GOD FORGIVES…I WON’T, as opposed to the recently covered May God Forgive You, I Won’t, was the first pairing of Terence Hill and Bud Spencer in a film, who went on to fame in the Trinity films. Unlike those, there is nothing comedic about this one(the pair went on to play the same characters in two other films). Depending on which country’s dub of this film, Hill played Doc Will/Wild Doc/Cat Stevens/Pretty Face/Django and Spencer was Earp Hargitay/Hutch Bessey/Dan Bus.
The film seems to have had a checkered past before it eventually got made. Director and screenwriter Giuseppe Colizzi had tried to get his thriller/western made for years, then sold it to another producer. He went on to work with Leone, both on the set and in post-production, on The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Another director took the reins and tried to get it going. The guy playing Hill’s part was slim and handsome. The story was he broke a toe kicking a strong box and had to drop out. The real story may have been cheating on his wife, she slaps him, and he falls down a staircase, breaking a leg. Colizzi bought the rights back and began casting the roles again. He thought of an old friend from the fifties, Carlo Pedersoli, a swimmer who represented his country in the Olympics. A call to his wife found he looked more like a wrestler these days, perfect, and he became Bud Spencer.
Most of the time in this English dub, Hill is called Pretty Face, though Cat is said once. I never really heard a name for Spencer said though.
The movie opens with a horrific scene as a train rolls into a station at the end of the line and crashes into the barricade. Everyone aboard had been shot to death and a strong box with a hundred thousand in gold coin is missing. Only everyone wasn’t dead. One man, wounded and seemingly out of his head, staggers off the other side of the train and disappears. Though we don’t see it,Hutch Bessey(Spencer) finds him and he reveals what happened before he dies. Hutch is an investigator for the insurance company and goes looking for Pretty Face. The description of the bandit and the elaborate plan Hutch recognized as the work of one man.
Only that man had been killed, shot dead by Pretty Face, almost a year ago!
Hutch wants to know what happened that night and Pretty Face is reluctant to tell him. When they bed down for the night, we get the story in flashback. Pretty face was playing poker with an old friend, Bill San Antonio(Frank Wolff, a veteran spaghetti actor who also appeared in Once Upon A Time In The west and The Great Silence), and when he beat him, Bill wasn’t happy. He ordered the saloon emptied and set on fire, leaving the two men inside for a gunfight. If Pretty Face walked out, he was to be allowed to leave. Which is what happened. But for ten months now, he’d been having to defend himself from members of the gang. You see, while the gang was at Bill’s funeral, someone had killed the guards and taken the gang’s stash of loot. The gang figured it had to be Pretty Face. (a side note: Bill’s tombstone had the name Bill St. Antonio on it).
Now that he knew his old “friend” is still alive, he sneaks out, taking Hutch’s horse with him. He wants to find out one,how the man was still alive, and two, get that money owed to him from the poker game. It was ten thousand in the pot and his pile in front of him.
The rest of the film has both men pursuing their own trails, eventually meeting, where they steal the hundred thousand in coin and bury it, and Bill’s attempts to make them talk. The finale re-imagines the burning saloon showdown, only this time with dynamite.
The trailer below is in German, but will give you an idea of the action. As was the custom of the time, Pretty Face becomes Django in this one to ride the coattails of the Franco Nero classic.