Wednesday, July 31, 2013

RIP Stanley Margolis

May 29, 1934 - July 14, 2013 Stanley Margolis passed away at UCLA Medical on Sunday July, 14. Stanley was born and raised in London, England and was a gifted athlete. He was a member of the All-England Schoolboys cricket team and well-respected boxer. Known as a financial wiz kid he became an accountant and entrepreneur. He and partners Tony Tenser and Laurie Marsh formed British Tigon Films, producing many popular films including "Hannie Caluder," staring Raquel Welch. Stanley produced "True Romance." Stanley bred and raced greyhounds. His dog Black Jack Dealer was the 1986 Championship Winner at Naples-Fort Myers Dog Track 3-8 mile Derby. In 1976 Stanley moved with his family to Southern California. He founded FinMgt where he managed the business affairs of well-known artists. His parents; Samuel and Ivy; Sister, Frances, and brother-in law, Paul Swanson; and son Alex preceded him in death. He is survived by wife Angela, daughter Rachel, son-in-law, David and grandchildren, Cynthia and Christopher.

RIP MIchel Lemoine

[Michel Lemoine & Lee Burton]
French actor and director Michel Lemoine died at his home in Vinon, Centre, France on July 27, 2013. He was 90.
Lemoine made ​​his film debut in late 1943 and worked for directors such as Sacha Guitry and Julien Duvivier. His physique gave him the opportunity to compete for roles as a romantic leading man but also to explore roles as mysterious and disturbing characters. Throughout the 1960s, he toured extensively in Italy, in peplums, spaghetti westerns and in fantasy films. He also worked for Jess Franco and José Bénazéraf. In the 1970s he was seen mainly in erotic films.
As a director he mingled eroticism with drama and comedy working with Janine Reynaud and his wife, along with his favorite performers, Martine Azencot, Nathalie Zeiger and Marie-Hélène Kingdom.
He turned reluctantly towards making pornographic films using his most often pseudonym Michel Leblanc directing Olinka Hardiman who he made a star of X films (“Marilyn, mon amour”). In 1976, his film “Les Week-ends maléfiques du Comte Zaroff” was prohibited in theaters by French censorship.
He left the acting profession in the 1990s, and made only sporadic appearances.
Lemoine appeared in two Euro-westerns: “The Road to Fort Alamo” (1964) starring Ken Clark and directed by Mario Bava and “Cemetery Without Crosses” (1968) directed by and starring Robert Hossein.

The Seventh

The Seventh - International title
A 2009 British production [Anti /Type Films, Short Night Films (London)]
Producer: Laurence Campbell, Lyle Jackson, Ruth Whittaker, Ben Cook
Director: Laurence Campbell
Story: Laurence Campbell
Screenplay: Laurence Campbell
Cinematography: Lyle Jackson [color]
Music: Fever Blank
Running time: 21 minutes
Old Man - Stephen Campbell
Young Man - Laurence Campbell

Deep into the rugged landscape two men fight for survival. One gets the upper hand and the journey begins. The earth and the soul become one as the fever takes hold. Hunted or feared, paranoia and confusion chase both men on their trip through the feral and ungoverned lands.  The reality of death in times of no hope is a brutal realisation for the men and as young becomes old, and another cycle is complete, the old must find their new place.

Link to the full length film:

Who Are ThoseGal? - Laura Betti

Laura Betti was born Laura Trombetti in Casalecchio di Reno, Emilia Romagna, Italy on May 1 1927. Her childhood was spent in Bologna under the ominous shadow of Mussolini's Fascist repression. But when the Second World War ended and freedom was finally restored in Italy, Laura Trombetti first rebelled by shortening her name to Betti. Soon she was gathering a sulphurous reputation in the new hot spots of Rome's café society as it reveled once more in social and artistic freedom.
This blonde and flamboyant actress started her career as a jazz singer. Betti made her film debut in Federico Fellini's “La Dolce Vita” (1960). In 1963, she became a close friend of the poet and movie director Pier Paolo Pasolini, for whom she made a documentary after his death. Under Pasolini's direction she proved a wonderful talent, in many films like “La ricotta” (1963) and “Teorema” (1968). In 1976, she portrayed a cruel and erotic-maniacal fascist in “1900”, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. She remained the keeper of Pasolini’s flame to the end, and even wrote a novel about him, Teta veleta (1979). Her readings kept his memory alive, and in 2001 she issued a documentary about him, presented at the Venice Film Festival. She oversaw the issue of restored versions of all his films, and on April 24, 2004, ceremoniously presented all of Pasolini's archives to Bologna's film library.
Since the 1960s, she had dedicated much of her time to literature and politics. She became the muse for a number of leading political and literary figures in Italy and came to personify the revolutionary and Marxist era of 1970s Italy.
Laura appeared in three Euro-westerns: “Companeros”, “A Man Called Sledge” (both 1970) and “Sonny and Jed” (1972). Laura also appeared as herself in the western documentary “Arrivano i vostro” (1984).
Later in her career she became a TV and voice actress before dying in Rome, Italy on July 31, 2004.

BETTI, Laura (Laura Trombetti) [5/1/1927, Casalecchio di Reno, Emilia-Romagna, Italy - 7/31/2004, Rome, Lazio, Italy] - singer, stage, TV, voice actress.
Companeros! – 1970 [Italian voice of Karin Schubert]
A Man Called Sledge - 1970 (sister)
Sonny and Jed - 1972
Arrivano i vostri (TV) - 1984 [herself]

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Happy 65th Birthday Carel Struycken

Carel Struycken was born on July 30, 1948 in the Hague, The Netherlands. He is the brother of actor Peter Struycken. When he was four years old his family moved to Curacao, an island in the Caribbean. At age sixteen, he returned to his country, where he finished high school. He graduated from the directing program at the film school in Amsterdam, following which he did a year at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.
After school, he collaborated on a number of projects of writer/director Rene Daalder. He was "discovered" as an actor at the corner of Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles by a lady who had abandoned her car in the middle of the street, calling after him, "We need you for a movie!". The movie was “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band” (1978). The turning point in his acting career however was “Ewoks: The Battle for Endor” (1985) (TV), a George Lucas film. In addition to cinema, he has also appeared on TV, notably as the recurring character, valet Mr. Homn, on "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (1987).
Stuycken has appeared in two Euro-westerns: “Oblivion” (1993) and “Backlash: Oblivion 2” (1994) playing Mr. Gaunt in both.
Carel has also helped in hardware and software development of virtual reality systems.
Today we celebrate Carel Stuycken’s 65th birthday.

