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The Hills Run Red: Italian Westerns, Leone, and Beyond

Saturday, January 12, 2013
8:10 p.m. The Mercenary
Sergio Corbucci (Italy/Spain, 1968)

Score by Ennio Morricone!
Watch the trailer

The revolution will not be narcotized, at least not in Corbucci’s rabble-rousing rebellion, which comes as a wake-up call to Mexican peasant leader Paco Roman (Tony Musante). Temporarily teamed with Kowalski, a taciturn mercenary portrayed by Franco Nero, Paco learns the value of resistance when his compatriots, fellow silver miners, are being strip-mined for their labors as well as their lode. Curly, a psychopathic thug played by Jack Palance in fey locks, is after the boodle of bullion, too. All these carousers are corralled in a story penned by Franco Solinas, who would soon ignite the screen with Queimada a.k.a. Burn! Corbucci’s unmanacled manifesto gets high Marx.

—Steve Seid

• Written by Corbucci, Luciano Vincenzoni, Sergio Spina, from a story by Franco Solinas. Photographed by Alejandro Ulloa. With Jack Palance, Tony Musante, Giovanna Ralli, Eduardo Fajardo. (105 mins, Color, ‘Scope, 35mm, From Park Circus)