My Name is Mallory Review
In 1971 Robert Woods was still an actor in search of a name, his own name. The final S of his name had been dropped for the first western he did in Europe, Alfonso Balcazar's 5,000 Dollars on an Ace. In the years to come he would do several movies as Robert Wood. In Mallory, Robert is a halfbreed Indian, a former gunman hired by an ex-Colonel of the Federal Army. The two men have become friends and purchased a ranch from a man called Jefferson. Shortly after, Jefferson is robbed and murdered by the malicious Bart Ambler and his right hand Block Stone, who has an eye on Ambler's sister, Cora. Ambler hires a few men to eliminate the ex-Colonel and also wants to get rid of Mallory, but the former gunman is too fast for the men sent to him. Ambler then tells Stone that the halfbreed has taken advantage of Cora. In reality Cora has fallen for Mallory, who now must choose between his desire for revenge and the woman.
Mallory was panned by most critics; Giusti calls it a complete disaster (*1). It certainly isn't one of the most interesting westerns Robert Woods did in Europe. Actually, it often doesn't feel like a western at all; there is some spaghetti western action, but no traditional western ending and some of the story elements seem closer to a romantic drama in the style of Romeo & Juliet. In this aspect some tension is created near the end: Will our hero Mallory kill the murderer of his friend, and lose the love of his life, or accept her love and let the murderer walk? The solution the screenwriters come up with is quite surprising (I therefore won't give it away), but it's not very western-like.
An alternative title is A Larry non è permesso di Morire, which was translated as Mallory must not die. Made on a shoestring and shot on no more than a handful locations (the familiar Villa Mussolini is one of them), Mallory looks incredibly cheap. Robert Woods calls it a low-budget miss-terpiece. In spite of his long hair (he had planned to cut it before the shoot, but they insisted he kept it unlayered and down to the waist) Woods doesn't really look like a halfbreed Indian, but he does a fine job nonetheless. I had noticed before that he's very quick on the draw and here he saves the sparse action scenes with his swift hands. He wears his gun in Colonel Mortimer style, by the way. He also has a reasonably well staged fight with Antonini (the Block Stone character) (*2). Gabriella Giorgelli is worth the entrance ticket alone. She has a bathtub scene that seems completely gratuitous, but I don't think that will be a problem to any of us. Gabriella has a special gift of looking irresistible when she's angry, or like Robert says in the movie:
# A brief encounter ...
A few years after the finishing of the movie, a strange thing happened. When Robert Woods was visiting his parents in his home town, Colorado, he ran into a store and discovered that the producer of the movie was the proprietor. He had moved to Boulder afterwards. The two men had lunch together and talked about the movie. It was a bit of an embarrassing experience since Robert couldn't remember the man's name (he still can't). The database mentions a certain Atalio Tosato as the movie's producer, but Giusti has only the name of the company, Cervo Films, and says no further info is available about the production company (Mallory is the only movie they produced). It has been suggested that the man form Boulder was Moroni, the director of the movie.
- (1) Marco Giusti, Dizionario del Western all'italiano
- (2) According to Giusti, the character is played by Aldo Berti, which most certainly is not true.
Director: Mario Moroni - Cast: Robert Woods, Gabriella Giorgelli, Doro Corrà, Renato Baldini, Artemio Antonini, Renato Malavasi - Music: Roberto Pregadio
Artwork by Scherpschutter & Simha Chardon
- Simha's webpage: https://sasaensisa.wordpress.com/