And Now ... Make your Peace with God Review
From The Spaghetti Western Database
One of the thirteen low-budget spaghetti westerns made by Demofilo Fidani, the Ed Wood of the Italian western, also known as Miles Deem, Dick Spitfire, Demos Philos or Slim Alone. It's usually called one of his better efforts. It tells the story of two men, Cooper and Stanley, who travel to Denver City to settle a personal score. Cooper is looking for a man called Jonathan Clay, who murdered his father and grandfather, and Stanley wants to speak to a former partner, Corbett, who once stole his gold. They're joined by a third person, a mysterious guy called Sanders who tells the others that he has some business to look after in Denver as well. Upon their arrival, they're told that Jonathan Clay has become a local tyrant while Corbett, in league with him, is running for the sheriff's office ...
The film is listed by Imdb as an Italian-Iranian coproduction, but the only Persian connection is the presence of actor Mohammed Ali Fardin, a former wrestler turned actor and a mega star in his own country. There are a few continuity problems, but the screenplay is a bit more coherent than you might expect from a Fidani movie and the finale (will this guy Sanders run off with the gold or not?) is well-developed. Thanks to cinematographer Franco Villa there are also a couple of visually inspired moments. But don't get over-excited: we remain firmly in Fidani land with Denver spelled as 'Denwer' on a banner and the (in)famous coyote howl loop played over a night scene.
Ed Ora ... was the first leading role for stuntman Fabio Testi, but he was still asked to perform as a stunt double for others (1). You might even recognize his strong shoulders during a cat fight (!) involving French actress Cristina Penz, when she and her opponent (probably a dummy) roll down from the stairs. With Testi being a stuntman and Fardin being a former wrestler, the action scenes look very spectacular, especially the fistfights. Some action moments are played for laughs, such as a fat man using his beer belly and butt to bounce back opponents and a guy sliding down a railing after being shot. Both Testi and Fardin had a reputation as ladies' men in their respective home countries, but it's Cameron who has a brief romance with La Penz. In a typical Fidani scene he spies on her while she's having a bath in the presence of one of the villains, an older person licking his lips. In a flashback, showing the slaughter of Cooper's family, Testi (with a few grey hairs) plays his own father while the grandfather is played by director Fidani himself.
- (1) Marco Giusti, Dizionario del western all'italiana
- Special thanks to Ellie Bellie for her help on the Persian language (Farsi)
(Mohammed Ali) Fardin was born and raised in a poor neighbourhood in the South of Tehran. He won a silver medal for his country during the 1954 World Championship Wrestling (free style) in Tokyo. His popularity helped launching his career as an actor and ladies man in Persian cinema in the Sixties. He also appeared in his movies as a singer, but his voice was always dubbed. He was called The King of Hearts, after the movie of the same title (Soltane Ghalbha, literally: Sultan of the Hearts) that had made him a star. Ed Ora ... appears to be the only movie he made outside his home country.
After the Islamic Revolution of 1979 he appeared in only one more film and his earlier films were banned because they contained 'romantic scenes, alcohol, scantily dressed women, night clubs and a lifestyle altogether frowned by the Islamic establishment' (1). He earned a living by running a bakery in Tehran and although he was banished from the screen, his films became popular among younger Iranians thanks to illegal copies on VHS and DVD. His funeral on April 9, 2000 was attended by more than 20,000 mourners (2). Many famous Iranians came to the Behesht-e-Zahra (Paradise of Flowers) cemetery in Southern Tehran to pay their respect to the King of Hearts.
The second syllable of his name -din- is pronounced with a long sound in Farsi, so the transcription 'Fardeen' would have been more logical, but the spelling 'Fardin' is widely accepted, even among authors of Persian descent.
- (1) BBC News, Iranian King of Hearts dies, Sunday, April 9, 2000
- (2) Encyclopedia Iranica, iranicaonline.org/
Two men are on their way to Denver City to settle a personal score. One is looking for the murderer of his father, the other for a former friend who stole his gold. They're joined by a third person, a mysterious pistolero. One of Fidani's many low-budget westerns, and not a bad one. Lots of action, and even a whiff of eroticism Links:
- Soltane Ghalbha - the movie can be watched on You Tube, but only in Farsi, with no subtitles available:
- Fardin: This short clip may give you an idea why his movies where banned. Farsi language only, but the clip is quite funny:
Dir: Demofilo Fidani - Cast: Fabio Testi, (Mohammed Ali) Fardin, Jeff Cameron, Cristina Penz, Ettore Manni, Virginia Darval, Calisto Calisti, Amerigo Leoni, Giovanni Ivan Scratuglia - Music: Franco Bixio