Seven Guns for Timothy Review
From The Spaghetti Western Database
|Timothy, a young lawyer, has inherited a goldmine but a local tyrant is eager to take possession of it. Timothy's foreman Cory, an old army sergeant, assembles a small group of friends to defend the mine, but when Timothy wants to face the villains himself, the friends decide to turn the greenhorn into a real man. An uneasy, but occasionally entertaining combination of comedy and violence. Sean is Erroll's son.|
Seven Guns for Timothy (Sette Magnifiche Pistole)
Spanish title: Siete Pistolas para Timothy - See Database Page
The first western by Romolo Guerrieri, born Girolami (he's Enzo G. Castellari's uncle), the director of Johnny Yuma and the classic 10,000 Dollars for a Massacre. It's features Sean Flynn, son of Errol, who had a brief career as an actor before becoming a photojournalist, famous for his coverage of the Vietnam war. The movie starts off with an unconventional title sequence, reminiscent of Terry Gilliam's animation work for Monty Python (but predating it by a few years) and a theme song, written by Gino Peguri and performed by Los Marcellos Ferial, a successful Italian vocal group from the sixties, who actually scored a hit with it (1).
Timothy, a young intellectual, has inherited a profitable goldmine, but a local tyrant, Rodriguez (Sancho, as ebullient as ever), has his eyes set on it. When Timothy refuses to sell the mine, Rodriguez kills all his miners. Timothy's foreman Cory, assembles a small group of old friends to defend the mine, but when his dog is killed, Timothy wants to face Rodriguez all by himself, even though he doesn't know how to load a shotgun. Cory and his friends decide to turn the greenhorn into a real man, by teaching him how to ride, box, shoot and ... drink.
According to director Guerrieri, the movie originated in an original idea by Duccio Tessari and Sergio Corbucci that was developed by others (2). The numerous re-writings have resulted in incongruities that make the finished product look like a patchwork movie; the opening and the finale are violent, but the bulk of it plays like a comedy; in the first twenty minutes Poldo Benandi - the giant with the varolious face - seems to be the protagonist, later the story is more centered around Flynn, and in the finale Daniel Martin (who walks in and out of the movie) takes over the estafet-baton as a man who has a personal score to settle with Rodriguez.
I had the idea the movie would've worked better if they had skipped the violent moments and turned the whole thing into a comedy. As it is, it's moderately entertaining; Flynn shows some charisma as the intellectual out West and the other actors are well-cast for the stereotyped characters they're supposed to impersonate: Sancho is as ebullient as ever, Galli as beautiful as ever, Benandi is a gentle giant and Tito Garcia has a few funny moments as a dipsomaniac breaking records during a drinking contest.
There are a few lucky strokes at script level as well, such as the decision to present the greenhorn as a sort of Leonardo Da Vinci: his study is decorated with a poster of the Vetruvian Man, one of Da Vinci's most famous drawings. When the lessons of his friends remain ineffective, Timothy uses Da Vinci's theories to calculate the ideal positions of his arms and fists to throw a punch or fire a shot ... and becomes a perfect boxer and marksman. We also see him writing with both hands at the same time, a trick Da Vinci mastered as well.
- (1) In the version I saw, the lyrics of the theme song 'The Magnificent Guns' were in English and sung with rather high-pitched voices; for the single release the lyrics were translated and the title changed into Cavalca Cowboy (Ride Cowboy):
- Los Marcellos Ferial, Cavalca Cowboy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzTgDh2NDGM
- (2) Marco Giusti, Dizionario del western all'italiana
The Vitruvian Man
The drawing shows a male figure in two superimposed positions, fitting his body to a circle and a square by adjusting the position of his arms and legs. It illustrates Da Vinci's ideas about the (ideal) proportions of the human body. Each separate part is a simple fraction of the whole. For example, the head measured from the forehead to the chin is one tenth of the total height, the outstretched arms are as wide as the body is tall. Da Vinci had taken the basic ideas from the writings of a Roman architect called Vitruvius but had developed them further. He spent much of his life searching for correlations between the structure of the human body and patterns in nature.
== Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitruvian_Man
He was the son of famous actor Errol Flynn and French actress Lili Damita. He seemed destined to become an actor, but he was a restless personality and het set his mind on other things. He tried his luck in Africa, as a guide and game warden, but returned to acting on a few occasions when he was in need of money. He made himself a name as a high-risk war photographer who would do anything to get the best pictures. In 1970, while making a motorcycle ride in Cambodia with a colleague, Dana Stone, both men were captured by communist rebels. According to government sources, the two were held captive for a year and then executed by the Khmer Rouge, but their bodies have never been found.
The Clash recorded a song called 'Sean Flynn' and the film The Road to Freedom (2010, Brendan Moriarty) is based on his exploits.
- The Clash, Sean Flynn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSWUKOPTt2g