Wednesday, November 5, 2014

God Forgives... I Don't!

Dio perdona... io no!; western, Italy, 1967; D: Giuseppe Colizzi, S: Terence Hill, Bud Spencer, Frank Wolff

The Wild West. After a trunk of gold has been robbed from a train, insurance agent Hutch suspects it might be outlaw Bill St. Antonio. The only problem is, Bill was supposed to be killed in a duel by Cat years ago. After investigating a little bit, they find out Bill is alive since he gave Cat a gun with blank bullets in order to conveniently disappear from many enemies who are now not after him anymore. Butch and Cat find the hideout of Bill's gang and steal their stolen gold, burying it. However, the gang finds and captures them, and Bill tortures them to find out where they hid his gold. Butch and Cat manage to escape, though, and in a renewed duel, Cat manages to kill Bill.

"God Forgives... I Don't!" stayed remembered for establishing the very 1st teaming up of legendary Italian comic duo - Bud Spencer and Terence Hill -  except that it was in a serious story, which caused a negative backlash from their fans who had to wait all until their 4th collaboration, "They Call Me Trinity", to get their run for the money and see them interact in a comedy. However, leaving expectations of the masses aside, "God Forgives" is a surprisingly good film on its own terms, and if watched with an open mind, it actually shows Hill and Spencer in a quality, serious, but genuine and natural performances. The opening sequence, with a train full of dead passengers stopping by crashing onto the station, is effective and expressionistic, whereas the situation where Cat (Hill) and the bad guy Bill are preparing for a pistol duel while the cabin around them is slowly burning, causes double suspense since there is huge pressure on them to draw as soon as possible before the fire collapses on them. Unfortunately, those two sequences outshine anything else in the film, which is good, but rarely matches them later on. Still, director Giuseppe Colizzi has a fine sixth sense for mood and stylistic images, which makes this one of the better post-Leone Italian westerns, with bits and pieces of brutality and violence with a measure, whereas his two actors, Hill and Spencer, would appear in his unofficial 'western trilogy' which continued with "Ace High" and "Boot Hill".


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