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Western films, from silent to today

They Call Me Hallelujah (1971)

They Call Me Hallelujah (1971) poster Mexican revolutionary Gen. Emiliano Ramirez (Roberto Camardiel) and several of his followers have been caught and are about to be executed by a firing squad when Hallelujah (George Hilton) unleashes one of his secret weapons, a portable sewing machine that doubles as a machine gun.

After all, there’s a deal to be made with Ramirez. And you can’t make a deal with a dead general.

The deal involves a fortune in jewels that are being brought in to pay for machine guns. Hallelujah wants the jewels; the general wants the machine guns. If he doesn’t get them, they’re destined to wind up in the hands of his enemy, Maximilian’s government forces.

The man with the machine guns is transplanted American gun-runner Johannes Krantz, who has a right-hand man named Fortune and a band of gunmen to enforce his will. They get involved in the search for the jewels, too.

So does Alexi Grand Duke Viosarevich Koperkin (Charles Southwood), who says he’s an agent of the Russian government, looking out for the interests of Maximilian. And so does a nun, Sister Anna Lee (Agata Flori). Though Hallelujah quickly begins to suspects she’s not a nun at all. But just who is she working for?

And where are those damn jewels? Eventually, Hallelujah decides an alliance with Alexi might be his best chance for finding out.

Review:

George Hilton took on the title role in the final Sartana film, and his character here looks much the same, a dressed-all-in-black gentleman with a mystery to solve and his eye on the fortune.

Ah, but the tone is even lighter, with Hallelujah and the Grand Duke using all sorts of clever tricks to almost effortlessly overcome outrageous odds, sometimes while engaging in casual conversation.

In one scene, the Grand Duke is being tortured so he’ll spill what he knows. Supposedly out of his mind, he hops to his feet and starts doing a Russian dance. And knocks out his assailants with a few well-place kicks. He also has a stringed instrument called a balalaika the fires explosives in a pinch.

As for our nun, she keeps getting herself into jams. At one point, she’s tied up with her cheek pressed again the opening of a jar that holds a scorpion. But, inevitably, someone comes to the rescue.

George Hilton as Hallelujah in They Call Me Hallelujah (1971)

George Hilton as Hallelujah in They Call Me Hallelujah (1971)

Charles Southwood as Alexi Grand Duke Viosarevich Koperkin in They Call Me Hallelujah (1971)

Charles Southwood as Alexi Grand Duke Viosarevich Koperkin in They Call Me Hallelujah (1971)

Directed by:
Giuliano Carnimeo
as Anthony Ascot

Cast:
George Hilton … Hallelujah
Charles Southwood … Alexi Grand Duke Viosarevich Koperkin
Agata Flori … Sister Anna Lee
Roberto Camardiel … Gen. Emiliano Ramirez
Paolo Gozlino … Fortune
Aldo Barberito … Father Victoriano Pacheco
Linda Sini … Gertrude
Andrea Bosic … Johannes Krantz
Franco Pesce … Ebenezer
Federico Boido … Slocum
as Rick Boyd
Fortunato Arena … Yucca sheriff

Runtime: 96 min.

aka
Deep West
Guns for Dollars
Heads I Kill You, Tails You’re Dead
Heads You Die, Tails I Kill You
Testa t’ammazzo, croce… sei morto… Mi chiamano Alleluja

Score: Stevio Massi

Roberto Camardiel as Gen. Emiliano Ramirez in They Call Me Hallelujah (1971)

Roberto Camardiel as Gen. Emiliano Ramirez in They Call Me Hallelujah (1971)

Agata Flori as Sister Anna Lee in They Call Me Hallelujah (1971)

Agata Flori as Sister Anna Lee in They Call Me Hallelujah (1971)

Memorable lines:

Hallelujah, after rescuing Sister Anna Lee from being threatened with a scorpion: “At least we don’t have to worry about scorpions here. Of course, what keeps them away is the rattlesnakes.”

Hallelujah, settling down in a cave with Sister Anna Lee: “Figure it this way, a burial cave is still a step or two above hell.”

Mexican captain, trying to coerce Hallelujah to talk: “I’ll tell you what will happen if you don’t. First, I will tie you up like the pig that you are. Then I will shove an apple in your mouth. We’re going to have roast gringo!”

Alexi Grand Duke Viosarevich Koperkin, after rescuing Sister Anna Lee: “Fear not, innocent dove. The vultures have lost their feathers.”

Fortune: “Why’d you give him (Hallelujah) your word, Krantz?”
Krantz: “Because, my dear Fortune, it isn’t worth a damn.”

Krantz: “We’re going to do business today with Ramirez. The general is expecting to buy machine guns. However, we’re only going to give him the bullets.”

Andrea Bosic as Johannes Krantz in They Call Me Hallelujah (1971)

Andrea Bosic as Johannes Krantz in They Call Me Hallelujah (1971)

Paolo Gozlino as Fortune in They Call Me Hallelujah (1971)

Paolo Gozlino as Fortune in They Call Me Hallelujah (1971)

Trivia:

The very next year, Hilton, Camardiel and director Giuliano Carnimeo were back with “The Return of Hallelujah.” Agata Flori also appeared in that film, though in a different role.

Giuliano Carnimeo directed four of the five official Sartana films and 24 movies overall. Twelve of the first 13 were Spaghetti Westerns.

Aldo Barberito as Father Victorio Pacheo in They Call Me Hallelujah (1971)

Aldo Barberito as Father Victorio Pacheo in They Call Me Hallelujah (1971)

Franco Pesce as Ebenezer in They Call Me Hallelujah (1971)

Franco Pesce as Ebenezer in They Call Me Hallelujah (1971)

Federico Boido as Slocum with his torture scorpion Horace in They Call Me Hallelujah (1971)

Federico Boido as Slocum with his torture scorpion Horace in They Call Me Hallelujah (1971)

Agata Flori as Lt. Donovan in They Call Me Hallelujah (1971)

Agata Flori as Lt. Donovan in They Call Me Hallelujah (1971)

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