Happy 80th Birthday Edd Byrnes

Born Edward Byrne Breitenberger in New York City on July 30, 1933, Edd Byrnes shared an impoverished and unhappy childhood with his brother Vincent and sister Jo-Ann. Their mother worked hard at various jobs to keep the family together because her alcoholic husband was often absent from the scene. When Edd was 13 his father was found dead in a basement. Edd then dropped his last name in favor of "Byrnes", based on the name of his maternal grandfather, a New York City fireman. Edd found escape from family problems at the movies and at the gym, where he developed an athletic body. At age 17 he was approached by a man who offered to take free "physique" photos of him. According to Edd's 1996 autobiography, "Kookie No More", this led to a few years of "hustling" older, well-to-do men, despite the fact that Edd was heterosexual. One of these men acted as Edd's mentor, introducing him to fashion and culture and encouraging his hopes for an acting career.
After doing some summer-stock work and a few bit parts on TV, Edd drove to California in 1955, arriving in Los Angeles on the day James Dean died in a car crash. He managed to get a few minor parts in films and then won a role in a new TV series called ‘77 Sunset Strip’ (1958), which premiered in September of 1958. Edd, played a hip-talking parking-lot attendant named "Kookie". Viewers started quoting his dialog, ("Baby, you're the ginchiest!"), and young males imitated the way he wielded his ever-present comb. His fan mail soon reached an astonishing 15,000 letters a week and his single with Connie Stevens, "Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb", became a top-5 hit. Edd chafed, however, at the restrictions in his Warner Brothers contract, which forced him to turn down roles in “Ocean's Eleven” (1960), “North to Alaska” (1960) and “Rio Bravo” (1959). He walked off the ‘77 Sunset Strip’ set and in the ensuing months began to drink heavily and visit a psychiatrist, who administered drugs to him. His contract dispute was eventually settled; though not much to his advantage, and when he returned to ‘77 Sunset Strip’ his role was upgraded from "sidekick" to "partner" and he wore a suit and tie. Audience reaction was not good, ratings dropped, and the show was canceled. The hip-talking, hair-combing image clung to him, however, and Edd felt he lost the lead in “PT 109” (1963) because President John F. Kennedy didn't want to be played by "Kookie." A few more movies and TV appearances followed, but his career had passed its peak before he turned 30.
Edd went to Europe in the mid-1960s and made a few films including three Euro-westerns: “Any Gun Can Play”, “Payment in Blood” and “Professionals for a Massacre” all in 1967.
In 1962 he married long-time girlfriend Asa Maynor. Their son, Logan, was born on September 13, 1965. Edd and Asa's marriage ended in divorce in 1971. He never remarried, and remains proud of his son who is a FOX news anchor in Connecticut since 2008. Edd has come to terms with his role as television's first teen idol and released an autobiography in 1996 entitled Kookie No More.
Today we celebrate Edd Byrnes 80th birthday.

Happy 85th Birthday Chris Howland

John Christopher Howland was born on July 30, 1928 in London, England. He is a British radio and TV presenter. For most of his career he worked in Germany, where he started a few years after World War II at BFBS. He became a popular disk jockey and presenter also on German networks. He also was a prolific Schlager-singer and starred in over 50 films and television appearances.
In 1948 he started working for the British Forces Broadcasting Service in Germany. The British programs were an insider tip for German youths who would rather listen to British music than to the comparatively slow contemporary German pop music. So his popularity subsequently soon exceeded his actual target audience. On the other hand Chris Howland also got acquainted with the German language. In 1952, when he already spoke German fluently, he was hired by a German broadcaster. Because of him British music prevails on German radio up to now. Still, when he debuted six years later as a singer, he did it in Germany and had two hits. But in 1959 he stopped doing radio shows and returned to Britain.
On British TV Chris Howland had a show called ‘Peoples and Places’ but he was not as popular as in Germany where the audiences loved his British accent. So after two years he returned to Germany and continued his career. Here he did a show called ‘Studio B’ which featured pop stars in a new way that included a lot of humor. The show was broadcast more than sixty times. Chris Howland's next coup was a version of Candid Camera for German TV.
Since 1954 Chris Howland has acted in more than twenty films, including six European Karl May films including three westerns: “Apache Gold” (1963) as Lord Jefferson Tuff Tuff, “Legacy of the Incas” (1965) as Don Parmesan and “Blood at Sundown” (1966) as Doodle Kramer. In 2007 he appeared in a parody on German Edgar Wallace feature films. He acted mainly in comedies which were carried out in a style much like the British Carry On films.
Currently Chris Howland lives outside Cologne, Germany and works again as a radio presenter and appears occasionally as an actor or speaker on TV. In 2009 he published his memoirs Yes, Sir.
Today we celebrate Chris Howland’s 85th birthday.

Monday, July 29, 2013

New DVD Release

Captain Apache
Director: Alexander Singer
Starring: Lee van Cleef, Carroll Baker, Stuart Whitman
Label: Simply Media
Format: PAL, Widescreen
Region: 2
Language: English, Spanish (mono)
Subtitles: English
Running time: 89 minutes
Available: July 29, 2013


7 pistole per un massacro – Italian title
Adios hombre – Italian title
Hondo spara più forte – Italian title
Con el corazón en la garganta – Spanish title
Hondo dispara más fuerte – Spanish title
Adiós hombre – French title
Das Todeslied von Laramie – German title
Das Todeslied – German title
Antio Mexiko – Greek title
Adios, Hombre – Swedish title
7 Pistols for a Massacre – English title
A 1967 Italian, Spanish co-production [United Pictures (Rome), Cooperativa Cine Espana (Madrid)]
Producer: Bianco Manini
Director: Mario Caiano
Story: Eduardo M. Brochero (Eduardo Manzanos Brochero)
Screenplay: Eduardo M. Brochero (Eduardo Manzanoz Brochero), Mario Caino
Cinematography: Sergio Martino, Julio Ortas [Eastmancolor, Uniscope]
Music: Francesco De Masi
Song: “The Only Girl He Loved” sung by July Ray (Giulia Rey)
Running time: 89 minutes
Will Flaherty – Craig Hill (Craig Fowler)
Peggy – Giulia Rubini (Giuliana Rabini)
Tilly/Tiny – Eduardo Fajardo
Luke Brada – Piero Lulli (Giusva Lulli)
Doctor Pad – Roberto Camardiel (Roberto Escudero)
King – Nello Pazzafini (Giovanni Pazzafini)
Sheriff Pat – Spartaco Conversi
Mr. Pink – Jacques Herlin (Jacques Deouette)
Tom – Nazzareno Zamperla
Kid – Renzo Pevarella
Nick/Seekie – Massimo Carocci
Judith – Eleonora Vargas
Sam - Natale Nazzareno (Nazareno Natale)
Kitty - Kathleen Parker (Caterina Trentini)
Blacksmith – Osiride Pevarello
Poker player – Aldo Dell’Acqua (Arnaldo Dell’Acqua)
Townsman – Elio Angelucci
Saloon patron – Ettore Arena
With: Pino Polidori (Giuseppe Polidori), Tomás Picó (Tomás Hormeño), Franco Ukmar
Stunts: Donatella Gambini

Will Flaherty, a gunslinger, returns to his hometown after ten years in jail on charges of murder but finds a hostile welcome from both the townspeople and the woman with whom he was engaged. He is consoled by Peggy, the owner of the saloon, who has remained faithful to his memory and accepts his version of events. Also arriving in town are a mean bunch of bandits who rob a wagon load of gold. Having miscalculated the bandits, however, have come to town prematurely and, to avoid any surprises at the appropriate time of the robbery, start to imprison men and kill anyone who resists them. Will, who among other things has discovered that a member of the gang is the man responsible for his wrongful conviction. He in turn, is savagely beaten and imprisoned. Freed by a friend, the gunman manages to get hold of the outlaw and takes him to the neighboring town, while obtaining a clearing of his name. When the coach the gang is waiting for finally arrives in the country, the bandits have the unpleasant surprise to find it crowded with sheriff's deputies who kill them all in a gunfight.

