A Sky Full of Stars for a Roof Review
From The Spaghetti Western Database
- Year: 1968
- Director: Giulio Petroni
- Music: Ennio Morricone
- Starring: Giuliano Gemma, Mario Adorf, Federico Boido, Anthony Dawson
Two drifters meet, and soon become travelling companions. But one of them, Tim (Gemma), is being chased by a crazed killer and his band of gunmen to settle an old score. The two (Adorf being the other) are chased through the west, encountering scrape after scrape until the killers catch up and the score is settled for good.
This film is very fun. Not the best of the genre but still watchable and lighthearted. It is very episodic without much focus on the plot, but this time the episodes are handled very well, unlike in say Run, Man, Run. It may detract from the plot and some may lose interest but it is still entertaining. It may or may not be considered a full comedy. Although most of the film is humorous and lighthearted, it has some very serious moments. The passengers of a stagecoach are ruthlessly slaughtered in the film's opening scene. The aftermath, with Gemma digging their graves is a very sad moment, thanks mostly to Ennio Morricone's beautiful score. But it soon turns into a kind of comedy. Very similar to the Trinity movies. Gemma plays the fast gunned smart ass while Mario Adorf plays the short fused Bambino character. The film is centered on these two and their adventures with very few scenes devoted to Federico Boido (villain) or his gunmen. There isn't even much shooting in the movie. A lot more towards the end which is a real spaghetti moment and will give most viewers pause before fully labelling this film. It is actually somewhat confusing. It is up to the viewer as we all have different ideas. Also, in case you were wondering, the title is just a fancy way of saying that the two main charcaters don't have a home because they are constantly travelling.
It is somewhat hard to go into detail about the film that much because, as I said, there isn't much of a plot, with the bulk of the movie being focused on Gemma and Adorf's adventures. Many of which do not relate at all to the plot. But these are well filmed and entertaining.
The style of comedy used here is similar to My Name is Nobody. Very "innocent". Not mean, rude humour but fun humour that has some genuinely "sweet" moments that sort of bring a tear to your eye. Yes, it can be slapsticky with Adorf's temper getting the best of him. A lot of hitting and a brief saloon fight.
The director, Giulio Petroni, does a good job as usual. Nothing here seems phony except a mermaid which is meant to be phony. Good production values and he directs all the scenes very well. What is interesting about Petroni's career in directing westerns is that he never shows a personal style. Each film seems to have its own style. Death Rides a Horse is a dark revenge movie, Tepepa a thought provoking political commentary, and Providence was a comedy. He also directed Night of the Serpent of which I know next to nothing about. Here, he does comedy. I cannot compare it to the Providence movie as I haven't seen it. But good directing.
The acting is good. Some might say Gemma looks uncomfortable in a comedy role but he does an admirable job. He has always avoided the pretty boy title in my eyes. Of course he is handsome but he's also a smart ass. He is more goofy and gets beat up instead of giving too many beatings. A good example of a true pretty boy is Peter Lee Lawrence. In Sabata the Killer, he played the quintessential pretty boy. A tough guy with brains and looks. But a very irritating character. Nothing like Gemma and I have always liked Gemma for this. Mario Adorf would mostly be seen in German westerns. He had a few Italian western roles but not many. He is very good here. His character is not too bright and he plays this very convincingly. He has a temper and hits Gemma a lot but still has the innocent feel to him. Makes a very good "Bambino" character.
The music by Morricone is some of the best of the genre. Very different too. He uses fiddles, flutes (?), banjos, and acoustic guitars. The music can make a scene better. If only to listen to the great score. Other scenes have a sad sounding piece with a guitar and a lone whistle that can almost bring a tear to your eye. A Fistful of Pasta has this song on their jukebox and I suggest everyone listen to it. It was reused in the Spaghetti Western themed video game, Red Dead Revolver.
Fun, funny, tragic, and sweet sum up this movie. Flawed, yes, but still an enjoyable buddy western made two years before Trinity. A Sky Full of Stars for a Roof.