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Gunslinger's Revenge
DVD disk
09.04.2005 By: JaneBlo
Gunslinger's Revenge order
Director:
Giovanni Veronesi

Actors:
Harvey Keitel
David Bowie
Leonardo Pieraccioni

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The idealistic lifestyle of old West farmer/small town physician Doc, his Indian wife, and half-breed son Jeremiah, who narrates the tale, is disrupted when his father Johnny Lowen (Harvey Keitel), an old and legendary gunslinger shows up on the farm. After a long absence of twenty years he has returned home to his family to settle down. Hot on his heels is his arch rival, the evil outlaw Jack Sikora (David Bowie) who appears in town looking to take out Johnny as well as Doc and his family, whether Johnny likes it or not. The film’s end brings the final showdown between these two legendary gunslingers. This Italian production was produced in 1998 under the title “My West” and released theatrically in Europe.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Anytime a neo-spaghetti Western starring Keitel and Bowie comes out, I want to see it because I like Westerns and also David Bowie, and I like the always solid Harvey Keitel too, but not as much as I like the always chameleon-like Bowie, and yes, it was only a matter of time before he did a Western, and here it is, people. The weird thing about this movie was that it was a bit on the light side, and sometimes even felt like a Disney or nature channel movie, almost. It was family oriented in a big way, and I really liked that aspect of the film. The violence was minimal, especially in the first half of the film, but even in the end, this film focuses more on the dad, his relationship with his father, Johnny, and with his son, Jeremiah, and so that’s why I really liked it, it was completely different from the “Unforgiven” type of Western, although those are amazing too, don’t get me wrong. But this family flavor was a welcome addition.

Harvey Keitel really looked the part of the elderly legendary gunslinger and his talent was apparent, of course. He also played a good grandfather to his grandson in the film. Bowie was amazing as a terribly nasty villain of the ol’ West, bizarre Southern accent, strumming a guitar and all, but it was a bit weird for me to take him as a real gunslinger. He was good, but it was Bowie, musically such a legend himself so therefore a bit difficult to see him as anything else. In the first half of the film, he does not appear, but he’s there in the second part as a cruel outlaw who’s constantly in everybody’s face. Keitel’s character wants nothing to do with him, as he’s now changed his murdering ways in his old age, but Bowie wants none of it. I enjoyed seeing Bowie in this role.

Of course, the ever-present Wild West whore is also in this film, it is a Western after all. She’s very pretty and acts her part beautifully, and gets shot dead. Shot on location in Italy's gorgeous Tuscan mountains, the scenery and the music were not as good as they could have been, for a Western that is, directed and made by Italians, (I’ve been spoiled by Leone epics), but it was still good enough. The one thing that was a bit off was the dubbing because apparently this film was shot in Italian, with Keitel’s voice dubbed in English. It was the most apparent with the character of Doc played by Italian actor Leonardo Pieraccioni. It didn’t take away from the movie though. Finally, the viewpoint of the little Indian boy and his narration also made the film seem more light-hearted than the traditional Western, and I again, really liked that. Though strange for the genre, it was almost touching.
THE EXTRAS
There are no extras.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If you want to rent a simple Western story that’s family-oriented too, then give this film a try because it was really enjoyable and kept me interested throughout. However, there are no special features, for those of you who seek that. All in all, the movie was entertaining and captivating enough to recommend as a purchase or even a rental, but it’s not a big epic type thing or a fantastic performance delivered by Bowie like he gave us in “The Hunger” or in “The Man Who Fell to Earth”. It’s fun to check out anyway, especially for Western-lovers, and of course Bowie and Keitel fans as well.
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