Happy 75th Birthday Enzo Castellari

Enzo Castellari was born in Rome as Enzo Girolami on July 29, 1938. He is the son of director Marino Girolami [1914-1994] and the brother of actor Enio Girolami [1935-2013]. Castellari was a pioneer in the early Italian crime film genre, with “High Crime” (“La polizia incrimina la legge assolve”, 1973) and “Big Racket” (“Il grande racket”, 1976). In the 1980s, his career suffered somewhat from the drop of quality in Italian genre films, and he found himself churning out financially successful B-movies like “The New Barbarians” (“I nuovi barbari”, 1982) and “1990: The Bronx Warriors” (“1990: I guerrieri del Bronx”, 1982). His film “Great White” (“L'ultimo squalo”, 1981) was pulled from theaters following a successful lawsuit from Universal Pictures, who accused the filmmakers of plagiarizing Steven Spielberg's “Jaws” (1975). As Italian cinema declined, Castellari found work in television and as an action scene consultant.
Enzo is mainly known for his westerns, war and crime films, and has been called the "European Sam Peckinpah" and the "Action Master". He also directed two very successful war films: “The Inglorious Bastards” (“Quel maledetto treno blindato”, 1978) and “Eagles Over London” (“La battaglia d'Inghilterra”, 1969), and made another shark film called “The Shark Hunter” (“Il cacciatore di squali”, 1979).
Castellari had a cameoe as a German mortar squad commander in his film “The Inglorious Bastards”; and Quentin Tarantino cast Castellari in a cameo role of a German general in his film “Inglourious Basterds” (2009) which was inspired by Castellari's 1978 film.
Enzo has been associated with 19 Euro-westerns as a director, assistant director, screenwriter, film editor and actor. Starting with “Magnificent Brutes of the West” (1964) as a film editor to “Shuna: The Legend” (2012) as an actor. Some of his best known films were “Any Gun Can Play” (1967) as director and screenwriter, “Kill Them All and Come Back Alone” (1968) director and screenwriter, “Keoma” (1975) as director and screenwriter and “Jonathan of the Bears” (1994) director and screenwriter.
Today we celebrate one of the greats of the Euro-western Enzo Castellari on his 75th birthday.

Remembering Gordon Mitchell

Charles Allen Pendleton was born in Denver, Colorado on July 29, 1923. He began working out in his Denver neighborhood to deal with his tough companions. During World War II he served in the U.S. Army in the Battle of the Bulge where he became a prisoner of war. He later obtained a degree at the University of Southern California under the G.I. Bill and became a high school teacher and guidance counselor in Los Angeles, where due to his physique he was given classes containing many delinquent students.
Following a return enlistment in the Korean War he found work as an extra in movies such as “Prisoner of War” (1954), “The Man with the Golden Arm” (1955) and Cecil B. DeMille's “The Ten Commandments” (1956) where he and his friend Joe Gold dragged Charlton Heston's Moses to the Pharaoh played by Yul Brynner. In the late 1950s Mae West chose him to appear in her nightclub act along with Mickey Hargitay and Dan Vadis.
He was one of the first American bodybuilder-actors who migrated to Italy in the wake of Steve Reeves success after he sent a photo to an Italian producer who signed him to a contract. Prior to going to Italy, he saw a clairvoyant who asked him if he had ever been known by the name of Gordon Mitchell. He replied no, but on arrival in Rome, Mitchell was given this new name. He found work first in sword and sandal films such as “Spartacus” (1960), “The Giant of Metropolis” (1961), “Treasure of the Petrified Forest” (1965), then in Spaghetti Westerns such as “Three Graves for a Winchester” (1966) “Born to Kill” (1967) and “Beyond the Law” (1968). Mitchell also appeared in “Satyricon” (1969), directed by Federico Fellini.
Mitchell appeared in 33 Euro-westerns from “Three Graves for a Winchester” in 1966 to “Porno-Erotic Western” in 1979
From the early 1970s onwards, his career started to diversify into everything from horror “Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks” (1974), war “Achtung! The Desert Tigers!” (1977), Sexploitation “Porno-Erotic Western” (1979), French criminal comedy “The Umbrella Coup” (1980) and post-apocalyptic films “Endgame – 1983”. Mitchell appeared in the bizarre 1982 Israeli adaptation of H. Rider Haggard's “She” as Hector.
While in Italy Mitchell obtained title to some land south of Rome and there built Cave Studios where several Demofilo Fidani films were made and which Mitchell made cameo appearances in. He later lost the land when an Italian court decided foreigners could not own land in Italy.
Gordon returned to the United States in the late 1980s and basically retired from acting running Gold’s Gym in Santa Monica and later Marina Del Rey, California. Gordon made occasional film appearances until his death from undisclosed causes in Marina Del Rey, California on September 20, 2003.
Today we remember one of the greats of Italian action films and the Euro-western, Gordon Mitchell on what would have been his 90th birthday.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Spaghetti Western Locations

We continue our search for the film locations for “Death Rides a Horse”. After Ryan saves Bill after his shooting of Burt Cavanaugh, he leaves on a train to Lyndon City. Bill is left horseless once again but finds Ryan has left his horse at the Holly Spring train station. Ryan departs the train at the Lyndon City station.
This location is located in La Calahorra, Spain and has been used in many Spaghetti westerns such as “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and “Once Upon a Time in the West”.

For a more detailed view of this site and other Spaghetti Western locations please visit my friend Captain Douglas’ excellent website:              
and Yoshi Yasuda’s location site:

Happy 80th Birthay Nora Orlandi

Nora Matilde-Rosa Orlandi was born on July 28, 1933 in Voghera, Lombardy, Italy. The daughter of opera singer Fanny Campos, Nora began singing at a young age and learning to play the piano. Nora got her start in film composing in 1953, when she composed the score for “Non Vogliamo Morire”. She has since been responsible for over 30 film scores, primarily for Spaghetti westerns and giallo films. Orlandi has also been responsible for incidental music for dozens of radio advertising spots and television shows. She often works with collaborators including, Alessandro Alessandroni, Paolo Ormi and Robert Poitevin. Nora founded the singing groups ‘Choir i 2 + 2 di Nora Orlandi’ [1952-1963], ‘Choir i 4 + 4 di Nora Orlandi’ [1964-1983].

