California

1977

Drama / Western

0
IMDb Rating 6.8

Synopsis


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1.91G
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Italian
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98 min
P/S 2 / 3
1.21G
Normal
Italian
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98 min
P/S 0 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by lostinaction 8

No wonder that California isn&#39;t as popular as so many other Spaghetti-Western. It is entertaining but not funny like My Name is Nobody or violent like Four of the Apocalypse. IMO California is one of the last real Spaghetti Western but the filmmakers didn&#39;t want to do a typical Western. Somehow it reminds of one of the many 50&#39;s Western flicks but with a darker a more sinister story. Maybe you can compare California with Keoma or The great Silence. Also like in these Movies it isn&#39;t so easy to say who really the hero is. Is it Guiliano Gemma as California, who hates his old name and has enough from all that Killing and Shooting? His opponent is Raimund Harmsdorf a German actor and is best known in supporting roles in so many B-Movies or German TV Shows. In California Harmsdorf has a fairly good role and he did some fine acting. He is a ruthless Bounty Hunter who kills Confederates Soldiers for Money. Unfortunately politics changes and he is getting an Outlaw. For a SW there are interesting characters and not just a faceless Hero and his Villain. Sorry but the figures aren&#39;t simply Black and White in this drama and there are no funny jokes of Guiliano.<br/><br/>I wasn&#39;t quite happy with this melodramatic Organ 70&#39;s like Music. In some way it fits in some not. The photography is bleach and the environment looks dirty. Towns and people seemed to be destroyed by the war and this world has nothing to do with the beauty as you can see in Once Upon a Time in the West. Some Scenes are taking place in a Ghost Town. These Scenes are very climatic and give the audience more of the Apocalyptic Feeling. The Storyline has two parts. A travel at the end of the American Civil War and then a Vendetta as it we have already seen in so many contributions to the Genre. But it wouldn&#39;t be a typical Spaghetti Western if this Vendetta wouldn&#39;t be different. California (1977) hasn&#39;t a lot in common with Gemma&#39;s first western A Pistol for Ringo (1964).<br/><br/>For me this melodramatic western was a big surprise. The storyline and the figures are fine written. It&#39;s not a Feel Good Movie or just another action loaded Hero Tale of the West. Of course it has some flaws and there are some weak points in the second part but overall it&#39;s an interesting flick. Director Michelle Lupo did a good job and it was his last serious western too. Buddy goes West (1981)is more a Comedy than a Western. One year later Lucio Fulci master of Giallo and Horror directed a Spaghetti Western with a similar look: Silver Saddle (1978). Guiliano Gemma is the main cast again but Fulci&#39;s Movie isn&#39;t so sinister and dark than this one. IMO these two Movies were the last Highlights of the Spaghetti Western Genre and then this fascinating Genre ended.

