Giuliano Gemma and boxer Paolo Benvenuti, the strangest duo in Italian westerns, in a hilarious ode to friendship that is full of adventure
From a screenplay by Ennio Flaiano, the man who wrote Fellini’s masterpieces
This films brings together one of the strangest pairings in the history of the Italian western: star of the genre Giuliano Gemma, with a considerable filmography already behind him, and boxer Paolo Benvenuti, fresh from winning the World Middleweight Title, making his debut in front of the camera. In addition to that, the screenplay (the title itself is a work or art “Alive or Preferably Dead”) is by Ennio Flaiano, one of the most lucid and cutting interpreters of Italian society, and a collaborator on the best of Fellini’s films. The resulting film is an ode to friendship and a no-nonsense western that keeps the entertainment flowing with its lively pace, adventurous air and carefree feel. Shootouts, stunts, and naturally a few good old punch-ups complete the menu. And to add some spice to the mix, Sydne Rome in one of her first big roles.
Two penniless cousin with completely different characters are obliged to spend six months together before they can get their hands on their rich uncle’s inheritance: they get involved in the world of crime; by chance, they become the heroes of a village; they have to deal with a gang of bandits… In the end, at least they will remain friends.