7.2/10
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The Mercenary (1968)

Il mercenario (original title)
A greedy Polish mercenary aids a mine worker and peasant girl as they lead a revolution against the oppressive Mexican Government, and are pursued by an American rival.

Director:

Sergio Corbucci

Writers:

Franco Solinas (story), Giorgio Arlorio (story) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Franco Nero ... Sergei Kowalski - the Polish
Tony Musante ... Paco Roman
Franco Giacobini Franco Giacobini ... Pepote
Eduardo Fajardo ... Alfonso García
Franco Ressel ... Studs
Álvaro de Luna ... Ramón (as Alvaro De Luna)
Raf Baldassarre Raf Baldassarre ... Mateo
Joe Kamel Joe Kamel ... Sebastian
Ugo Adinolfi Ugo Adinolfi
Jack Palance ... Ricciolo - 'Curly'
Giovanna Ralli ... Columba
Edit

Storyline

While a Mexican revolutionary lies low as a U.S. rodeo clown, the cynical Polish mercenary who tutored the idealistic peasant tells how he and a dedicated female radical fought for the soul of the guerrilla general Paco, as Mexicans threw off repressive government and all-powerful landowners in the 1910s. Tracked by the vengeful Curly, Paco liberates villages, but is tempted by social banditry's treasures, which Kowalski revels in. Written by David Stevens

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The sun at his back... a gun at his side... a town at his mercy! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | Spain | USA

Language:

English | Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

22 April 1969 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

A Professional Gun See more »

Filming Locations:

Madrid, Spain See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because he was contractually obliged to provide his voice for the English version, Franco Nero was initially cast as Paco Roman. James Coburn was hired for the role of the mercenary (who was originally intended to be an American) based on his role in Our Man Flint (1966), but eventually dropped out of the role due to disagreements as to whether he or Nero would be top-billed. Coburn's role was rewritten as Polish so that Nero could portray the character with an accent. Tony Musante was cast as Paco after Nero saw him in The Incident (1967). See more »

Goofs

A plane is used to bomb Paco's fort. However planes did not begin to drop bombs until the late stages of WWI, in which they were dropped by hand. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Kowalski aka the Pole: [narrating] So, Paco Roman is a clown. Well, better a live clown than a dead hero. As I, Sergei Kowalski, Polish emigrate to the New World, always realised...
[fade-in to flashback of Paco working in a mine]
Kowalski aka the Pole: When our story began, Paco was only a peon. But one... with a difference.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Django Unchained (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another Awesome Corbucci Western

The second collaboration of Sergio Corbucci, the Italian Western's most important director besides Sergio Leone, and Franco Nero, one of the genre's greatest actors, after the ingenious "Django" from 1966, "Il Mercenario", a movie set in the time of the Mexican revolution, and therefore late for a Western, is a must-see for every fan of the genre.

Sergei Kowalski (Franco Nero) gets hired by short-tempered revolutionary Paco Roman (Tony Musante), in order to help his squad of unexperienced rebels with their campaign for a free Mexico. While Paco is a crook, but also an idealist, becoming more and more idealistic after his troop is joined by beautiful and idealistic Columba, a woman whose father was a revolutionary , the Polish is a typical anti-hero, witty and cool and somehow sympathetic, but mainly concerned on his own benefit.

The acting is great, specially Franco Nero as the Polish, and Jack Palance's performance as one of the villains. Another villain is played by Eduardo Fajardo, who played the villainous Major Jackson in Django. The score of this movie, composed by Ennio Morricone, is just brilliant (how couldn't it), the cinematography is great as well as the locations. My favorite film by Corbucci is still the incomparably brilliant "Il Grande Silenzio" ("aka. "The Great Silence") of 1968, "Django" of 1966 being my second-favorite due to its immense entertainment- and cult-value. Maybe not quite as brilliant as "Il Grande Silenzio" and not quite as influential as "Django", "Il Mercenario" is nonetheless an exceptional Spaghetti Western with a great sense of humor that I would recommend to everybody, not only genre fans. 9 out of 10!


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