A ghentar si muore facile

George Hilton in A ghentar si muore facile
George Hilton in A ghentar si muore facile

Aka A Ghentar le Mort Est Facile (Fr), En Ghentar se muere facil (Es)
1967
Italy/Spain
Marco Film (Rome), R.M. Film (Madrid)
Director: Leon Klimovsky
Story: Manuel M. Remis
Screenplay: Manuel M. Remis, Roberto Natale, Gino De Santis
Cinematography: Mario Fioretti {Techniscope – Technicolor}
Music: Carlo Savina
Editor: Antonietta Zita
Set design: Saverio D’Eugenio
Cameraman: Tomas Fernandez
Filmed: Dear Studios, with exteriors in Morocco
Release information: Registered 10.05.67. Italy (16.08.67, 117 mins), Spain (Madrid, 19.08.68), France (07.69 – 92′)
Spanish takings: €41.447,45
Cast: George Hilton (Teddy Jason), Thomas Moore [Ennio Girolami] (Kim), Marta Padovan (Mary), Venancio Muro (Botul), Alfonso Rojas (Lorme), Luis Marin (Sirdar), Attilio Severini, Alfonso De La Vega (the blonde prisoner), Jose Luis Lluch (the swarthy prisoner), Anne Rosas, Rafael Rosas, Gan Squir

During the late sixties, the war film became a popular genre amongst European filmmakers. In the main, these were influenced by the likes of The Dirty Dozen (Dirty Heroes, (Dalle Ardenne all’inferno, 67)) or The Guns of Navarone (Probability Zero, ((Probabilità zero, 69)). Often, however, they incorporated aspects of the espionage or heist movie. A ghentar si muore facile probably does this more so than any other. At its heart it has a basic ‘revolution against a crooked dictator’ scenario, but the lead, caper-like character also brings it into the arena of the spy film.

A ghentar si muore facile
A ghentar si muore facile

Wisecracking adventurer Teddy Jason (George Hilton) is hired by rebels from the Republic of Ghentar to retrieve a case full of documents from a plane that has crashed into the sea. He immediately has problems with the secret police, who seem to know his plans, and is forced to enlist the help of a fisherman called Botul. After a few more scrapes he is successful in his task, but surprised to find that the case is actually full of diamonds. Intending to keep them for himself he hides them secretly on the hull of Botul’s boat.

Unfortunately, he is promptly captured by the pesky police and, refusing to talk under torture, is sentenced to imprisonment in ‘The Mines of Paradise’ – a glorified prison camp in the desert. As well as suffering from the heat, exhaustive work and a period of solitary confinement, Teddy is also encouraged to talk by being tempted with a nice cool beer. This is frankly too much for a red blooded male to take, so he organizes a daring escape with some fellow prisoners.

Escaping, however, is only the beginning of their problems: there is still a desert to cross on foot. After his companions have all died of thirst, Teddy is fortunate to be found by the men of Kim (Thomas Moore), a captain in the secret police who is in reality the head of the rebels. He agrees to help them out with their revolution in the hope that this will give him the chance to get his hands firmly back on the diamonds. An attack upon the cliffside headquarters of the Dictator Lorme (Alfonso Rojas) is planned.

A ghentar is fortunate to benefit from an absolutely top-notch soundtrack, courtesy of Carlo Savina, which mixes a western-type title theme with some Arabian influenced tracks to great effect. Unfortunately, the same can’t really be said of much else about the film, which is resolutely mediocre. There’s some decent underwater cinematography, but beyond that it doesn’t really amount to much.

Leon Klimovsky was notorious for putting his name to films that weren’t actually directed by him. This enabled producers to claim tax-breaks from the Spanish government, which was great for them but a severe headache for film historians trying to work out just who made the damn things. The presence of veteran Italian director Marino Girolami in a generic supervisory role is a good clue that someone else was actually responsible, as Hilton elaborated in an interview with Cine70: “Leon Klimovsky was an Argentinian and in Argentina he had done some important things and was a much respected person.  But he was already old, and wasn’t really adept at this kind of film.  The true director was Enzo Girolami, and I remember that some of the film was also directed by Enzo’s father, Marino Girolami, who was an excellent person.  But all the Girolami family is excellent.”

About Matt Blake 861 Articles
The WildEye is a blog dedicated to the wild world of Italian cinema (and, ok, sometimes I digress into discussing films from other countries as well). Peplums, comedies, dramas, spaghetti westerns... they're all covered here.

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