HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Trapped
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
   
 
Newest Articles
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
   
 
  Five Man Army, The The Golden Shot
Year: 1969
Director: Don Taylor, Italo Zingarelli
Stars: Peter Graves, James Daly, Bud Spencer, Nino Castelnuovo, Tetsurô Tanba, Claudio Gora, Daniela Giordano, Annabella Andreoli, Carlo Alighiero, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, Marino Masé, Dan Sturkie, José Torres
Genre: WesternBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: It is the time of the Mexican Revolution, and one ne'erdowell is doing his best not to get involved, even exploiting the situation. He is Luis Dominguez (Nino Castelnuovo) and is currently using subterfuge to join a work party to avoid the government troops, knocking one man out for his permit and improvising with a clove of garlic to divert the attention of the soldier stamping the slips. But as he goes to jump on the truck, he gets word from The Dutchman (Peter Graves) that he has a job for him and he must drop everything because there is a lot of money to gain. Soon the shadowy mastermind has gathered up four cohorts for a daring robbery...

That the Five Man Army, a Spaghetti Western from the subgenre's heyday when what seemed like thousands were being made and pretty much all finding a distributor, was recalled among its many, many peers was down to the name on the screenplay. There were two, but it was Dario Argento who went on to the internationally recognised career, though before he made his directorial debut with classic giallo The Bird with the Crystal Plumage the year after, he was making a living as a screenwriter, quite often with Westerns such as this. The most celebrated of those was another recognised classic Once Upon a Time in the West, but straight after that Argento was crafting one of those heist movies.

The heist caper was very popular in film internationally during this decade, so naturally that drifted towards the Western and usually it was either a bank being raided or a train was the target, as it was here, the benefit of that being it lent itself to an action-packed setpiece, which in this case took up a good proportion of the second half. Before that the team had to be assembled, which may look amoral when the opening titles depicted a wide selection of photographs taken at the time of the revolution, including people either about to be shot or having just been shot, which might lead you to believe there would be a political slant to the proceedings in a Bullet for the General kind of way.

You would have to wait a while to find that out, since most of the running time was spent planning and executing that heist, the first couple of acts leading up to the raid a much of a muchness, the sort of thing you could see in any number of other movies as the men banter and learn their purpose in the crime to liberate a few cases of gold from a train carriage guarded over by soldiers, not to mention the great big cannon on the back of the last part of the locomotive, also heavily manned. What many noted at the time, and continue to mark, was the Dutchman was played by Peter Graves, who was then enjoying television fame as the leader of the IMF, that was the Mission: Impossible crew, and this bore a similarity to that hit show.

In cowboy garb, of course, but the whole setting up of the scam and execution, complete with managing any unexpected hitches that may have arisen, was undoubtedly reminiscent of Graves' exploits on weekly TV, which was likely why he was cast, and also likely why, when he was best known for playing a goodie, the twist occurs at the end. He provided a dependable centre for the rest of this to orbit around, including James Daly as the explosives expert, Tetsurô Tanba as a character named Samurai who offs folks with his accurate knife-throwing, and most recognisably big Bud Spencer, just as his career in a double act with Terence Hill was taking off, appearing as the food-loving brute who takes care of the heavy lifting - literally. They make a solid ensemble alongside Castelnuovo, but it's really when the robbery gets underway that this turns into a nifty thrill ride, with such obstacles as what to do when one of the thieves falls off the train offering a neat line in tension. If not top notch, The Five Man Army was certainly worthwhile, Ennio Morricone score and all.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2428 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: