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Italy 1976
produced by
Manolo Bolognini for Uranos Cinematografica
directed by Enzo G. Castellari
starring Franco Nero, William Berger, Woody Strode, Olga Karlatos, Donald O'Brien, Orso Maria Guerrini, Gabriella Giacobbe, Antonia Marsina, John Loffredo (= Joshua Sinclair), Leon Lenoir (= Leonardo Scavino), Wolfango Soldati, Victoria Zinny, Alfio Caltabiano
story by Luigi Montefiori (= George Eastman), screenplay by Luigi Montefiori (= George Eastman), Nino Ducci, Enzo G. Castellari, music by Guido De Angelis & Maurizio De Angelis

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Despite not being wanted there, halfbreed Keoma (Franco Nero) returns to his hometown, and finds, having not yet even reached it, that it is in dire need of some cleaning up, as he frees a pregnant woman (Olga Karlatos) from a convoy supposed to bring her to a smallpox colony - despite her not being infected (yet). In town he hears about Cauldwell (Donald O'Brien), a crooked landowner who has taken control over the city from Keoma's father Shannon (William Berger), has Keoma's halfbrothers (Orso Maria Guerrini, Antonia Marsina, John Loffredo) in his employ and prevents the town from getting proper medicine. So, together with his friend, the former slave George (Woody Strode) & the town's doctor (Leon Lenor), Keoma figures out a way to get the population medicine anyhow, much to the dislike of Cauldwell, who sends Keoma's brothers after him, &, when they fail in getting him, fires them. He then goes after Keoma himself, & in town he & his men face Keoma, his father & George, & are vastly decimated, but manage to kill George & take Keoma's father hostage. To save the old man from Cauldwell, Keoma gives himself up - allt the more reason to shoot Keoma's father anyhow,  tie Keoma to a big wheel on the town square (making him look somewhat look like a crucified Jesus) & torture him. Keoma's halfbrothers though are reaqsonably upset about the shooting of their father, & in retribution shoot Cauldwell to take over the city for themselves, & they even manage to put all the blame for the chaos in the city on Keoma - whom they leave in his crucified position. Only the pregnant woman Keoma once saved seems willing to return the favour as she cuts him down from teh wheel & escapes with him, but, as her giving birth is iminent, the 2 have to stop at a nearby abandoned frarm, with Keoma's brothers in hot pursuit. As she gives birth, her cries of pain accompany the final shoot-out between Keoma & his halfbrothers, a shoot-out only Keoma would survive, while the woman dies giving birth ...


Depite being made at (or past) the tail-end of the Spaghetti Western boom, & telling the exact same story as so many other films before it, Keoma is one of the best most interesting, seminal Westerns ever, as it - despite great action direction - cares little about genre-conventions, istead tells its story more along the lines of an existentialist drama, with influences of Greek tragedy & grand opera. The extremely dusty scenery of mainly half-ruins furthermore give the movie an eerie end of the world feeling.

One point of critique though: The songs by Guido & Maurizio De Angelis, that actually work as off-screen narration, could have been vastly improved, would the singers actually have had a basic grasp of the English language they are singing in, their strong Italian accents do affect the effectiveness of the songs themselves. However, that does not spoil this great movie.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


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