HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
Truth, The
Good Die Young, The
Old Guard, The
Gumnaam
Disappearance at Clifton Hill
Sullivans, The
Piranhas
Love in the Afternoon
Black Water: Abyss
Wild Blue Yonder, The
All Hail the Popcorn King
Muriel, or the Time of Return
Selma
Great Locomotive Chase, The
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
Druids
War of the Wizards
Onward
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Radioactive
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
   
 
Newest Articles
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
   
 
  Little Rita of the West Gotta get rid of that gold
Year: 1967
Director: Ferdinando Baldi
Stars: Rita Pavone, Terence Hill, Lucia Dalla, Gordon Mitchell, Fernando Sancho, Teddy Reno, Kirk Morris, Gino Pernice, Nina Larker, Enzo di Natale
Genre: Western, Musical, Comedy, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Little Rita (Rita Pavone) is a feisty female gunslinger, short in stature but unstoppable with a gun and able to punch out opponents twice her size. Along with her Indian friends led by Big Chief Silly Bull (former sword and sandal star Gordon Mitchell) and wacky German sidekick Gotz (Lucia Dalla), Rita plans to rid the world of evil. How? By stealing and destroying the source of all evil in the West: gold. To that end she tracks, guns down and steals gold from an array of avaricious cowpokes. Between blasting villains with her enormous golden pistol or blowing them to smithereens with super-destructive golden grenades, Rita belts out a whole host of show-tunes about the power of smiles and sunshine. When Rita and Gotz are captured by some Mexican bandits, who can’t help but dance whenever the hear the name of their leader Sancho (Fernando Sancho), they are rescued by a resourceful cowboy named Black Stan (Terence Hill). Rita falls in love with with the handsome fella. She dreams of leading him to the altar. Unfortunately, Black Stan has designs on her hidden cache of gold.

This zany spaghetti western spoof was a vehicle for pint-sized pop star Rita Pavone, a singer popular not just in her native Italy but across Europe at that time. She enjoyed some measure of success in the United States too where she briefly became a fixture on the Ed Sullivan show. Belying her slight frame, Pavone possessed a brassy, bold voice and an exuberant charisma that translates to a winning screen presence. Italian film producers placed her in several pop musicals throughout the Sixties, two of which were directed by future art-house auteur Lina Wertmuller, largely aimed at her fanbase of adoring teenagers. Pavone remains unique among Italian pin-ups of the era, partly because far from a va-va-voom gal, she cuts an almost androgynous figure. Indeed along with her size Rita’s boyish demeanour proves the source of much of the verbal and visual humour here.

Often derided as among the worst spaghetti westerns ever made, by among others celebrity genre expert Alex Cox, Little Rita of the West is actually more entertaining than many are willing to admit. It is silly and surreal with a goofy sense of humour not far removed from an episode of The Monkees. Most of the laughs stem from seeing Little Rita outfight or outshoot iconic spaghetti western anti-heroes like Ringo (Kirk Morris, yet onetime peplum star) and Django (Enzo di Natale), introduced still dragging his famous coffin with a machinegun hidden inside and his hands in bandages following the events of Sergio Corbucci’s 1966 classic. The film spoofs many familiar genre tropes to generally amusing, if not consistently laugh out loud effect. Some gags fall flat as is the way with comedies translated from a foreign language, but it is hard not to smile in reaction to the Sheriff who insists he “should have been a hairdresser like Mama said!” Other self-consciously absurd incidents include the dying Indian who gasps “God, I’m good at death scenes” and the moment Big Chief Silly Bull holds a skull as he pontificates: “To kill or not to kill. How about them apples?”

Ferdinando Baldi more often churned out straight spaghetti westerns in collaboration with American screenwriter and star Tony Anthony, notably their four-film Stranger series beginning with A Stranger in Town (1966) and concluding with the unhinged Get Mean (1975). They also worked together on the bat-shit insane Cannon production Treasure of the Four Crowns (1982) which was funny for all the wrong reasons. The veteran director brings a cockeyed comic book energy to such outlandish scenes as when Rita and Ringo shoot down each other’s bullets. The wildly eccentric plot grows oddly philosophical at times but also proves repetitive and outstays its welcome. On the other hand, Rita Pavone can certainly belt out a tune. Much of the running time is taken up with her musical numbers composed by Pavone with her husband/manager Teddy Reno who also plays the role of the cowardly sheriff. Most have a gospel-by-way-of-Broadway flavour though there is one genuinely lovely easy listening ballad and the English dubbed version wisely keeps these in the original Italian. Interestingly, the vibrant cinematography was by Enzo Barboni who later became a director and Italy’s foremost purveyor of comedy westerns with his They Call Me Trinity (1970) pairing Pavone’s co-star Terence Hill with burly Bud Spencer.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2125 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Lee Fiveash
Paul Smith
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: