after refusing Crawford’s offer for their horses and when they escape later they discover the horses have been stolen. They soon discover that a man named Santillana is the ring leader behind all the stealing of horses and the MacGregor’s decide to give him a taste of his own medicine.
Seven Guns for the MacGregors and 7 Women for the MacGregors where both directed by Franco Giraldi who also directed the Spaghetti Western A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die. Giraldi makes excellent use of the scope widescreen frame as every shot is filled with interesting compositions. The plot for Seven Guns for the MacGregors is an entertaining romp which includes many wild shoot outs and bar room brawls. Right from the opening moments the film are in your face action is set up as bandits raid the MacGregor ranch and are held off after a valiant fight.
Seven Guns for the MacGregors features one of Ennio Morricone’s catchiest motifs that will have you humming it for days. Outside of the main theme the rest of the score I pretty standard even by Morricone’s standards. All of the cast are very good in their respective roles with the actors/actresses that play the elder MacGregor’s stealing every scene they are in. The films lead Robert Woods while not a charismatic as Franco Nero or Clint Eastwood he stills does an admirable job carrying the film. The films stand out moment features Robert Woods character Gregor who is savagely beaten with a bull whip by Santillana. Ultimately Seven Guns for the MacGregors makes up for its lack of substance with its oddball characters and non stop action.
Seven Women for the MacGregor’s: The elder MacGregor’s fearful their sons will fall in love a gold digging women bury the families fortune in the ground. The money ends up being stolen by a gang of thieves lead by a bandit named Maldonado. Once again the MacGregor men spring back into action as they take on Maldonado’s gang and try to reclaim their families’ fortune.
7 Women for the MacGregors literally picks up where the last film took off and the plot while slightly different in many ways shadows the previous film. Most of the cast and crew would return for this sequel except one key role of the lead Gregor MacGregor which was played by Robert Woods in the first film now being played by David Bailey in his feature film debut. Also all the music from Ennio Morricone’s previous score for Seven Guns for the MacGregors is brought back once again with slight variations.
The plot this time around feels more pieced together and the comedy is taken up a notch with a bad named Maldonado who has a tooth ache and an elderly Frank James providing tow of the more humorous moments. Love also plays a key role in this film as a family of Irish decent that has seven daughters is thrown into the mix for the seven Macgregor boys. These ladies are not dainty and they can handle their won in a gun or fist fight. In the midst of all this love and comedy is a film that really racks up the body count before all is said and done. Ultimately the slapstick/more comedic moments may scare some away which is a shame since there is more then enough killing and fighting to satisfy even the more diehard Spaghetti Western fan.
Life is Tough, EH Providence: 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.
All five films included in the Le Pistole Non Discutono Western collection are presented in anamorphic widescreens presentations that preserve their original aspect ratios. They all boast strong and vibrant colors that look faithfully reproduced. They all exhibit razor sharp detail and the image remains stable throughout. Outside a minor spec of dirt or nick all five of these transfers all look exceptional.
All five films included in this collection come with two audio options each. Italian and English audio mixes which are all presented in a Dolby digital mono. The Italian mixes sound better then their English counterparts. During most of the English mixes there are instances of noticeable hiss with it being most noticeable during these three films Gunfught at Red Sands, Bullets Don’t Argue and Life is Tough, EH Providence. Overall you really can go wrong with any of the audio mixes included as they are all more then adequate and get the job done. Unfortunately no English subtitles have been included for the Italian audio mixes.
Extras for Gunfught at Red Sands include a trailer for the film in Italian no English subtitles and a photo gallery that plays music from the film while each new image appears.
Extras for Bullets Don’t Argue include a trailer for the film in Italian no English subtitles and a photo gallery that plays music from the film while each new image appears. The main extra for this film is a twenty three minute interview with director Mario Caiano in Italian with English subtitles. Caiano discusses filming in Almeria, working with actor Rod Cameron, Yojimbo, a Fistful of Dollars and Sergio Leone.
Extras for Seven Guns for the MacGregor’s include a trailer for the film in Italian no English subtitles and a photo gallery that plays music from the film while each new image appears. The main extra for this film is a sixteen minute interview with director Franco Giraldi in Italian with no English subtitles. Giraldi discusses Sergio Corbucci, Peplums, a Fistful of Dollars, Sergio Leone and Seven Guns for the MacGregor’s.
Extras for Seven Women for the MacGregor’s include a trailer for the film in Italian no English subtitles and a photo gallery that plays music from the film while each new image appears. Other extras include about ten minutes of outtakes and an alternate U.S. opening credits sequence. The main extra for this film is a fourteen minute interview with director Franco Giraldi in Italian with English subtitles. Giraldi discusses working with Ennio Morricone, Seven Guns for the MacGregor’s and Seven Women for the MacGregor’s.
Extras for Life is Tough, EH Providence include a trailer for the film in Italian no English subtitles and a photo gallery that plays music from the film while each new image appears. The main extra for this film is a thirteen minute interview with director Giulio Petroni in Italian with English subtitles. Petroni discusses Tomas Milian, Gregg Palmer, Morricones score and Life is Tough, EH Providence.
All five films come with DVD inserts which include cast and crew info (in Italian).
RHV’s Le Pistole Non Discutono Western collection collects five rarely seen Spaghetti Westerns at a more then affordable price. What makes this purchase even sweeter is that all five films and most of the extras are English friendly, highly recommended.