Upbeat Cynicism

what do you mean i lost my mind?

It Can Be Done, Amigo, 1972

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I’m pressed for time while writing this, and still have two more movies to write up to fill out the week, so I’m not going to be going on at quite the length I did yesterday, nor will there be pictures or music.

Don’t let that fool you. It Can Be Done, Amigo is even more fun than Grand Duel, because it departs from its genre (again, the spaghetti western) in amusing ways. Plus, it has Jack Palance doing his eccentric weirdo bit, amped up to eleven, so even if it had nothing else, it would be worth watching.

This isn’t an action film, it’s a comedy.

The lead is Bud Spencer (an Italian actor, so I’m guessing it’s a stage name), a big bear of a man who is apparently known in the US mostly for his roles in the Trinity spaghetti westerns, which I’ve not seen. It’s a shame, too, because he plays this role like he was born for it. The character is Hiram Coburn, and he’s not at all a typical spaghetti western hero. He never uses a gun, avoids fights when possible, and just basically doesn’t want to be bothered by anyone.

Which is too bad for him, because Sonny is after him. Sonny (played by Jack Palance) is, not to put too fine a point on it, a pimp. He’s got a wagon full of dancing girls (nudge nudge, wink wink) that he takes from town to town, with the legend “Sonny’s Girls” painted on the side. Also in the wagon, but not one of the dancing girls, is Sonny’s sister, and she’s the source of the problem. Sonny thinks that Hiram took her virginity, so now he wants to force Hiram to marry her, so that she’ll remain respectable. And the moment the marriage is official, Sonny’s going to shoot Hiram dead.

Sonny’s sister, Mary (played by Dany Saval and her amazing cleavage), is none too bright, being absolutely oblivious to Sonny’s hostility as well as to Hiram’s indifference. She just wants to marry the guy, and thinks that will make everything perfect.

And all of this is just subplot, mind you.

The main story has to do with a kid Hiram Coburn picks up, against his better instincts, when he finds the boy near his dying grandfather, and promises to take the kid to a house the grandfather says he is inheriting. The house, when they get to it, is run down and abandoned. Yet people in the nearby town want it, and try to get it by means legal and otherwise. First, when its owners died, they claim that right to the property reverted to the community. Coburn pulls out the kid’s deed to the property, so then twin gunmen are sent to scare the two off.

As I say, it’s a comedy, but not of the Zucker type. The movie takes place in reality, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, and even it’s more outrageous bits don’t yank you out of the story. There’s a guy who eats dirt, for example, and even pays people two dollars a bucket so that he can sample the dirt from different areas around town. But, in the end, he’s not nuts, there’s a reason for what he does.

Another nice running bit is that Coburn, whenever he’s about to start throwing people through windows, takes out a pair of spectacles and puts them on. The only explanation he ever gives anyone is that the glasses help him think.

All in all, this was an incredibly fun movie, and I highly recommend it.

The copy I watched is from a Mill Creek megapack, of course, and as such it’s pan-and-scan (painfull so, a few times) with pretty bad image quality. Still, it seems the best version available to buy, and you can get it on one of three sets:

the Spaghetti Westerns 20 Movie Pack,
the Western Classics 50 Movie Pack,
or the Western 250 Movie Pack.


Written by [IMH]

18 June 2008 at 5:19 pm

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  1. […] from the owner of the mine (a virtually unrecognizable Bud Spencer, last seen around here in It Can Be Done, Amigo). They blame Spencer for losing the money, and the geologist stands up and demands that they blame […]

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