Sunday, June 28, 2015

Movie Review: Seven Guns for Timothy

Seven Guns for Timothy (7 magnifiche pistole) a.k.a Seven Magnificent Guns a.k.a Johnny Black 
Balcázar Producciones Cinematográficas, C.I.A. Cinematografica, N.B.S. Cinematografica, Italy, Spain, 1966. 
Seven Guns for Timothy title
This movie can be found in Ten Thousand Ways to Die The Spaghetti Western Collection 12 Movie Pack by Mill Creek Entertainment. 

The movie opens with cut out animation that reminds a bit of Monty Python. Also the theme song is quite goofy.

Sancho Rodrigo Rodriguez (Fernando Sancho) wants to take over a gold mine and massacres the mine workers. Only foreman Sergeant Corky (Poldo Bendandi) is left alive. Mine owner Timothy Hollister Benson (Sean Flynn, Errol's son) wants to take care of the matter by using lawful means but Corky does not believe it will be enough. 
Fernando Sancho
Sancho Rodrigo Rodriguez
Poldo Bendandi
Timothy Hollister Benson
Sean Flynn
Corky helps his friends card shark Bert (Frank Oliveras) and Indian Grey Eagle (Rafael Albaicín) escape prison. Corky hires them for help. Next Corky recruits boxer Brett Colton (Spartaco Conversi) and beer lover Abel (Tito García). At the saloon skilled gunman Slim (Daniel Martín) duels three of Sancho's men. However Slim does not join the others yet. 
Rafael Albaicín
Grey Eagle
Daniel Martín
Frank Oliveras, Tito Garcia and Spartaco Conversi
Bert, Abel and Brett
Sheriff Coleman (Antonio Almorós) is corrupt and helps Sancho. Sancho has also a henchman named Pepi (Francisco Gabarre). Sancho's newest wife is Ramona (Silvana Bacci or Anita Todesco?) but he still wants another, Coralie (Ida Galli). But Coralie likes Timothy. Timothy is intellectual abstainist and does not want to fight. That changes when Sancho shoots his dog. The six heroes teach him how to be a whiskey drinking gunslinger. 
Antonio Almorós
Sheriff Coleman
Sancho's new wife Ramona
Francisco Gabarre
This is a little known and underrated film that has some interesting characteristics that may show that even these more obscure productions may have greater influence than it is commonly thought. 

The movie fluctuates between serious action scenes and slapstick comedy. The Spaghetti westerns of the 1960s. were commonly serious and grim. In adding comedy to the genre the movie kind of foreshadowed the humorous Spaghettis of the 1970s. This was made four years before "They Call Me Trinity." The mixture of comedy and violent action scenes is similar to Hong Kong martial arts movies of 1970-80s. 
Ida Galli
Sean Flynn
No more Mr. Nice Guy
The story itself is obviously influenced by "The Magnificent Seven," which in turn was remake of "Seven Samurai." However the story takes an interesting turn. The young and naive hero of the story must undergo a long training session where different masters teach him their skills. It would not be far off to say that some martial arts movies may have taken some influences here. If you replace the six seasoned gunfighters with
Shaolin masters and Timothy with Jackie Chan the result is not very far from for example "Shaolin Wooden Men."

There are also some other things that resonate with later Hong Kong- movies. Spaghetti Western gun sound effects also sound similar to the effects used in 1980s Hong Kong Gun fu movies. Bert lights his cigar with bribe money offered by Sancho, John Woo's "A Better Tomorrow" has a scene where Chow Yun-Fat lights a cigarette using a counterfeit bill. 
Money burns
Director Romolo Girolami is Enzo G. Castellari's and Ennio Girolami's uncle. Sean Flynn was Errol's son and became a photojournalist after his short acting career. He was killed by Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. 

Seven Guns for Timothy is not one of the best Spaghetti westerns, but an entertaining flick with an early comedic approach to the genre. 

Rating: Good 

Starring: Sean Flynn, Fernando Sancho, Ida Galli (as Evelyn Stewart), Daniel Martín, Frank Oliveras, Poldo Bendandi, Tito García, Spartaco Conversi, Rafael Albaicín, Antonio Almoró, Francisco Gabarre, Silvana Bacci, Ivan Basta, Alberico Donadeo, Osvaldo Genazzani, Maruska Rossetti, Anita Todesco, William Conroy, L. Gallo 
 Director: Romolo Guerrieri (Romolo Girolami)

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