7.7/10
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126 user 72 critic

Duck, You Sucker (1971)

Giù la testa (original title)
PG | | War, Western | 7 July 1972 (USA)
An I.R.A. explosives expert on the run in Mexico meets an amoral Mexican bandit; together they are drawn into the Mexican revolution.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story) | 5 more credits »

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Maria Monti ...
Adelita, Coach Passenger
...
Santerna (as Rick Battaglia)
Franco Graziosi ...
Governor Huerta
...
Gutierez / Col. Günther Reza (as Domingo Antoine) (as Jean Michel Antoine)
Vivienne Chandler ...
Coleen, John's Girlfriend
...
Nolan, John's Friend
Giulio Battiferri ...
Miguel
Poldo Bendandi ...
Executed Revolutionary
Omar Bonaro ...
Revolutionary
Roy Bosier ...
Landowner on stagecoach
John Frederick ...
American on stagecoach
Amato Garbini ...
Second Policeman on Train
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Storyline

In Mexico at the time of the Revolution, Juan, the leader of a bandit family, meets John Mallory, an IRA explosives expert on the run from the British. Seeing John's skill with explosives, Juan decides to persuade him to join the bandits in a raid on the great bank of Mesa Verde. John in the meantime has made contact with the revolutionaries, and intends to use his dynamite in their service. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Rod Steiger and James Coburn will blow you apart in "A Fistful of Dynamite" ("Duck You Sucker") by the master of adventure Sergio Leone

Genres:

War | Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

7 July 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Fistful of Dynamite  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (initial US release) | (Laserdisc)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor) (english version)| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The inspiration for the firing squad scene came from Francisco Goya, and in particular from his set of prints The Disasters of War. Sergio Leone showed the prints to director of photography Giuseppe Ruzzolini in order to get the lighting and color effects he wanted. See more »

Goofs

Although the action takes place circa 1914, when Mallory's possessions are rifled by Miranda's family, a flag with the legend "IRA" is pulled out. The IRA was not formed until 1919. See more »

Quotes

American on wagon: [regarding peasants] Every country has its own plague. Just like them niggers... we got back home.
Notary on Stagecoach: Just like animals, you mean, because that's what they are.
Landowner on stagecoach: Exactly. Which is why they're half-wits...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film's title does not appear until the end (similar to Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)), and the film's final shot is a close-up of the main character reflecting on events that he has recently seen (similar to Once Upon a Time in America (1984)). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Live Evil (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Leone's most underrated film,a rich masterpiece which gets better and better with each viewing
23 April 2005 | by See all my reviews

It's generally thought that this film is Leone's weakest major film,and it is far less well known than the Dollars trilogy and the two Once Upon a Times. In actual fact,this is a masterpiece that deserves to be far better known and regarded than it actually is. It sees Leone attempting new things such as character development and political comment,while refining elements from his earlier films. It's really the bridge between Once Upon A Time In The West and Once Upon A Time In America,and it contains a great many elements of both films {which let's face it,despite both being Leone films are quite different}.

It starts in humorous vein,right from the opening sequence of the dirty,very poor Rod Steiger character Juan being taunted by some rich folk aboard a lavish carriage,the camera showing lots of close ups of mouths and eyes in what almost seems a parody of Leone's style. Juan is much like Tuco in The Good the Bad And The Ugly,loud,simple and very funny {he's even often accompanied by comical music }.Juan's first encounters with the other main protagonist,IRA man Sean {James Coburn} are treated like comical duels,and as they go to rob a bank it seems the picaresque tone will continue.

However,about a third of the way through the film becomes more and more serious. As Juan,thanks to Sean,becomes more and more involved in the Mexican Revolution,the tone becomes darker as more and more scenes take place at night and there is serious tragedy. The change in tone may jar to some people,but one can see the mature,contemplative Leone of Once Upon A Time In America reveal himself before our eyes.

Of course there are still some great action scenes,such as the taking of a bank which is superbly cut to Ennio Morricone's music {listen for the cheeky quotes from Mozart!},or Sean and Juan machine-gunning what seems like a whole army. There is as usual a great deal of violence,but it's less personal and graphic and instead is shown to have more consequence. The film's plot does move rather slowly,with Leone taking his time as usual,but this mean we can more enjoy the mannered Steiger and the laid back Coburn as one of the greatest partnerships in cinema history.

Of particular interest are the several flashbacks dotted throughout the movie,shot in dreamlike slow motion and usually set to what is quite simply one of the most beautiful film themes EVER {Morricone excels himself with the score for this film}. Representing Sean's past,they ask as many questions as they answer,Leone trusting his audience to work things out. The final one is missing from many versions of this film,a tragedy because as well as being sublimely beautiful {and ambiguous,is it Sean's memory?,a marijuana-enhanced hallucination?,a vision of Heaven?} it adds yet another element to the story.

A Fistful Of Dynamite {well,the French Once Upon A Time..The Revolution is the films' best title}is a masterpiece,it's extremely entertaining whilst also being full of complexity. Things become clearer and more interesting on second and third viewings. Don't expect the operatic ritualism of Once Upon in The West or the comic crowd pleasing of the Dollars films,but if you watch this you will be watching a cinematic master at the height of his powers.


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