Orlandi has scored nine Euro-westerns from “Heroes of the West” (1963) to “On the Third Day Arrived the Crow” (1972). She’s probably best remembered for her scores for “Johnny Yuma” (1966) starring Mark Damon and “$10,000 Blood Money” starring Gianni Garko.
Today we celebrate Nora Orlandi’s 80th birthday.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

2013 National Day of the Cowboy


Río maldito – Spanish title
Sette pistole per un El Gringo – Italian title
Sete pistolas para gringo – Brazilian title
Kaksintaistelu St. Trinityssä – Finnish title
Kaksintaistelu St. Trinityss’a’ – Turkish title
Cursed River – English title
The Law of Revenge – English title
Big Duel in St. Trinity – English title
7 Pistols for a Gringo – English title

A 1965 Spanish, Italian co-production [I.F.I. España S.A. (Madrid), Cineproduzioni Associate(Rome)]
Producer: Julio S. de la Fuente
Director: Ignacio F. Iquino (Ignacio Ferres Iquino), Juan Xiol Marchal, J. Larch y Boig
Story: “Big Duke in St. Trinity” by Peter Kenn
Screenplay: Ignacio Iquino, Roberto Bianchi Montero
Cinematography: Julian P. Rozas (Julio Pérez de Rozas) [Technicolor, Techinscope]
Music: Enrique Escobar (Enrique Sotas)
Running time: 97 minutes
Dan – Dan Harrison (Bruno Piergentili)
Torrence – Albert Farley (Alberto Farnese)
Doctor Clapper – Gérard Landry (Landry Marrier de Langatinerie)
Bliss – Llosa Gadea (Alberto Gadea)
Joe – Fernando Rubio (Fernando Peña)
Betsy – Patricia Loran (Encarnación García)
Sheriff – Manuel Simon (Juan Simón)
Betsy’s father – Gustavo Re
Manolo – Gaspar González
With: Alberto Cesar Ojinaga (César Ojínaga Erill), José María Pinillos, Eduardo Lizarraga, Víctor Vilanova, Teresa Giro, Martha May (Maria Ávila)
In a western town robberies and assaults are carried out by a mysterious gang that is then blamed on innocent citizens, who are hanged. Following one of these executions, Dan now an orphan accepts the invitation of a charlatan who works out of a wagon, claiming to be a dentist, and he becomes his co-worker. Dan returns many years later to the same town, and realizes that the country has changed little: the robberies of furs and attacks on hunters are still repeated. The young man, determined to avenge his father's death, confronts and kills Murdock and Gorman, two members of the gang of outlaws but cannot find out the spy, who by means of carrier pigeons, alerts the gang leaders of the departures of fur shipments. After another aggression and confusion which generates a delay it is finally discovered that Torrence, a peaceful and respected citizen, is the leader of the gang.

Remembering Claudio Gora

Emiliano Gora was born in Genoa, Liguria, Italy on July 27, 1913. As Claudio Gora, he was a particularly prolific actor making some 155 appearances in film and television over nearly 60 years from 1939 to 1997. In the 1950s he dabbled with directing and screenwriting and directed the film “Three Strangers in Rome” (1958) which was incidentally the first leading role by Claudia Cardinale. He’s best remembered for his appearances in “Adua e le compagne”, directed by Antonio Pietrangeli, “Tutti a casa” by Luigi Comencini (both 1960) and Dino Risi's “A Difficult Life” (1961).
During his long and distinguished career Claudio appeared in five Euro-westerns from “The Tramplers” in 1965 to “The Five Man Army” in 1969.
Claudio was married to actress Marina Berti [1924-2002] (1944-1998). He is the father of actors Andrea Giordana [1946-    ], Carlo Giordana and actress Marina Giordana. Gora died on March 13, 1998 in Rome, Italy.
Today we remember Claudio Gora on what would have been his 100th birthday.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Guess Who I Am

I’m an American actor born in New York City in 1933.
I made my name as a character on 1950s TV series.
I appeared in 3 Euro-westerns in the mid-1960s.
Guess who I am.

Antonio Furtado da Rosa correctly named Edd Byrnes as this weeks phot.

2006 Franco De Gemini Interview

By John Mansell
October 4th 2006; a hot day in Rome. I was lucky enough to be invited to the offices of the well-known record label BEAT. The temperatures were in the mid 80’s and I decided to take a taxi from Vatican City to my destination which was just a little way from the impressive architecture of the Pope’s residence. I was greeted warmly by Daniele De Gemini who very soon introduced me to the esteemed and respected musician Franco De Gemini. We went to Mr. De Gemini’s office and sat for a while just chatting. After a while he began to relay to me stories about recording sessions and also about concerts and specific film scores which he had worked on.
I was amazed to find out that he had played harmonica on no less than 800 film scores. I remember thinking to myself, God I don’t think I have or will ever see 800 movies in my lifetime. One particular story that stuck in my mind was about Ennio Morricone. De Gemini had been asked to play harmonica on a score by the maestro, but the score began with a very low bass note. De Gemini explained it was virtually impossible for him to play this note first thing in the morning at this session, so he told Morricone that the note could not be played on the harmonica. The Maestro accepted his word and made the necessary alterations to the score.

Some weeks later De Gemini found himself in the studio again with Morricone and again the Maestro had begun his score with a very low bass note. De Gemini reminded the maestro that this note could not be played on the harmonica. Morricone looked at him and then produced a harmonica of his own, played the note and told Franco “once you can get away with it but twice NO…”.There was also a story that involved Leonard Bernstein, De Gemini played harmonica on WEST SIDE STORY, he began to play at the recording session, and Bernstein called a halt to the recording, calling the harmonica player over to him mis-pronouncing his name as De Geminy, he asked him why he was playing in the way he did. De Gemini shrugged his shoulders more or less saying this is how I play. Bernstein produced a record of a harmonica player performing a piece of music. He played it for De Gemini, saying this is what I want. De Gemini said this person is a dog, I am the best, but the recording was of De Gemini that Bernstein had had for some time; Franco De Gemini did say I knew this but was not admitting it… Mr. De Gemini also told me he was the only artist to be known for three notes; he looked at me and then hummed the opening three notes from THE MAN WITH THE HARMONICA.Franco De Gemini was born in Ferrara in the North of Italy, on the 10th September 1928.

John Mansell: Did you come from a family background that was musical in any way?
Franco De Gemini: No. Not at all, my Father was a policeman; my Mother was my Father’s wife.
John Mansell: What musical education did you receive?
Franco De Gemini: My education was mainly self obtained; I taught myself and also developed my own skills on the harmonica.
John Mansell: When did you begin to specialise in playing the harmonica?
Franco De Gemini: I was very young and used to play the harmonica everywhere, there was not much to do in my free time after World War 2, OK lets say that there was not much time to waste in that period also. Nevertheless my specialisation began in the 1950s it was at this time I played on my first soundtrack.
John Mansell: Do you play any other instrument at all?
Franco De Gemini: No not at all, although I do play lots of different harmonicas.
John Mansell: Can you recall how many soundtracks that you have performed on?
Franco De Gemini: Yes, it is around 800 in all, maybe more, and that is just the soundtracks.
John Mansell: This year is the 40th anniversary of the BEAT record label, what was the first release on your label?
Franco De Gemini: The first release was not a soundtrack as such, but a compilation of film music, IL SOGNI DELLA MUSICA LPF 001. I do think that maybe there were some 45rpm records released before this.
John Mansell: At one time you had a Manchester address on your record releases. Was this your UK base?
Franco De Gemini: No, it was just a distributor in Manchester.

John Mansell: Are there any items in the BEAT catalogue that were issued on LP that have not yet received a compact disc release?
Franco De Gemini: Yes, most certainly, dozens maybe even hundreds, it’s very difficult to say just how many.
John Mansell: When you were working on ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, did you have any idea just how successful the music and the movie were going to be. And did you imagine that it would still be popular some 30 years plus on?
Franco De Gemini: Difficult to say really, I surely did my best in my performance to obtain a sound that was perfect for the movie.
John Mansell: Are there any movies that you have worked on that you have particularly fond memories of?
Franco De Gemini: ITALIANI BREVA GENTE which had a score by Armando Trovajoli, brings back many fond memories for me; that and ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST of course.
John Mansell: Your style of playing the harmonica is quite unique. Were you influenced by the performances of others at all?
Franco De Gemini: No I created that kind of sound alone; I consider myself my personal censor.
John Mansell: What would you say is BEAT’s best selling soundtrack?
Franco De Gemini: All of the soundtracks of Ennio Morricone sell very well, but also DEATH IN VENICE was a best seller, and music by other composers such as De Masi, Trovajoli, Ortolani, Piccioni and Piovani also do well.
John Mansell: Because of the company’s 40th anniversary, will you be issuing any more special soundtracks this year?
Franco De Gemini: We will release two compilations, this will be at the end of the year, one dedicated to Joe D’Amato, and one to BEAT and of course we are preparing the BEAT original book.
John Mansell: Have you ever performed in concert at all?
Franco De Gemini: Yes many times and still today I perform.
John Mansell: What was Bruno Nicolai like to work with?
Franco De Gemini: He was a great Maestro, I worked with him on many scores including ALLORA IL TRENO.
John Mansell: You also worked on many of Francesco De Masi’s score.
Franco De Gemini: I played on around 80% of Francesco’s scores, I worked with him many times.
John Mansell: Is there a specific harmonica that you use?
Franco De Gemini: Yes, a Honer Chromatic.
John Mansell: What would you say is the most difficult score that you have had to work on?
Franco De Gemini: It was an American Maestro’s work, there were 25 pages of dodecaphonic music, and I finished it in two and a half hours.
Many thanks to Franco De Gemini and his son Daniele and for their kind hospitality in Rome…
[Posted with permission from John Mansell]

Thursday, July 25, 2013

2013 Almeria Western Film Festival

Its back to the desert of Tabernas for the 2013 Almeria Western Film Festival, the first European festival dedicated exclusively to the western genre, that will, be held October 2, 3, 4 and 5, 2013 in the mythical town of Tabernas, the reference point of western cinema worldwide.
The AWFF is an attractive festival, original and unique. With a unique place in the national and European film industry. The genre as well as 'classic among classics' and 'pure cinema', is continually revitalizing and updating itself. It is a source of inspiration and ongoing review by filmmakers for both young and emerging filmmaking.
The festival remains true to its mission to promote the western genre through its film competition, and to promote filming in the province and, above all, put on the map Almeria Tabernas through their natural settings in which hundreds of movies were filmed of the mythical genre in the 1960s and 1970s.
The western is more than cowboy movies and landscapes of the Far West. It is also a form of storytelling adapted to the XXI century, in full force with cutting-edge urban backgrounds.

Check their Facepage link for updates and additional information.!/almeriawesternfilmfestival


Sette monache a Kansas City – Italian title
Kansas City – Italian title
Nonnen., Gold un Gin – German title
Siete monjas en Kansas City – Spanish title
7 Rahibe Kansas’da – Turkish title
Trouble in Kansas City – English title
Seven Nuns in Kansas City – English title
A 1973 Italian production [Armonica Cinematografica (Rome)]
Producers: Elido Sorrentino, Pietro Santini
Director: Roy Patterson (Marcello Zeani)
Story: Lidia Puglia, Marcello Cascape
Screenplay: Lidia Puglia, Marcello Cascape (Marcello Cascapera)
Cinematography: Mario Sbrenna [color]
Music: Gino Peguri
Running time: 110 minutes
Jessica Mother Superior – Lea Gargano
Gin – Vincenzo Maggio (Vincente Maggio)
Whiskey Joe – Paul McCray (Enzo Pulcrano)
Dave – Ugo Fangareggi
Bob – Tony de Leo (Antonio Di Leo)
Fatty/Bart – Pedro Sanchez (Ignazio Spalla)
Fatty/Bart henchman – Sal Boris (Salvatore Baccaro)
Big Ton – Lina Franchi
Susanna Rourke – Irta D’Angel (Irta D'Angelis)
Sam – Bruno Boschetti
Marrison henchman – Edmondo Tighi, Sergio Ukmar
With: Eduardo Tieghi, Mario Dani, Sergio Serrafini, Mario Dani (Mario Danieli), Enrico Casadei, Pino Mattei (Giuseppe Mattei)

Two cowboys, searching for a hidden gold mine, hide out from Mexican bandits in a convent. When the bandits arrive at the convent in search of the cowboys, the nuns don’t take any crap and proceed to kick the hell out of them.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Happy 70th Birthday Loni von Friedl

Leontine Anna-Maria Friedl von Liebentreu was born on July 24, 1943 in Vienna, Austria. The daughter of cinematographer Fritz von Friedl [1901-1971], her brother is actor Fritz von Friedl II [1942- ] and she is the aunt of actor Christoph Friedl [1976- ].
As Loni von Friedl, she has made over 90 film and television appearances since her debut in “Der fidele Bauer” in 1951. She’s probably best remembered for her appearance as Elfi Heidemann in “The Blue Max” (1966). Loni appeared in only one Euro-western “The Moment to Kill” (1968) as Regina Forrester.
Loni was married to actor Götz George from 1966-1976 with whom she had a daughter Tanja. She later married actor Jürgen Schmidt [1938–2004] from 1995 until his death in 2004.
Today we celebrate the Loni von Friedl’s 70th birthday.

Remembering Marcello Giombi

Marcello Giombini was born in Rome, Italy on July 28, 1928. His father was a music professor who specialized in the oboe and who played in several orchestras.
He was a composer of secular music and film music as well as being interested in electronic music.
Giombini established himself especially in the 1960 and 1970s sixties as a satisfactory and creative maker in the renewal of the religious music and also in the liturgical area. Marcello was also composer of many soundtracks for movies, especially of the genre of Spaghetti westerns for which he composed 15 scores from “The Relentless Four” in 1965 to “Dallas” in 1975. He’s probably best remembered for his scores to “Sabata” (1969) and “Return of Sabata” (1971). Later he became a pioneer of electronic music in Italy.
Marcello’s son, Pierluigi Giombini [1956- ], is known as one of the most famous composer of "Italo Disco" in the 1980s.
Giombini died December 12, 2003 in Assissi, Italy.
Today we remember one of the Euro-westerns greatest composers on what would have been his 85th birthday.

Remembering Memmo Carotenuto

Guglielmo ‘Memmo’ Carotenuto was born on July, 24, 1908 in Rome, Lazio, Italy. He was the brother of Mario Carotenuto and became a well-known actor making his debut in the theater as a child in the Roman dialect company which was part of his father Nello Carotenuto. Memmo entered films in technical roles, playing first in small parts, starting in 1935 with ‘Vecchia guardaa” directed by Alessandro Blasetti.  He continued to work even during World War II.
His first major role came with the interpretation of the roommate's hospital protagonist in “Umberto D.” (1952), in which Vittorio De Sica gives him a chance to showcase his dramatic talent that gets only better in the coming years. In 1956, his portrayal of Quirino alongside actor Marcello Mastroianni in “The Bigamist by Luciano Emmer, earned him the Silver Ribbon award.
With a distinctive voice and big hearted charisma of the typical Roman plebeian but sincere ways, from the 1950s he appears in over one hundred films often with the masters of Italian comedy such as Totò, Alberto Sordi, Peppino De Filippo, the aforementioned Vittorio De Sica and Gina Lollobrigida.
Noteworthy is his part in Mario Monicelli's “Big Deal” (1958), as the convict Cosimo, with Vittorio Gassman and in “Poveri ma belli” (1956) and “Belle ma povere” (1957), both directed by Dino Risi.
In the seventies, his film appearances are less frequent and are becoming less engaged, participating in the cast of films with Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrassia or with Enrico Montesano.
Carotenuto appeared in one Euro-western: “The Crazy Bunch” (1974) as Letto. Memmo died in
Rome on December 23, 1980.
Today we remember Memmo Carotenuto on what would have been his 105th birthday.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Sette magnifiche pistole – Italian title
…e Benson imparo’ ad uccidere – Italian title
Siete pistolas para Timothy – Spanish title
7 savuavaa pistoolia – Finnish title
Les sept colts du tonnerre – French title
San Antone – German title
Ein Mann der Tot Sancho-dich kusst der Tod – German title
Sancho - Dich küsst der Tod – German title
Sete magnificas pistolas – Portuguese title
7 pistoler och massor av dollar – Swedish title
7 Magnificent Pistols – English title
7 Magnificent Pistols for Timothy – English title
A 1965 Italian, Spanish co-production [G.L.A. Cinematografica M.B.S Cinematografica (Rome), Balcázar Producciones Cinematográficas (Barcelona)]
Producers: Alessandro Jacovini, Augusto Silvestrini, Alfonso Balcazar
Director: Rod Gilbert (Romolo Girolami)
Story: Alfonso Balcázar
Screenplay: Giovanni Simonelli, José Antonio de la Loma (José Hernández), Alfonso Balcázar
Cinematography: Victor Monreal, Angelo Filippini [Eastmancolor, Techniscope]
Music: Gino Peguri
Song: “Cavalca cow boy”, “Seven Magnificent Guns” sung by I Marcellos Feral
Running time: 100 minutes
Timothy Allister Benson – Sean Flynn
Rodrigo Rodriguez – Fernando Sancho (Fernando Les)
Cora Lee/Coralie – Ida Galli
Corky – Poldo Bendandi (Leopoldo Bendandi)
Slim – Daniel Martín (José Martínez)
Brett Colson – Spartaco Conversi
Gray Eagle – Rafael Albaicín (Ignacio Esucdero)
Black Fox – Antonio Almorós (Ramón Almorós)
Bart – Frank Oliveras (Francisco Oliveras)
Cowboy – William Conroy
Abel – Tito Garcia (Pablo González)
Rodrigo’s wife – Silvana Bacci
Sheriff Coleman – Osvaldo Genazzani
With: Anita Todesco, Maruska Rossetti, Ivan Basta, L. Gallo

Timothy, a shy and well-mannered young man, after getting his law degree, moves to the West where he has inherited a gold mine. But his life soon becomes difficult, because the area is dominated by a rich Mexican, eager to take possession of Timothy’s mine. Rodriguez relentlessly kills all those who agree to work there. Luckily for Timothy, his faithful friend Corky, reduced to despair by the oppression of the Mexican, manages to track down and engage four of his brave comrades in arms: Black Fox, Abel, Brett and Burt. After arriving at the Timothy’s ranch, they endeavor to make him as soon as possible a perfect western hero. When Timothy proves to have learned the lessons he’s been taught, hostilities open taking place at different times resulting in a  large number of corpses. In the final showdown with the Mexican, Timothy is forced to fight with only the help of his girlfriend. But the heavy fire of the two allows the posse of friends to arrive in time for the total elimination of the band. Timothy, a man of law and now a happy groom, is elected sheriff of the now peaceful country.
Full Spanish language film:

Happy 75th Birthday Götz George

Götz George was born in Berlin, Germany on July 23, 1938. His father Heinrich George was a famous film and theater star, his mother Berta Drews was a well-known character actress. George is named after his father's favorite character, Götz von Berlichingen. His father was imprisoned by the Soviets and starved in the Soviet concentration camp Sachsenhausen Speziallager Nr. 7 Sachsenhausen. George grew up in Berlin with his elder brother Jan and his mother. He went to school in Berlin-Lichterfelde and later attended the Lyzeum Alpinum in Zuoz, Switzerland.
George made his stage debut in 1950, performing a role in William Saroyan's Mein Herz ist im Hochland. From 1955 to 1958 he also studied at the Berlin UFA-Nachwuchsstudio, though he received the crucial part of his acting education between 1958 and 1963.
Hansgünther Heyme signed him in 1972 to the Kölner Schauspielhaus, where George played Martin Luther in Dieter Forte's Martin Luther und Thomas Münzer. His most important stage achievement, in his own opinion, was the lead role in Büchner's Dantons Tod during the Salzburger Festspiele in 1981. In 1986 and 1987 George, together with Eberhard Feik and Helmut Stauss, stage-managed Gogol's Revisor. Performing in Anton Tschechow's Platonov, George went on his hitherto last theater tour.
In 1953 he was able to get a small film role next to Romy Schneider in “Wenn der weiße Flieder wieder blüht”. In the same year he played, as he would often do from then on, next to his mother in Shakespeare's Richard III. After small movie parts during the 1950s, Götz George broke through with audiences and critics in the film “Jacqueline” (1959). George was awarded the Bundesfilmpreis and the Preis der Filmkritik for his role. In 1962 he received the Bambi Award as the most popular actor.
In the sixties, George got the chance to show that he is able to do more than playing sappy peasants, through roles in movies such as “Kirmes”, playing a desperate Wehrmacht deserter, and “Herrenpartie”. More often, though, he performed in comedies and action-oriented movies which benefited from his physical presence. He became well-known to a broad audience when, during his theater tour in Göttingen, Horst Wendlandt persuaded him to play in one of the Karl May series of films, which he started in 1962 with “The Treasure of Silver Lake”. It was originally planned to give George the lead role of the farmer son Fred Engel, but this plan was abandoned when Lex Barker was hired to play the role of Old Shatterhand. George performed all stunts himself, even in his lead role as sheriff in “The Man Called Gringo” in 1965 and “Frontier Hellcat (1964) as Martin Baumann, Jr. and “The Halfbreed” (1966) as Jeff Brown.
In the 1970s he turned primarily to stage roles and to television, including the many episodes of ‘Der Komissar’, ‘Tatort’, ‘Derrick’, and ‘Der Alte’ for which he would become famous. It was not until 1977 that he was cast in a prominent role again, playing Franz Lang in “Aus Einem Deutschen Leben”, a character modeled after Auschwitz commander Rudolf Höß.
George probably had his greatest popular success in the eighties on TV: in ‘Tatort’ episodes of the WDR, broadcast from 1981 to 1991, he portrayed proletarian police officer Horst Schimanski, who eventually became cult in German TV. In 1984 and 1987 he again won the Bambi Award as the most popular actor. The series of Schulz & Schulz movies, starting in 1989 and dealing with the issue of the German reunification, gave him the opportunity to show his talents as a comedian in a double role, as did the role of the industry consultant Morlock in the series of the same name, which is rather far removed from the roughneck charm of senior commissar Schimanski.
Among George's most impressive roles in the nineties were his appearances in the television movie “Der Sandmann”, in which he portrayed the alleged serial killer and writer Henry Kupfer as a cold, calculating and manipulative intellectual, and in the television movie “Die Bubi-Scholz-Story”, the trauma of an aged, broken boxer.
Today we celebrate Götz George’s 75th birthday.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Django Volumes 1 & 2 DVD Review

Review by Biltmore Michael Ferguson.

This past spring a number of DVD companies rushed to take advantage of Quentin Tarantino's Oscar (R) winning Django Unchained, by releasing as much (NTSC) product as they could tie-in to the spaghetti-Django mythos. The first out of the gate was Timeless's pair of classy (LP) double bills featuring 'Django Kills Silently' & 'Django's Cut-Price Corpses' and 'A Man Called Django' & 'Django and Sartana's Showdown in the West'. Couldn't go wrong with those. Next Echo Bridge let loose a volley of spaghetti collections containing either 4, 8 12 or 20 (LP and EP) movie packs all in compressed form. Their titles are too numerous to repeat here. Then the BlueRay juggernaut 25 spaghetti's on a one-sided (EP) disk (!) entitled Westerns Unchained came forth from Millennium Entertainment. It contained a fistful of unreleased titles in English. Now we come to the latest spaghetti bonanza of essential Django movies presented in nifty double-disk 6 (LP) movie packs from a company called TGG (thegarrgroup). At first it looks like a great deal, in that it would contain a number of unreleased (NTSC) titles mixed in with older product. Once you start checking deeper you realize that the majority of their titles are available elsewhere in varying degrees of speed. All their films are presented in english with new superimposed titles that are at times confusing and border on the fraudulent. Now lets examine these two new collections. 

First up we have The Django Collection Volume 1. (011891522557 ) in LP speed. It includes Edward G. Muller's 'A Man Called Django' aka 'W Django' (see the above Timeless collection). Sergio Garrone's 'Hanging for Django' is 'No Room to Die' which appears to be new to DVD.  Since it's recorded in the LP speed, it would be better to wait for the Kino-Video blue-ray release that's coming this August. Next up is Lucio Fulci's 'Brute and the Beast' under the misleading Dutch VHS title 'Django, the Runner', with their title presented in bright red, while the actual print has washed out credits [Available from Wild East in SP]. 'Django, A Bullet for You' is not the expected retitling of Leon Klimovsy's 'Ballad of a Bounty Hunter', but his 'A Few Dollars for Django' [see Echo Bridge]. 'Return of Django' is the superimposed translation of the French title of Osvaldo Civirani's 'Son of Django' used here to fool the consumer [Also available from WildEast]. Lastly 'A Pistol for Django' is Paolo Solvay's 'Django's Cut-Price Corpses' under the translation of the film's Spanish title [Again see the Timeless release]. 

Next we have The Django Collection Volume 2. (011891522656) in LP speed which is the better of the two. It includes Romolo Guerrieri's '10,000 Dollars For Django' aka '10,000 Dollars Blood Money' [which is available from Timeless in the EP speed as '10,000 Dollars For A Massacre']. 'Django Defies Sartana' is not Pasquale Squitieri's 'Django Challenges Sartana' [Available from Wild East] as one would expect, but Miles Deem's 'Django and Sartana's Showdown in the West'. It was previously included in the Millenium B-R collection as 'Django Defies Sartana' [Available from Timeless under its original title in one of their double bills]. Max Hunter aka Massimo Pupillo's 'Django Kills Silently' stars George Eastman [see Timeless]. 'Django, the Avenger' is not Ferdinando Baldi's 'Texas Adios', which was called 'The Avenger', upon its UK release and Django, der Rächer' in Germany, but Sergio Garrone's 'The Strangers Gundown' (again with a superimposed new title) [Available from VCI in SP]. Next up is another Garrone title 'Kill Django, Kill First' aka 'Tequila', starring Jack Stuart which is new to DVD, but was included in the above mentioned B-R collection. Lastly they have the previously unreleased Paolo Solvay film 'Django, Adios', starring Brad Harris (probably from a VHS tape with a new title over top of an optically blurred image). It has the poorest picture quality of all the above mentioned movies.

