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Duck, You Sucker (1971)

Giù la testa (original title)
PG | | Drama, War, Western | 7 July 1972 (USA)
An I.R.A. explosives expert on the run in Mexico meets an amoral Mexican bandit; together they are drawn into the Mexican revolution.

Director:

Sergio Leone

Writers:

Sergio Leone (story), Sergio Donati (story) | 5 more credits »
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Popularity
3,912 ( 251)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rod Steiger ... Juan Miranda
James Coburn ... John H. Mallory
Romolo Valli ... Dr. Villega
Maria Monti Maria Monti ... Adelita, Coach Passenger
Rik Battaglia ... Santerna (as Rick Battaglia)
Franco Graziosi Franco Graziosi ... Governor Huerta
Antoine Saint-John ... Gutierez / Col. Günther Reza (as Domingo Antoine) (as Jean Michel Antoine)
Vivienne Chandler Vivienne Chandler ... Coleen, John's Girlfriend
David Warbeck ... Nolan, John's Friend
Giulio Battiferri Giulio Battiferri ... Miguel
Poldo Bendandi Poldo Bendandi ... Executed Revolutionary
Omar Bonaro Omar Bonaro ... Revolutionary
Roy Bosier Roy Bosier ... Landowner on stagecoach
John Frederick ... American on stagecoach
Amato Garbini Amato Garbini ... Second Policeman on Train
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Storyline

In Mexico at the time of the Revolution, Juan, the leader of a bandit family, meets John Mallory, an IRA explosives expert on the run from the British. Seeing John's skill with explosives, Juan decides to persuade him to join the bandits in a raid on the great bank of Mesa Verde. John in the meantime has made contact with the revolutionaries, and intends to use his dynamite in their service. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Rod Steiger and James Coburn will blow you apart in "A Fistful of Dynamite" ("Duck You Sucker") by the master of adventure Sergio Leone

Genres:

Drama | War | Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | Spain

Language:

Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

7 July 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Fistful of Dynamite See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$980
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (initial US release) | (Laserdisc)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor) (english version)| Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The inspiration for the firing squad scene came from Francisco Goya, and in particular from his set of prints The Disasters of War. Sergio Leone showed the prints to director of photography Giuseppe Ruzzolini in order to get the lighting and color effects he wanted. See more »

Goofs

Although the action takes place circa 1914, when Mallory's possessions are rifled by Miranda's family, a flag with the legend "IRA" is pulled out. The IRA was not formed until 1919. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Stagecoach driver: [shouts various commands to the horses in Spanish, eventually making theme stop near a water trough]
Juan Miranda: [runs to the stagecoach] Señor! Señor! Señor...
Yankee, Stagecoach Driver: [to the Mexican driver] Tighten up that girth.
Juan Miranda: Señor, I... I must go to San Felipe... my mother is dead!
Yankee, Stagecoach Driver: Straight down the road, about fifty miles.
Juan Miranda: [pats his shoulder, and hands him some money] Please?
Yankee, Stagecoach Driver: [pushes him] Eh, get outta here.
[Juan begins to walk away, crying]
Yankee, Stagecoach Driver: Hey. Hey, amigo. Come here.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film's title does not appear until the end (similar to Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)), and the film's final shot is a close-up of the main character reflecting on events that he has recently seen (similar to Once Upon a Time in America (1984)). See more »

Alternate Versions

The new 5.1 remix of the soundtrack on the restored Region 2 Special Edition release uses incorrect music cues for several scenes including the restored long flashback scene at the end, and edits out two expletives, one is uttered by Juan while talking to himself before attacking the bridge, the other spoken by John on the train. Both of these are intact in all other restored versions. The title of the restored version is now "Duck You Sucker" while the title on the cover remains "A Fistful of Dynamite". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Poor White Trash (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Just saw the restored print
28 November 2003 | by ChungMoSee all my reviews

It's a shame that most people will not get to see this film on the big screen. The new print makes the film look like it was shot recently. The sound has been re- mastered also and is 90% perfect. A few of the restored scenes help the film along although they add to the already long running time. It is slightly different from the LaserDIsc version that came out a few years ago especially the end scene. However, one friend (a film reviewer) told me that it's the same version that he saw when it came out in 1972 for two weeks before it was pulled, re-titled and cut.

I have to say that this film is one of Leone's best and I now rate it above "Once Upon a Time in America". It's not an easy film and there are a few "flaws" but in a strange way it is the most human film Leone made. Coburn and Steiger both come off as real people despite the occasional lapse in accents. It's amazing how much time Leone gave to searing close-ups of the two actors and how they were able to convey so much of the story in silence. The story is very subtle and very unsubtle at the same time which can make following the film hard if you are expecting the "hello stupid" storytelling we get these days. Leone did the same thing in "Once upon a Time in the West" and "America". There's a storytelling genius here that's all the more amazing if you consider that Leone was operating out of his native language.

What makes this film stand out is the outright message Leone conveys with the story. He didn't do that with any of his other films.

A few words on the restored scenes. As with other Leone films that have undergone editing by American distributors, the removed scenes are a mixed bag. Some scenes were removed for length purposes, others for content reasons and some I suspect were removed because they were perceived as not up to the quality of the rest of the film. This was certainly the case for "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly". In "Duck, You Sucker", the restored opening helps the film's message which is probably not what the American censors though it was. The stagecoach robbery rape scene, which in the American version was edited in a way to suggest that Juan is really a gentleman thief not a rapist, is problematic unless you read it as a political comment and even then it's tough to take. The churchyard sequence, which is completely absent in the American version, is one of Leone's clumsiest scenes and it's absence didn't really affect the film. Some of it is out of focus! The ending sequence was apparently reedited by Leone after the opening in Europe and exists in several different versions over there! The version we see here is very, very long but illuminates the main characters motivations better then the American version.

Hopefully this limited re-release signals the soon arrival of a DVD version.

Update, July 2007: Finally, the DVD has been released. After watching the restored, restored version I have to add that the film really holds up. This version is identical to the screened version except for one minor, yet important difference at the very end. A crucial line from the American version has been restored.

The extras deserve some mention. First of all they all have a copyright of 2005 which indicates that the release of this DVD was delayed for some reason. The interviews are very interesting but each extra is heavily inter-cut with scenes from the film, the clips are frequently unrelated to the topic and often the same clips are repeated in each extra! You get to see James Coburn running in a field in Ireland over and over. One extra tracks the different versions that exist of this film, shows stills from scenes that Leone cut before the premier in Italy (the negatives of these particular scenes have apparently been destroyed) and leads into a rumination on the Sean/John confusion. The writer of this extra then comes to the conclusion that "Sean" isn't the James Coburn character! I don't agree at all but it's a useful extra.

A DVD to own.


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