The Big Gundown
|The Big Gundown|
|Directed by||Sergio Sollima|
|Produced by||Alberto Grimaldi|
|Written by||Sergio Sollima
|Starring||Lee Van Cleef
|Music by||Ennio Morricone|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures
(re-release on Blu-ray/DVD)
|Running time||107 min. original version|
|Language||English and Italian|
The Big Gundown (Italian title: La resa dei conti – roughly The Settling of Scores) is a 1966 spaghetti western, written by long-time Sergio Leone collaborator Sergio Donati and directed by Sergio Sollima. The film stars Lee Van Cleef (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) and Tomas Milian. It was originally released by Columbia Pictures in the US as a double feature with A Time for Killing.
Some critics, such as Leonard Maltin, consider the film one of the finest spaghetti westerns, second only to Sergio Leone's "Dollars Trilogy". It was the first film Van Cleef made following The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) and was his first leading man or hero role. Tomas Milian played Cuchillo, a charming rogue accused of rape and murder. Run, Man, Run! (1968) was a sequel which brought back Milian without Van Cleef.
Impressed by Corbett's (Van Cleef) unexcelled reputation of bringing criminals to justice and execution without question, a local powerbroker named Mr. Brockston (Walter Barnes) meets Corbett. Brockston offers Corbett his backing to run as a senator in exchange for tracking down Cuchillo, the allged rapist and murderer of a 12-year-old girl, who has absconded to Mexico. In close pursuit, Corbett and Cuchillo have several encounters where each learns to respect the other.
DVD releases and US cuts
The Big Gundown was cut down to 93 minutes for its 1966 US theatrical release. The original European release was 106 minutes. US viewers were therefore initially deprived of Sollima's complete vision of the film. Four decades later, in December of 2013, Grindhouse Releasing in association with original rights holder Columbia Pictures/Sony, has digitally restored and re-released the film, including the full unedited director's cut (making it available for the first time ever on either Blu-ray or DVD in the United States).
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