Don't Turn the Other Cheek DVD review

From The Spaghetti Western Database

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Review of Wild East Entertainment's uncut release of Don't Turn the Other Cheek

The movie

Lozoya (Wallach) is a small time bandit rotting in a local jail, about to be hanged in the morning. Dimitri (Nero) is a con man acting as a protestant minister, crossing the country ripping people off. After he's made to give a dying bandit his absolution and listen to his last confession, he knows there's a gold treasure hidden somewhere, and he needs to find a guy named Lozoya who apparently knows the rest of the puzzle that will lead to it. At the same time, Mary (Redgrave) is a sensation-hungry journalist from the east coast looking for a story about famous revolutionary El Salvador, which he wants to "free" from a local prison and bring home to Mexico (for her story). Sheriff Randall (Janson) senses his opportunity to make a few quick bucks (yet again), and let's Lozoya escape after getting paid by Mary, letting her believe she freed El Salvador. Dimitri though, snuck into the prison as a priest beforehand, and found out Lozoya knows the whereabouts of two pieces of a map, and since Dimitri knows the area of the gold, but Lozoya the exact location, they make a deal, and make a run for it together, the ditsy Mary in tow, involuntarily. On their journey towards Mexico they run into general Huerta (Fajardo), which makes the whole deal a little complicated. Playing cat and mouse with Huerta and Sheriff Randall at the same time, while trying to get rid of Mary, but not really trusting each other, the two treasure hunters are fighting their way through the west.....

Opinion: I think this might just be one of Tessari's finer movies. Not because his other ones aren't as good, but because it has a certain mature quality about it. It is a slightly comedic western, yes, but not on a slapstick level. The acting trio is doing one hell of a job, it's absolutely a joy to watch two Spaghetti Western greats trying to outwit themselves as two really three-dimensional characters, and Redgrave is also quite funny. The music is not quite what you'd be looking for, and cinematography-wise the film also doesn't have much to offer, but it's more of a funny adventure with a nice story, a cat and mouse game film, that works on most levels. Sharp dialogue, funny scenes and great moments, you really can't complain. Seemed to me like Nero was somehow acting a parody of his Corbucci movie characters, while Wallach was aping his usual Mexican bandit self. And I was surprised how "modern" the language was on this dubbed track, that's quite refreshing.

the DVD

I was a bit scarred by the German DVD of this movie that I had watched months ago, so I was enormously surprised to see the movie in such a good version. Wild East did a great job presenting an uncut widescreen print of this one that looks quite enjoyable. Granted, it does lack contrast and is quite unsharp for the most parts, and throw in some faded colors every now and then, but overall it looks absolutely acceptable and free of major blemishes. I know I usually sound harsh when I review their discs, because I know what's theoretically possible, but that's just the idealist collector in me. This one looks absolutely fine for Wild East and works good even on a bigger flat screen. As far as the audio is concerned, not only is the English dub the way to go (original voices etc), it also sounds fabulous, rich, and free of glitches. There are a few sequences where they didn't have any English audio so there you have the Italian track with nice English subtitles.

In terms of extras, Wild East did a really great job at scoring Eli Wallach for a lengthy interview. The now old man talks about times past in the old Spaghetti West and tells a few nice anecdotes (how he slept with Clint Eastwood and so on), absolutely worth watching. They've put some trailers on it as well to get you in the mood, and an alternate international credits sequence (the movie's print is the Italian).

Verdict

One of the better comedy westerns - precicely because it's not full of stupid slapstick moments - meets a cast of great actors and a director who knows his business. Don't Turn the Other cheeck is a very enjoyable and well-made adventure that convinces on many levels and stays funny until the end without losing its fine quality. Wild East has done a fantastic job at presenting this classic on a decent visual transfer and the audio sounds fabulous. They tossed in a great interview with Eli Wallach, and so I can't but recommend this one, not just for those of you who like the "funny ones", but also to the rest of you (as I'm one of the anti-comedy people actually). This one works, and is a must see.

--Sebastian 08:35, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

This DVD was provided by Wild East.

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