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
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
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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 !