The Price of Power

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Price of Power
The Price of Power FilmPoster.jpeg
Italian poster for The Price of Power
Directed by Tonino Valerii
Produced by Bianco Manini
Screenplay by Massimo Patrizi
Starring Giuliano Gemma
Warren Vanders
Maria Cuadra
Ray Saunders
Benito Stefanelli
Fernando Rey
José Suárez
Van Johnson
Music by Luis Enríquez Bacalov
Cinematography Stelvio Massi
Edited by Franco Fraticelli
Patry Film
Films Montana
Distributed by Consorzio Italiano Distributori Indipendenti Film (CIDIF)
Release dates
18 December 1969
Running time
108 minutes
Country Italy
Language Italian

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.[1] 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.


Political references[edit]

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.

Historical accuracy[edit]

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[edit]

Some parts of the soundtrack, composed by Bacalov, are featured in the videogame Red Dead Revolver.


  1. ^ Hughes, p.106


External links[edit]