Go For Broke - Tutto per Tutto Review
The first of two spaghetti westerns directed by Umberto Lenzi, the other one being A Pistol for a Hundred Coffins. Both films were part of a deal: Lenzi had offered the producers the script of a war movie, but they only wanted to finance the affair if he promised to direct two westerns for them (*1). Tutto per Tutto (*2) is a small but entertaining western of the treasure hunt type.
Mark Damon is Johnny Sweet, a cardsharp of sorts who has a way with women, John Ireland is an ageing gunman knick-named The Owl because of his solitary lifestyle and his habit to spy upon things from a safe distance. The Owl's horse is stolen by Johnny (who is not always so sweet), but when Johnny is fleeced at the card table, the Owl - who saw it all - tells him that the lovely blonde saloon girl was in league with one of his opponents, so Johnny can get his money back. The two become unlikely partners in a treasure hunt when rumors start spreading that an Indian called Copper Face knows about a whereabouts of a stash of gold worth $200,000, stolen from the bank of El Paso. They team up - and have to deal - with two Mexican low-lives and also have to fight off a gang of Mexican cutthroats, lead by the terror-inspiring bandit Carranza ...
People who know their Leone will enjoy the references to the Dollar Trilogy: there's even a pocket watch that means a lot to both the main villain and one of the two partners. The two leads are great (Damon could be a nuisance but he was excellent in these type of roles) and the film offers a true plethora of familiar spaghetti western faces and they're all ideally cast. Monica Randall ads a very welcome female touch as a señorita who is as seductive as she is duplicitous.
Both the opening and the finale are fairly light-hearted but the middle part is a bit darker, not only in a metaphorical sense, but also literally: it's largely set at night, turning the action into in a shadow game that might be a bit hard to follow if you're watching a not-so-marvelous copy (and none of the copies available seem to be in a pristine state). The movie was obviously made on a shoestring, but a good choice of locations - well captured by the lens of Alejandro Ulloa - and some nice work by maestro Carlo Simi occasionally give it the flair and look of a big budget production. It also has a lively score (by Marcello Giombini) and particularly nice Rotoscope credit sequence.
- (1) Marco Giusti, Dizionario del western all'italiana
- (2) The film is known under a variety of titles in the English speaking world such as All Out, One for All and Go for Broke, all referring to the original Italian title; it's also known as Copper Face, even though the character isn't that important
Dir: Umberto Lenzi - Cast: John Ireland (Owl), Mark Damon (Johnny Sweet), Fernando Sancho (Carranza), Mónica Randall (Maria), José Torres (Copper Face), Eduardo Fajardo, Armando Calvo, Raf Baldassarre, Calisto Calisti, Claudio Scarchilli, Frank Braña, Luis Induni (Morton) - Music: Marcello Giombini