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Reviewed by ma-cortes 7

Twilight Spaghetti/Chorizo Western with dark scenarios , atmospheric cinematography by Alejandro Ulloa , good musical score in usual Spaghetti style and being professionally directed by Michele Lupo . This entertaining , engaging as well as violent movie is crammed of pursuits , fist-fights , punches , kicks , killings , overwhelming stunt-work and lots of shots . After the Civil War , Michael &quot;California&quot; Random (Giuliano Gemma) , is released from Union prison along with a young Confederate soldier (Miguel Bose) . Both of whom , California and his partner William , go to Missouri . Along the way , they suffer ambushes , assaults and betrayals throughout puny towns and aridity outdoors . And being attacked by a nasty group of bounty hunters (Romano Puppo , Robert Hundar as Eric Plummer , and several others) led by Rope Whittaker (Raimund Harmstorf) . After that , it happens a hanging and Michael California decides to return the belongings to his family : father Mr Preston (William Berger) , mother Mrs Preston (Dana Ghia), daughter and help them against outlaws . Meantime , Michael falls in love for a beautiful woman , Helen Preston (Paola Bose) . But she is captured and later on , California sets out in pursuit the kidnappers and seeks vendetta against the cutthroats . <br/><br/>Charming Chorizo-Spaghetti Western co-produced by Spain , Italy and follows the American models regarding the twilight Western , as well as Sergio Leone style . This Western is a superior outing because it displays violence , thrills , emotion , shoot&#39;em up , brawls , intrigue , riding pursuits and many other things . There is plenty of action and violent events in the movie , guaranteeing some shots or stunts every few minutes . This sinister picture is a tale of justice and revenge , as a soldier carries out a hard mission to execute a merciless vengeance when his friend is hanged and his girlfriend is kidnapped . The basic plot is typical spaghetti western fare , but what makes this movie stand out is its style . The lighting-paced storyline slows down at times , but frenetic fight/action sequences make up for it . The starring called Michael California is stunningly played by Giuliano Gemma . Giuliano is very fine , he ravages the screen , he jumps , bounds and leaps , hit and run . Gemma as a brave and two-fisted Confederate military is terrific . Gemma , along with Anthony Steffen and Gianni Garco , results to be one of the greatest stars of the Spaghetti genre . Gemma in his beginning worked as stunt-man , practiced many sports in his life, boxing , gymnastics, such as is well proved at the movie . Then the director , Duccio Tessari, gave him the first role as protagonist in the film &quot; The Titani&quot; and the first spaghetti western films where he often worked under the name of Montgomery Wood , playing Western as ¨A pistol for Ringo¨, subsequently the would play similar role in other Spaghettis , as ¨The return of Ringo¨ and others as ¨Adios Gringo¨, ¨Arizona Colt¨, ¨The price of power¨ , ¨Day of anger¨ and later ¨California¨. However, his first big opportunity came with the important Italian director, Luchino Visconti in ¨El Gatopardo¨ this was followed by important roles in &quot;Angelica&quot; , ¨Tenebre¨ , ¨Young Lions¨ and ¨The master touch¨. Then he played his most significant roles in ¨Il Deserto Dei Tartari¨ and ¨Il Prefetto Di Ferro¨ . In the movie appears habitual support actors as Spanish people : Miguel Bose , Paola Bose , Diana Lorys , as Italian secondaries : Chris Avram , Enzo Fiermonte , Franco Fantasia , Alfio Catabiano , Alberto Dell&#39;Acqua , Ottaviano Dell&#39;Acqua , Roberto Dell&#39;Acqua , Tom Felleghy , and , of course , the ordinary Robert Hundar . They are a lot of secondaries from B Italian series seen in several genres as Spaghetti Western and Peplum . It&#39;s a co-production Spanish-Italian and shot on location in Almeria , Spain , and Lazio , Rome . There are many fine technicians , as nice assistant direction , excellent production design by Carlo Simi , Sergio Leone&#39;s regular , and atmospheric cinematography by Alejandro Ulloa , he creates a magnificent scenario on the interior ranch and barren outdoors , scrawny villages as well as dirty landscapes under a glimmer sun . Adequate and sad music original by Gianni Ferrio in Spaghetti style . The musician composes a nice Spaghetti soundtrack and well conducted and including splendid leitmotif ; it&#39;s full of enjoyable sounds and emotive score .<br/><br/>This is one of the last and best Spaghettis and was compellingly directed by Michele Lupo who made all kinds of genres . Lupo directed various Bud Spencer vehicles as ¨Bulldozer¨ , ¨The Supersheriff¨, ¨Buddy go west¨, and ¨E.T. and the Supersheriff¨ . Lupo directed Giuliano Gemma , his fetish actor , in several films as ¨Master touch¨ with Kirk Douglas , ¨Stay away¨ with Amidou , ¨Arizona Colt¨ with Fernando Sancho and Nello Pazzafini and ¨California ¨ with William Berger and Romano Puppo. This is an acceptable entertaining juvenile that will appeal to Western buffs . Rating : essential and fundamental watching for for Giuliano Gemma fans. Rating : Above average Pasta Western . Well worth seeing .

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Reviewed by Bezenby 7

Dark, moody, angry, filty, windy, dusty, bloody Spaghetti Western that highlights the plight of the Confederate army following the end of the Civil War. Why would that be dark?<br/><br/>Guiliano Gemma is one such soldier. Just like the rest of them he&#39;s miles from home with no money and no job and one cigarette that he can only take one draw of a day. Gemma doesn&#39;t want anything to do with anyone, but ends up travelling with a young guy called Willy, who earned himself a medal for valour during the war and is now looking forward to heading home to his family.<br/><br/>It&#39;s not easy when everyone hates you. They also keep crossing paths with a bunch of ruthless bounty hunters who kill everyone they are tracking down (led by giant German Raimond Harmstorf, who is most famous for crushing a raw potato in his hand on television). A random fight with some relatives of a Yankee soldier lead to a sudden death and Gemma trying to find redemption.<br/><br/>The only light that shines through the darkness is when Gemma and Willy try to catch frogs for dinner, because after that it&#39;s short tempered gunfights and trekking across the land, hostage situations and the spectre of the war hanging over everyone. The stupidest thing about all this is that despite me watching The Master Touch, I was still taken aback by the ferocity of the fight between Romano Puppo and Gemma - they guys must have loved using each other&#39;s bodies to destroy things.<br/><br/>It&#39;s a shame that the Spaghetti Western died a death, because these late-era films are amongst the best. It&#39;s like directors like Fulci (Silver Saddle), Martino (Mannaja) and Lupo decided to pull out the stops give the best they could. Pity they couldn&#39;t save the genre. If you look at the films produced around this time that were more popular, sex comedies were top of the list.<br/><br/>Maybe they should have put some boobs in there.

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