Well there you have it. It's nice that the DVD/B-R manufactures are finally taking notice of us, but it would be great if they didn't try to take advantage of us. Not since the early days of VHS tapes have so many of our film's titles been misleadingly retitled and or recorded in the cheapest speeds as possible.
Reviewed by Biltmore Michael Ferguson ©.

Who Are Those Gys - Dominique Bettenfeld

Dominque Bettenfeld is a French actor who has appeared in over 25 movies since he first started acting in 1990. Bettenfeld is well known for performances in “Les Redoutables” (2000), “L'Amour Aux Trousses” (2004), and “Nui Blanche” (2010). He’s also appeared on stage and in television.
Bettenfeld was first used by director Jean-Pierre Jeunet [1953-    ] in several of his films and then more recently by Jan Kounen [1964- ].
Bettenfeld has appeared in only one Euro-western so far in his career that being “Blueberry” (aka “Renegade”) in 2002 playing the role of Scarecrow.

BETTENFELD, Dominique (aka Dominique) [French] – stage, TV actor.
Renegade – 2002 (Scarecrow)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Django Q & A

The Original 'Django' Franco Nero on His Iconic Character and the Film's Legacy (Q&A)
The Italian actor who inspired Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" discusses the role that defined his career and speculates on who would win if the two Djangos fought.
CAPRI, Italy -- Franco Nero had no inkling that when he started filming the original Django movie nearly 50 years ago that he’d be making history. There was no real script, the budget was at first big enough to finance only a single scene. “When we started, I really wasn’t sure if we’d ever even finish the film,” Nero says.
Instead, Nero’s interpretation of a brooding, mostly silent and unflappable cowboy drifter made Sergio Corbucci’s ultra-violent film a spaghetti Western classic that spawned at least 30 sequels -- Nero reprised Django in only one of them, 1987’s Django Strikes Again, directed by Nello Rossati -- and inspired minions of dedicated fans. One of them was director Quentin Tarantino.
In Tarantino’s film, Django Unchained, which opened Christmas Day in the U.S. and Canada and will premiere in Europe on Friday in Rome, Jamie Foxx plays the title role; Nero appears in a cameo.
Nero, 71, has acted in nearly 200 films including the role of Sir Lancelot in Joshua Logan’s Camelot, Horacio in Tristana from Luis Bunuel and Gianni Versace in Menahem Golan’s The Versace Murder. He even provided the voice for Uncle Topolino in Pixar’s Cars 2. But he remains best known as Django.
Nero was at the Capri, Hollywood Film Festival as part of a special tribute to Django, featuring a screening of Corbucci’s 1966 classic, an extended trailer of Django Unchained and the Capri Legends Award, the festival’s top honor. He spoke with The Hollywood Reporter on the sidelines of the festival.

The Hollywood Reporter: After you finished making Django, what was the first sign you had that it was something more extraordinary than you might have guessed?
Franco Nero: I think it was a few months later, when I was in the U.S. to make Camelot, the Warner Bros film. I had a print of Django with me, and one day I decided to do a screening for the crew and some people there. They all said it was such an original movie, that it was not at all like an American Western. They loved it so much I had to do three more screenings, and I remember actors like Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, who were shooting their own films in that area, they all came. And Terence Young, the film director, saw it three times. That’s when it started to strike me that the film was something special.
THR: What do you attribute this to, that almost 50 years later the film is still resonating with people, many of whom weren't alive when it came out?
Nero: It’s a good question. I have done many, many interviews, especially in the last year, with Quentin’s movie. I almost always get asked that question, and I really don’t know the answer. It’s one of the things that cannot be explained.
THR: Tarantino was only 3 when Django when it first came out, but it obviously made an impression on him.
Nero: That’s right. During the shooting, he wanted everyone to see the original Django film.
THR: At what point did you first hear about Tarantino’s fascination with the film?
Nero: It’s a long story that goes back almost 15 years. I was doing a movie in Spain, called Talk of Angels, for Miramax [in 1998]. It’s a story set during the Spanish Civil War, in 1934, and the actress Penelope Cruz played my daughter. One day, she had to leave the set to fly to San Sebastian, for the film festival, and when she came back she said, “You know, Franco, I met this young director named Quentin Tarantino, and when I told him I was doing this movie with you, he was crazy about it. He said: ‘Oh! Bring him here, bring him here. I have to meet him!’” That was the first time I heard of Tarantino. After that, I saw interviews with Tarantino where he talked about me.
THR: When did you finally meet? And when the idea of a new film based on Django emerge?
Nero: Well, several years later he came to Rome for the local premiere of Inglourious Basterds [in 2009], and he said to the production that he wanted to meet me. We had lunch in Rome and he told me the story, that he first saw Django when he was 14, when he was working in a video store. He knew practically all my work, he recited lines from my movies, and the music from my movies. He knew almost all of them.
THR: So that’s when you first discussed the movie?
Nero: No, sorry, no. It didn’t come up until [2011] when I was in Berlin for the festival and I saw [producer] Harvey Weinstein and he mentioned it to me. He just said, “Oh, Franco, you’re going to be in Quentin’s new movie.” That was it. I hadn’t heard anything about it. All of a sudden people started saying to me, “Oh, I hear you’re going to be in Tarantino’s movie.” But still nothing official until, finally, around October 2011, a call from Tarantino and he said he was doing the movie, Django Unchained. He told me the idea for the film, and I said I had an idea for the script. Do you want to hear it?
THR: Yes, yes, of course.
Nero: My idea is that Jamie Foxx [who plays Django], through the movie, had a vision of a horseman dressed in black, coming toward the camera. It haunted him. Until the very end, then there’s the horseman -- that is me -- and the camera pulls back and there’s a young black boy, and a black mother, who looks up and says “That’s your father,” and I would give him some advice, like "Fight for freedom," or something like that. Quentin said he would think about it, but in the end he didn’t go for the idea. He said I should be an Italian character with a cameo role. I was hesitant, but he said, “Trust me!” So I did, we shook hands, and I loved working with him.
THR:  What are the biggest similarities and differences between your version of Django and Foxx’s version?
Nero: Well, both are men of few words; both are very skilled with the guns. They are men of action. My Django was seeking revenge for his wife, Mercedes, but Jamie Foxx’s version’s wife is still alive, and he succeeds to reunite with her. I betray my partner, but Jamie Foxx is a much better partner to his former slave owner [played by Christoph Waltz].
THR: Could the two Djangos have become friends if had they met?
Nero: Well, I became friends with Jamie Foxx in real life. But I’m not sure the Djangos would have gotten along.
THR: In that case, if they were enemies, which Django would win a fight between them? You’re a pretty good shot in the original.
Nero: [Laughs] Well, I don’t know. In the new movie, this Django knows how to shoot as well. But, well, I think I would have won. The difference is that in the new movie, his partner is the one who teaches him how to shoot. But in the original, I already knew.