The Price of Power
|The Price of Power|
Italian poster for The Price of Power
|Directed by||Tonino Valerii|
|Produced by||Bianco Manini|
|Screenplay by||Massimo Patrizi|
|Music by||Luis Enríquez Bacalov|
|Edited by||Franco Fraticelli|
|Distributed by||Consorzio Italiano Distributori Indipendenti Film (CIDIF)|
|18 December 1969|
The Price of Power (Italian: Il prezzo del potere, 1969) is a Spaghetti Western directed by Tonino Valerii. The film stars Giuliano Gemma as the hero Bill Willer who tries to get revenge against the killers of his father while at the same time trying to prevent an assassination plot against president James Garfield (played by Van Johnson, with José Suárez playing Vice President Chester A. Arthur) in 1881. The score for the film was composed by the prolific Luis Enríquez Bacalov.
The president ends up dying from an assassin's bullet, but Willer's further quest for revenge is ultimately more successful. Spanish actress Maria Cuadra plays Lucreatia Garfield, the President's wife. In her role she portrays pretty much the role of Jackie Kennedy as a glamorous President's wife. Even in the assassination scene, Cuadra seems to emulate many of the same actions from Jackie Kennedy's last moments with John F. Kennedy in Dallas in 1963.
- Giuliano Gemma: Bill Willer
- Van Johnson: James A. Garfield
- Warren Vanders: Arthur MacDonald
- Fernando Rey: Pinkerton
- Benito Stefanelli: Sheriff Jefferson
- Maria Cuadra: Lucretia Garfield
- Ray Saunders: Jack Donovan
- José Suárez: Chester A. Arthur
- Manuel Zarzo: Nick
- Michael Harvey: Wallace
- Julio Pena: the governor of Texas
- José Calvo: Dr. Strips
- Antonio Casas: Mr. Willer
The film has many political overtones, most notably drawing similarities between the assassinations of two American presidents, James Garfield and John F. Kennedy. It also tackles some racial issues, with many of the antagonists, bitter after being on the losing side of the American Civil War, showing a distinctly racist attitude towards the hero's best friend, who is black.
While the historical president Garfield did die as a result of an assassin's bullet, the film's historical accuracy does not extend much further than that. While Garfield actually died from complications of the wound months after the actual event, in the film he dies shortly after the shooting. Furthermore, the film's events take place in Dallas, Texas while Garfield was in actuality shot in Washington, D.C.. In addition to taking place in the same city, the link to the assassination of another president of the United States, John F. Kennedy, is strengthened by the imagery used in the assassination scene, which imitates the Zapruder film of Kennedy's assassination.
In popular culture
Some parts of the soundtrack, composed by Bacalov, are featured in the videogame Red Dead Revolver.
- Hughes, p.106
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