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L'Uomo, l'Orgoglio, la Vendetta

Pride and Vengeance
Mit Django kam der Tod / Man, Pride and Vengeance / Man: His Pride and His Vengeance / Il Vendicatore: L'Uomo, l'Orgoglio, la Vendetta

Italy/West Germany 1968
produced by
Fono Roma, Regal Film, Terra-Filmkunst
directed by Luigi Bazzoni
starring Franco Nero, Tina Aumont, Klaus Kinski, Guido Lollobrigida (as Lee Burton), Franco Ressel, Karl Schönböck, Alberto Dell'Acqua, José Manuel Martín, Marcella Valeri, Hans Albrecht, Tino Buriani, Mario Carisi, Anna De Padova, Luisa De Padova, Maria Mizar, Giovanni Ivan Scratuglia, Aldo Vasco
screenplay by Luigi Bazzoni, Suso Cecchi d'Amico, based on the novel Carmen by Prosper Mérimée, music by Carlo Rustichelli

Carmen

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Mexico, the 19th century: When lieutnant José (Franco Nero) - rather involuntarily, actually - lets factory girl Carmen (Tina Aumont) escape after she attacked and almost killed a co-worker, he loses his rank and spends 30 days in prison ... yet he can't get beautiful Carmen out of his head, and once he's out again he tracks her down, and she, who has since turned to prostitution, offers him a night on the house as a thank you. Thing is, José wants more, he wants love and affection where she has nothing to give him but her body, he wants to offer her a better life while she is happy with everything the way it is.

When she leaves town for a little village on the border to the USA he follows her, and before you know it, Carmen uses the little lieutnant as part of her contraband racket. When José eventually finds out that she is having, besides him, an affair with one of his direct superiors (Franco Ressel), he kills him in a fit of rage - and in one moment has turned from lieutnant to outlaw, and now it's only her who can save him and hide him - in her gang's hideout up in the mountains.

Up in the mountains, Carmen and José make plans to make one big heist - robbing a English diplomat (Karl Schönböck) whom Carmen has become friendly with of all his gold he wants to ship to the USA, and then go to the USA themselves to start a new life. However, not everything turns out as planned when Carmen's husband Garcia (Klaus Kinski) shows up and sees to it that the heist turns bloody and all of José's plans to keep a low profile are thrown out of the window. Eventually, José manages to kill Garcia, but by that time he has turned public enemy number one. True, Carmen has made sure that he gets a safe passage to USA, but suddenly she shows no more interest to go with him and instead has started an affair with a torrero - and ultimately, José kills Carmen in a fit of rage before the law can catch up with him.

 

Interesting, to say the least: Prosper Mérimée's novel Carmen (yup, the one Georges Bizet's opera is also based on) done as a Spaghetti Western - and wouldn't you know it, the story does very well in its Western setting. Basically the film lives from strong performances by Franco Nero and Klaus Kinski, from Tina Aumont as a quite seductive and energetic leading lady, and from a solid (if not terribly inventive) direction that makes great use of the outdoor sets (most probably Spain doubling for Mexico, which is quite ironic since this film is based on a story transferred from Spain to Mexico).

Well worth a look.

 

Nonsensical trivia: In Germany, this film (like so many other Franco Nero movies) was marketed as a Django film, even Franco Nero's character was renamed Django while Carmen was renamed Conchita - oh boy !

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD