Dead for a Dollar

A close shave for George Hilton in Dead for a Dollar
A close shave for George Hilton in Dead for a Dollar

Aka Pour un doll, je tire (Fr), Django, wo steht Dein Sarg? (WG), T’ammazzo!.. Raccomandati a dio (It)
1968
Italy
Osvaldo Civirani for Denwer Film
Director: Osvaldo Civirani
Story & screenplay: Tito Carpi, Luciano Gregoretti, Osvaldo Civirani
Music: Angelo Francesco Lavagnino (C.A.M.)
Cinematography: Osvaldo Civirani {Cromoscope – Eastmancolor}
Editor: Nella Nannuzzi
Set design: Paola Mugnai
Cameraman: Ubaldo Terzano
Filmed: Incir-De Paolis
Release information: Registered 14.08.68. Italy (17.08.68, 106 mins), France (15.10.69, 90 mins), West Germany (02.04.71, 82 mins)
Cast: George Hilton (Glenn), Sandra Milo (Liz), John Ireland (the Colonel), Gordon Mitchell (the Portugese), Dick Palmer [Mimmo Palmara], Piero Vida, Franco Ressel, Monica Pardo, Andrew Scott [Andrea Scotti], Franco Gulà, Carla Brait, Rossella Bergamonti, Renato Chiantoni, Ivan Giovanni Scratuglia, Enzo Andronico, Roberto Messina, Mario De Vico

Dead for a Dollar
Dead for a Dollar

Roy (Gordon Mitchell) fakes his own death in order to bamboozle his old partners by burying their stolen booty in his coffin. He enlists Glenn (George Hilton) to help him. The Colonel (John Ireland) and Portugese (Piero Vida) are not so easily fooled. They soon catch up, kill their betrayer and reclaim the loot. This leaves Glenn without his promised share, and he determines to track them down and lay his hands on what’s illegally his. Not, however, before taking a bit of time out to seduce some handy married women in typical George Hilton style.

You have the feeling that Osvaldo Civirani was trying to make a gloomy sagebrush epic with this genre entry. He combines the look of Django (66) (mud, rain, and wide-open spaces) with a plot that is only a thinly disguised replay of The Good the Bad and the Ugly (66). Unfortunately, he hasn’t a fraction of the talent that Sergio Corbucci or Sergio Leone were blessed with, so what you end up with is something, bad, ugly and – by no definition of the word – good. With all the pace of the North Circular on a bank holiday, the main achievement of Dead for a Dollar is that it features some truly ugly bit performers. These guys shed a whole new light on the aesthetic possibilities of genetic engineering.

Civirani is the most infuriating of directors. He’s assembled a nice cast, a reasonable (if derivative) script and some good music. There are even some nice bizarre touches – a gunfight in a boutique full of mannequins, for instance. But it’s all so stodgy that you can’t help but fall into an uncomfortable torpor. Much like all of his films, really (see The Devil With 7 Faces (72) for a similarly soporific effect). This also has – according to my precise timings – the most protracted ‘coarse eating’ scene in cinema history, during which the camera stares fixedly at a succession of open mouths chewing loudly for four minutes and twenty six seconds.

3/10

About Matt Blake 873 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.

1 Comment

  1. Spot on. I’ve seen this film a few times but only once intentionally. As you say a waste of a nice cast but I dread these films where it involves a chase and repeated swindles and double-crosses. A gross time waster by all involved.

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