Tuesday, May 8, 2012
GONE WITH THE WEST (1975), TRINITY AND SARTANA (1972)
FRYEAN MYTHOS: *adventure*
CAMPBELLIAN FUNCTION: *sociological*
These two peculiar westerns are of relevance to this blog only because they throw in a couple of cartoonish violations of reality, which I file under the naturalistic mode of "delirious dreams and fallacious figments."
GONE WITH THE WEST, known under a couple of other titles, unites James Caan and Stephanie Powers in an American imitation of the then-waning "spaghetti westerns" in their most nihilistic phase. Caan and Powers both bear a grudge toward the boss of a corrupt town (Aldo Ray), and end up destroying both Ray and the whole town.
For a big finish, they shoot the cameraman too. About the only thing the film has going for it is that it sports one of the longest, most grueling female/female catfights in cinema.
TRINITY AND SARTANA bears no relation to either of the original Italian versions of these characters, but at least the film is an actual Italian production
Neither the character of "Trinity" (played by black actor Harry Baird, who explains his name by saying he's "from Trinidad") nor the character of "Sartana" have any resemblance to the ongoing franchises the Italians built around the names "Trinity" and "Sartana." The closest resemblance here is that TRINITY AND SARTANA imitates the knockabout farce-adventure seen in the "Trinity" films, rather than the violent, cynical tone adopted by the original "Sartana" films, which are more in the line of earlier spaghettis like those of "Django" and, of course, "the Man with No Name."
The film's one violation of reality is confined to an explosion that blows up several villains but does nothing but blacken the villain's faces and blow their clothes off, except for their longjohns.