Spaghetti Western Podcast

Don’t Touch the White Woman! Review (Mickey13)

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UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Don’t Touch the White Woman! (1973) by Marco Ferreri.


General Custer (Marcello Mastroianni) is delegated to get rid of Indians who hinder the colonization of America. Even though the story is set in North-America, the Battle of Little Bighorn will take place in modern Paris where Custer also faces many peculiar people such as the alluring female Marie-Hélène de Boismonfrais (Catherine Deneuve) as well as his former scout and now a pompous performer at a Parisian nightclub Buffalo Bill (Michel Piccoli). While Custer gets to know these intriguing characters a little better, the decisive combat gets more and more imminent…

Don’t Touch the White Woman is a prodigiously outlandish political satire which is closer to Marco Ferreri other movies than any spaghetti western ever made. It appears quite inadequate to cram this deliriously eerie work into the spaghetti western genre, best known for violent action. Spaghetti western makers often brought up political topics, but their movies never exceeded the genre's paradigms as much as this movie does. Marco Ferreri was an Italian auteur and an enfant terrible who used to infuse his incomparably odd creations with absurd, grotesque and bleak. The premise of situating the Battle of the Little Bighorn in modern Paris will prove phantasmagorically bizarre for viewers not acquainted with movies such as Ferreri's infamous comment on the crisis of contemporary man within the capitalistic society, La grande bouffe (1973) or his wonderfully conceived art-house classic Dillinger is Dead (1969).

In the first minutes of Don’t Touch the White Woman three men are having a dispute over the trouble with Indians, who impede the colonization of America, and contemplate the contingency of using violence against them. This is how Ferreri juxtaposes American politics in the twentieth century with the extermination of Native Americans; the Indians might as well symbolize leftists in this movie, which also seems to tackle the enmity of conservatives towards left-wing movements and to analyze how these traditionalistic governing sphere yearns to eradicate the people discarding traditional demeanor towards property, values and way of life, camouflaging their intents with glib terms such as “a final solution”. Perchance the director strives to convey the message that each group which craves to prevail and obtain certain rights for individuals is forced to unite, just like Petri’s The Working Class Goes To Heaven (1971).

(to be continued)

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