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Author Topic: A Reason To Live, A Reason To Die (Tonino Valerii, 1972)  (Read 2402 times)

IL COMMISSARIO

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A REASON TO LIVE, A REASON TO DIE 1972- aka UNA RAGIONE PER VIVERE E UNA PER MORIRE aka MASSACRE AT FORT HOLMAN

James Coburn, Telly Savalas, Bud Spencer

Directed by Tonino Valerii

James Coburn plays a disgraced Colonel who recruits some criminals minutes from the Hangman's noose to infiltrate an impenetrable fortress run by a Confederate madman played by Telly Savalas.

*REVIEW FOR BAD BOOTLEG VERSION*

Fitfully boring Tonino Valerii western that obviously had a sizeable budget. Although it’s shot well, the film is not as good as it sounds. Literally nothing happens until the final 20 minutes which is where the bulk of the budget appears to have been spent showcasing the spectacular destruction of the fortress. Savalas is wasted in his role as the bad guy. You never see him until the film is nearly over and he never does anything to make you really despise him.

A final revelation from Coburn reveals Savalas’s villainous past. Bud Spencer seems lost without Terence Hill at his side. A preponderance of dirty language is used throughout. An unseen prologue is added to this version which does nothing to improve things only ruining the ending for the viewer as it gives away who survives. Anyway, the finale nearly makes it all worthwhile. Not a bad film in the slightest just a missed opportunity. A memorable and bombastic score by Morricone.

*SECOND REVIEW FOR NEW WILD EAST RELEASE*

The recent WE DVD which I'm sure is simply the recent Italian DVD synced with an english track, doesn't improve the film at all. An added prologue hinders the film even further as it begins with the Fort destroyed and reveals to the audience who exactly will make it out alive. It's an okay movie, just not much happens during its 2 hour running time until the final 20 minutes. No Savalas until then either and he does nothing for the length of his brief screen time. The subplot involving Coburn and Savalas would have been great and the final bit between the two had more punch had this angle been explored a bit more. Still a missed opportunity.

Released to American theaters in a compromised release removing the dirty language as MASSACRE AT FORT HOLMAN.

The two times I've watched it, I can't stop laughing when I hear the fat guy at the end utter, immediately after manning a gatling gun tells Bud Spencer to "go f*ck yourself!"
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LANZETTA

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Re: A Reason To Live, A Reason To Die (Tonino Valerii, 1972)
« Reply #1 on: 23 Aug 2007 - 12:32 »

I've got a severely cut pan and scan 90 minute version at present,its ok if a little dull,but i'm still intending to see the full uncut version  because it is a Valerii film and has such a great cast. :-X
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LANZETTA

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Re: A Reason To Live, A Reason To Die (Tonino Valerii, 1972)
« Reply #2 on: 15 Sep 2007 - 14:14 »

I've just watched the first hour of the Wildeast uncut version which includes a huge 20 minute segment at the beginning mainly involving Bud Spencer,who is definitely one of the plus points in this ok sw.

Very surprisingly the audio track is completely different from the cut MASSACRE AT FORT HOLMAN version the most striking being the removal of Coburns dubbing voice from the longer version which obviously suffers alot for this.Also the music varies with MASSACRE AT FORT HOLMAN extensively reusing the scores from both DAY OF ANGER and BEYOND THE LAW.

I really like this film and will finish the Wildeast disc this evening. :D 
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IL COMMISSARIO

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Re: A Reason To Live, A Reason To Die (Tonino Valerii, 1972)
« Reply #3 on: 15 Sep 2007 - 19:02 »

Yes, I read that Coburn dubbed his voice for the cut US release and not the longer version. I thought the added prologue hurt an already "wounded" movie.
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LANZETTA

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Re: A Reason To Live, A Reason To Die (Tonino Valerii, 1972)
« Reply #4 on: 16 Sep 2007 - 12:53 »

So you've seen both versions as well?

I don't think the movie lives up to its promise but neither myself or the missus thought it was boring and with both of us being Bud Spencer fans it was great to have all that extra footage at the start of the film which nicely tied up some loose ends about how the condemned men came to the gallows and of course Coburns crucifix.I think that Spencer proves here (as he also does FIVE MAN ARMY and TODAY ITS ME TOMORROW YOU )that he's easily charismatic enough to shine without Terence Hill and for me Spencer totally steals this movies from the likes of Coburn and Savalas.Especially memorable is when he cleverly manipulates the town by fooling them into a joyous frenzy ,making them believe the war had ended in order to allow his comrades to beat a retreat with their supplies.I also thought he was very funny and convincing getting himself into Fort Holman  by means of complaining of a "sore butt" and later conning Savalas and co that he was a government agent.

Yes there could've been some more action but i found the slow build up prior to the last 20 minute gun battle with Spencer clearing the way for the assault while Coburns men work their way into the fort suspenseful and enjoyable.But I agree that the final confrontation between Coburn and Savalas was an anti-climax.

All in all apart from the missing Coburn dubbing i much prefered the longer uncut version in widescreen.Unlike the cut version i'm glad that the scores from both DAY OF ANGER and BEYOND THE LAW weren't used (both a bit too jazzy for my tastes anyway) and instead (i assume) an original Riz Ortolani score was provided .I'm surprised at the laziness of regurgitating old musical scores unneccessarily making one think of those other two movies as well as giving a lower budget feel to an obviously high budget sw.

My rating 7 out of 10. :)
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IL COMMISSARIO

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Re: A Reason To Live, A Reason To Die (Tonino Valerii, 1972)
« Reply #5 on: 16 Sep 2007 - 17:40 »

The added opening gives away who is alive by the end eliminating any bit of audience anticipation as to who will live or die. If they'd cut out much of the near constant walking around and beefed up Savalas's role to appear as more than an afterthought, I would've liked it more. It's alright, just disappointed in this one.
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LANZETTA

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Re: A Reason To Live, A Reason To Die (Tonino Valerii, 1972)
« Reply #6 on: 17 Sep 2007 - 06:30 »

I've just checked and the opening with Coburn and Spencer wondering around the smoking carnage of Fort Holman is exactly the same in the short version and also the text introduction.Yes i agree that it would've been better to have left this out in both versions. :(
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the blob

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Re: A Reason To Live, A Reason To Die (Tonino Valerii, 1972)
« Reply #7 on: 13 Mar 2015 - 22:17 »

US BD being released by Kino in August. No idea which version and I've never seen the longer one but I actually saw this at the cinema in the late 70's/early 80's, back in the days of double bills. It was the support film but I can't remember what the main feature was!
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Inspector Tanzi

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Re: A Reason To Live, A Reason To Die (Tonino Valerii, 1972)
« Reply #8 on: 13 Mar 2015 - 23:25 »

Nice to see Kino release some more spaghettis.  ::)
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"When I read the book of Mormon, I feel closer to Jesus Christ."

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Re: A Reason To Live, A Reason To Die (Tonino Valerii, 1972)
« Reply #9 on: 14 Mar 2015 - 09:32 »

Nice to see Kino release some more spaghettis.  ::)

i've gone from hardly any upcoming releases of interest to having quite a few noted this week. waiting on reviews though. concerned about versions and quality of video image.
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