From The Spaghetti Western Database
I Crudeli (Italy, Spain 1967 / Director: Sergio Corbucci)
- Runtime: 92 min
- Release Date: 2.2.67
- Filming Locations: Almería
Also known as
The Hellbenders (U.S.A.) | Die Grausamen (Germany) | Rio Hondon kuolemanloukku (Finland) | Los Despiadados (Spain) | Helvetescommandos (Sweden) | Les Cruels (France) | Mrtvacima prolaz slobodan (Yugoslavia) | The Cruel Ones
Cast and crew
- Cast: Joseph Cotten (Colonel Jonas), Norma Bengell (Claire), Julian Mateos (Ben), Al Mulock ('The Beggar'), Aldo Sambrell (Pedro), Gino Pernice (Jeff), Angel Aranda (Nat), Claudio Gora (Reverend Pierce), Maria Martin (Kitty), Enio Girolami (Lieutenant Sublett), Julio Pena (Sergeant Tolt), José Nieto (sheriff), Claudio Scarchilli (Indian Chief), Benito Stefanelli (Slim, Denton gambler), Gene Collins (Union soldier in wagon), Alvaro de Luna (Bixby), Ivan Scratuglia (Denton gambler), Rafael Vaquero (Tyler, Hellbenders hired gun), Simon Arriaga, José Canalejas, Gonzolo Esquiroz (search party soldier), Hector Quiroga (search party Lieutenant), Rocco Lerro (Denton saloon brawler), Martin Diaz
- Story: Albert Band, Ugo Liberatore
- Screenplay: Ugo Liberatore, José Gutiérrez Maesso,
- Cinematography: Enzo Barboni (Eastmancolor, Panoramico 1,85:1)
- Music: Ennio Morricone [as Leo Nichols]
- Producer: Albert Band
Following the Civil War, a Confederate colonel refuses to accept the South’s defeat and attempts to form an army to continue the war. Together with his sons he steals a large war chest, which they then try to escort hidden in the coffin of an officer back to the South.
Based on an idea by producer Albert Band (who reportedly intervened in the directing), The Hellbenders is a companion piece to Band's self directed The Tramplers (1965). The pseudo complex story wasn't suited for a typical SW nor was it for the directorial style of director Corbucci, who still delivers a lot of nice framings, but overall directs rather anonymously. The episodical screenplay remains only on the surface with the main characters and their motivations being pretty dull (and the acting is likewise flat). The basic conflicts are clear after the initial scenes and as there is no development, the ending could have happened in the same way after half of the screentime. I crudeli is too short and too long at the same time.
Although credited in the opening credits neither Simon Arriaga or Jose Canalejas appear in any known version.