Saturday, June 9, 2012
Movie Review: Boot Hill (1969)
A mixture of Italian artistry with western grime, Boot Hill sparkles in patches with clever editing and brash juxtapositions. A muddled story and rather limp climax take some of the shine off.
The third instalment in the loose trilogy that started with God Forgives...I Don't! (1967) and continued with Ace High (1968), Boot Hill was later re-released and falsely marketed as part of the more famous (and less gritty) Trinity series. In Boot Hill, Terence Hill and Bud Spencer still have an edge, with violence and ruthlessness to the fore and any attempts at comedy kept well in control. The result is more serious and closer to the original Spaghetti Western ethic.
Otherwise, Boot Hill has relatively little to offer in terms of drama and compelling plot. The entire miners-under-threat narrative is hurriedly dropped into the film and bungled in terms of building any tension, resulting in a climax that fails to captivate.
Terence Hill provides a reminder that he was quite effective, if less popular, as a serious and dangerous western persona. Bud Spencer makes a late appearance and leaves hardly any impact, while Woody Strode shines in a relatively rare opportunity as an almost leading man. Strode's dominating physical presence was generally underutilized in the movies, and Boot Hill benefits from unleashing him to cause some serious damage.
Boot Hill climbs about halfway up the hill, enjoys a reasonable view, but is held back by some clumsy boots.
All Ace Black Blog Movie Reviews are here.