Title: Blood River AKA: God Forgives... I Don't Year: 1967 Original title: Dio perdona... Io no! Runtime: 1 hour 38 minutes Country: Italy | Spain Language: Originally Italian, But this is one is DUBBED TO ENGLISH! Subtitles: NONE Genre: Action | Western
Director: Giuseppe Colizzi
Cast overview, first billed only:
Terence Hill ... Cat Stevens Bud Spencer ... Hutch Bessy Frank Wolff ... Bill San Antonio Gina Rovere ... Rose José Manuel Martín ... Bud Luis Barboo ... Full-bearded henchman Joaquín Blanco Tito García ... Tam-Tam Frank Braña ... Smoking poker player with moustache Antonietta Fiorito Francisco Sanz ... Full-bearded, fawning informant with glasses (as Paco Sanz Franco Gulà ... Gravedigger, Clockmaker José Canalejas ... Mexican henchman Bruno Arié ... Older poker Player with no moustache Remo Capitani ... Publican in saloon
Plot / Synopsis:
In this violent spaghetti western a murderous robber hijacks a payroll train, murders everyone aboard and then stashes his loot. A gunslinger learns about it and decides he wants the money for himself and so hatches an elaborate plot to get at it. He lures the crook into a rigged poker game, and afterward a gunfight ensues. The quick-drawing gunman makes short work of the robber, then teams up with an insurance agent to look for the hidden fortune. Unbeknownst to them, the robber had an ace up his sleeve...
"Dio Perdona... Io No!" aka. "God Forgives.. I Don't!" is not only the first film with both Bud Spencer and Terence Hill in the leading parts, it is also one of their best movies. Although the movie has many gags and humorous parts, "God Forgives... I Don't!" is not one of the usual Spencer/Hill comedies, but a pretty brutal and rather serious Spaghetti Western.
The movie starts with a train rolling into a town. Everybody on the train was massacred and the fortune it carried was stolen. Two gunslingers, Cat Stevens (Hill), and Hutch Bessy (Spencer) realize that the whole coup looks like the work of Outlaw Bill San Antonio. The mysterious thing about it is, however, that Cat killed San Antonio in a duel several months ago. On their search for the gold, the two get several clues that Bill San Antonio only staged his own death.
"God Forgives.. I Don't!" is definitely the most serious and brutal of the Spencer/Hill collaborations. Anyway, the movie also has many of the typical Spencer/Hill movie ingredients, like the numerous fistfights in which Spencer's character uses his typical hammering one punch technique.
Spencer and Hill show that they are not only great as a team in comedies, but also in a serious Spaghetti Western. Another Highlight of this movie is the great performance of Spaghetti Western Star Frank Wolff as the evil Bill San Antonio. I also liked the score a lot, especially the part with the somehow aggressive, dynamic, classical choir.
In Germany and Austria, this movie was released under three different titles. After the uncut version was released, it was re-released as a "Django" movie, and released again in its cut 'comedy version'. Terence Hill's character is also referred to as 'Django' in the uncut German version, and his dubbed voice is different to his dubbed voice in his later comedies.
All told, "God Forgives... I Don't" is a great Spaghetti Western, not like the usual Spencer/Hill movies, but a pretty brutal and serious movie, and definitely one of their best collaborations. 8/10
Even though it stars Terence Hill and Bud Spencer don´t expect this to be a light-hearted comedy flick like the Trinity westerns. Realistic clothing, dusty dark intense atmosphere and a downright good script make this one a winner. If you want every grandmothers dream, parading around in his pink shirt and right out of the laundromat jeans shooting baddies by the dozens, don´t even bother watching this one. These characters got personality and flaws just like you and me.
Buy it, Rent it or forget all about it. 8/10
*** This review may contain spoilers *** Before he became a film director, Giuseppe Colizzi served as Federico Fellini's production manager on "The Swindlers." The short-lived Colizzi helmed four of his six films with Terence Hill and Bud Spencer. Nevertheless, Colizzi belongs to a select handful of distinguished Italian western directors, such as Sergio Leone, Sergio Corbucci, Tonino Valerii, and Gianfranco Parolini--who imbued their oaters with an unmistakable aura of flair and style, doubling not only as director but also as writer. The first entry in an overlooked and underrated spaghetti western trilogy, Colizzi's "God Forgives, But I Don't" boasts the numerical distinction of pairing Hill and Spencer together for the first time after a foot injury forced lead actor Peter Martell off the picture. "Ace High" and "Boot Hill" followed. Hill and Spencer went on to achieve greater fame in Enzo Barboni's two "Trinity" features. Before Hill capitalized on comedy westerns and later modern day adventures, he proved himself as gunslinging Cat Stevens, a pistolero who found it just as easy to cross the line between good and evil as fire up a cheroot. Bronzed like a tawny Greek god with a deep masculine voice dubbed in by another actor and displaying admirable restraint in the stoic tradition of Clint Eastwood, Hill proved equally adept at portraying sober dramatic leads as well as lightweight, comic leads. Hill and Spencer are evenly matched by seasoned spaghetti western villain Frank Wolff who resembles Harpo Max with mutton chops.
"God Forgives, But I Don't" seizes your attention from the start. A crowd awaits the arrival of a train at the railway depot with a brass band. The train trundles into the station, breezes past the surprised on-lookers, and crashes into a barrier at the end of the siding. A dead man with a bullet hole in his forehead tumbles out of the freight car when the door is thrown open. Colizzi presents a swift montage of bullet-riddled bodies and faces to highlight the enormity of the massacre. During the excitement, a wounded passenger stumbles off the train and flees without attracting attention. Eventually, we learn that the murderous outlaw chieftain Bill San Antonio (Frank Wolff of "A Stranger in Town" and his gang of despicable bandits held up the train and stole $100-thousand in gold.
Colizzi shifts the action to a poker game. Cat Stevens (Terence Hill of "The Leopard" looks as cool as ice as he gambles with a quartet of hardcases. A dispute arises over who won and a brawl breaks out. Cat whips his adversaries with his fists but in the process trashes the premises. Cat's trademark gesture is pushing a cheroot up and down with his fingers. Later, Cat's friend Hutch Bessy (Bud Spencer of "The 5-Man Army" finds him at a remote waterhole and tells him about the MK&T train robbery. Hutch found the sole survivor of the train massacre. Before the passenger perished, he told Hutch about Bill San Antonio's role in the robbery. Hutch describes Bill's clever plan. The outlaws rode 150 miles to the halfway point between El Paso and Canyon City and then rode in circles to make their presence known at that point. The gang turned south then galloped back to El Paso, saw the gold loaded onto the train, bought tickets, and waylaid the train 20 miles from the Mexican border. After they robbed the train, they killed everybody on board and sent the train onto Canyon City.
Initially, Cat refuses to believe Bill could have planned and participated in the hold-up. Colizzi flashbacks to a scene in a shack where Bill and Cat squared off against each other in a showdown after Bill's henchman Bud (José Manuel Martín of "The Savage Guns" sets the building ablaze. Cat guns down Bill and Bill's men allow him to leave alive. Later, they come after him and try to kill him. Meanwhile, Bill is never heard or seen again until the MK&T robbery. The bank took an insurance policy out on the stolen money and Hutch plans to find the gold and collect the insurance. He wants Cat to team up with him so they can locate the loot. Not only did Bill San Antonio not die in the fire but he also robbed the train. Garrulous desperado that Bill is, he explains what happened and why. The banker and Bill were in cahoots. When things got too hot, the banker recommended that Bill disappear for a spell. Cat sneaks into Bill's hideout one night, blunders into a trap, and gets strung up by his heels. Nevertheless, he manages to defend himself against his opponents. Hutch intervenes and they steal the $100-thousand dollars in gold.
Neither Cat nor Hutch has an easy time holding onto the gold while surviving Bill and his gang. Numerous shoot-outs occur with a take-no-prisoners mentality. Colizzi models loquacious Bill San Antonio after Eli Wallach's Mexican bandit Calvera from "The Magnificent Seven." Bill feels responsible for his cronies and wants to take care of them. Blue-eyed Terrence Hill has the stew beaten out of him and nearly drowns in one scene. Hutch displays his Herculean strength both in fistfights and in shouldering a chest packed with gold. The same friendly rivalry that characterized Trinity and Bambino's relationship in the "Trinity" appears to have been foreshadowed by Colizzi. The final showdown between Bill and Cat takes the shoot-out at the beginning to the next level. Good dialogue, rugged laconic heroes, grimy trigger-happy hooligans, atmospheric settings, Alfio Contini's impressive widescreen photography, and the scenic sun-drenched plains of Spain make "God Forgives, I Don't" a solid, satisfying saga, head and shoulders above the average spaghetti western.
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