Talk about your odd ball movies: a spaghetti western musical. Lots of songs, jokes, even some real spaghetti action. The idea behind it was to boost the career of Italian singer Rita Pavone. Little Rita was her actual nicknme. 4.89 feet tall and about 86 pounds. Boost her career? Since I never heard of this film until I stumbled across it on Youtube, probably not a lot. Possibly in Italy.
Here is the opening sequence:
What this film did do was boost the career of another actor in the cast.
Mario Girotti was coming home from some years doing German films. This movie was where he first used the name for which he became famous, one of the biggies in the spaghetti western genre: Terence Hill.
As in any good musical, song and dance seems to break out at any opportune moment. At the beginning, after foiling a stage holdup, and wiping out the gang, a song/dance scene is called for.
Little Rita has a simple mission. She wants to collect and destroy all the mined gold in the world. To her, it’s the root of evil. She’s assisted by a fellow named Francis(Lucio Dalla) and an odd looking Indian Tribe, whose chief is Bisonte Seduto / Sitting Bison(Gordon Mitchell). I say odd because the pair sit at a table smoking hookas and the chief carries a skull in one hand and a golf club in the other.. The gold she takes is stored in a cave in preparation for destruction. She just needs to collect the stashes from two bad men: Ringo(Kirk Morris) and Django( Enzo di Natale).
Ringo is first up. The pair exchange two shots, bullets hitting each other before Rita sends a slug straight into Ringo’s gun barrel. She finishes him off with a grenade put down her own gun barrel. The song and dance below breaks out over that.
The Django scenes were a direct steal from the Franco Nero original. They encounter him walking along dragging a coffin behind him. They run him off and find his gold in that coffin with his machine gun. Riding later, the showdown is in a cemetery, Django, fingers crushed, balancing a six gun on a cross. Again ripping off the original.
Terence Hill doesn’t show up until the last third of the film. He’s Black Star bringing a herd of cattle to water. The attraction between Rita and he is immediate. “That cowboy is beautiful!” She declares later to Francis.
The pair are taken by the Sancho band of Mexican outlaws. Genre vet Fernando Sancho plays that role. It’s an odd set of scenes as the gang keeps lining up to shoot Rita and Francis, but break into wold celebrations every time they here their leader’s voice. He knows of the cave of gold and wants to know where it is and how to get in. It’s left up to Black Star, watching from the hill as they are taken, to rescue them.
And He turns out not to be as honest as was thought. Caught trying to steal the gold, the chief, because he saved Rita, turns him over for white man’s justice. He admits guilt and is sentenced to death, returned to the Indians to carry out the sentence. Little Rita loves him and asks he be spared. He doesn’t want to be though and retuns to town, demanding to be strung up, after first killing the Sancho gang when they come to rob the bank.
Strange ending also.
A few last thoughts. As usual, names wre often changed depending on the country of release. The Youtube download, one of several on the site, called Hill Black Stan and the Indian chief Silly Bull. The Ameican releae carried the title THE CRAZY WESTERNERS.
A goofy film.