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Sella d'Argento

They Died with their Boots on
Silbersattel / Silver Saddle / The Man with the Silver Saddle

Italy 1978
produced by
Piero Donati for Rizzoli Film
directed by Lucio Fulci
starring Giuliano Gemma, Sven Valsecchi, Ettore Manni, Gianni De Luigi, Cinzia Monreale, Licinia Lentini, Donald O'Brien, Geoffrey Lewis, Aldo Sambrell, Philippe Hersent, Sergio Leonardi, Karine Stampfer, Agnes Kalpagos, Maria Tinelli
written by Adriano Bolzoni, music by Franco Bixio, Fabio Frizzi, Vince Tempera

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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As a kid, Roy Blood saw his parents shot right before his very eyes. He then took his dead father's rifle and shot the killer. Then he stole the dead man's silver saddle - and the horse that came with it - and rode the plains.

Now: Roy Blood (Giuliano Gemma) is still looking for the man who ordered his parents being killed, and everything leads to a man called Barrett (Ettore Manni), so Blood should be more than happy when he is hired to kill Barrett ... for money. It's only when he's already ready to shoot that Roy realizes it's not Barrett himself that he has been hired to kill but his 10-year-old nephew Tom (Sven Valsecchi) - and killing innocent kids is something Roy outrightly refuses ... but then he gets caught up in a shoot-out which only he and the boy survive. At first, Tom wants to leave the boy behind, just like that, but somehow the boy has grown on him, and he allows him to ride with him for a bit.

Later in a town, Roy has to learn that he is accused of kidnapping young Tom, and Tom's sister Margaret (Cinzia Monreale) is even willing to pay ransom - it's all because Roy's sidekick Snake (Geoffrey Lewis) turned greedy, as it will turn out - and it takes Roy much effort to convince Margaret that he is not a villain and does not want any ransom.

Soon enough though, someone else is after young Tom: Turner (Gianni De Luigi), Barrett's foreman, and he wants Tom dead, and wants to marry Margaret, who would inherit Tom's half of the family fortune ...

However, Roy fights it out with Turner, even kills him, and can convince everybody, inlcuding Barrett and the local sheriff (Philippe Hersent) that he is one of the good guys ... until it turns out that Tom has been kidnapped again, this time by Mexican outlaw Garrincha (Aldo Sambrell) and his men, and for some reason the sheriff now thinks that Roy is in cahoots with Garrincha and throws him into the slammer.

It's only Margaret who's convinced of Roy's innocent, and she soon helps him break jail ... and as a thank you, Roy shoots it out with Garrincha and gang and saves Margaret's little brother.

Then it's showdown time, because Roy has since found out that his arch-enemy Barrett has been behind all the kidnappings and attempts on Tom's life, mainly because he can get his hands on the family fortune only over Tom's dead body. But at their little shoot-out, Barrett seems to have the upper hand, until Roy gets his hands on one of Barrett's antique guns Margaret has loaded especially for him ...

In the end, Roy has had his revenge and of course gets the girl. But as if that wasn't enough, he gets a new range pardner with young Tom ... yippie !


Even if the English title - They Died with their Boots on - suggests something pretty wild, the film as such is nothing special, a rather unexciting routine Western which suffers badly from a young boy in the second lead, who automatically turns the film into a rather cheesy direction (quite apart from the fact that he doesn't act all that well). All of this proves just one point: Young boys and hard-edged Westerns just don't go together !!!


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




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