Brothers Blue (1973)

Written by John Chard on February 10, 2017

Butch and Sundance, the Spaghetti Years.

Blu Gang e vissero per sempre felici e ammazzati (The Short and Happy Life of the Brothers Blue) is directed by Marc Meyer (AKA: Luigi Bazzoni) and written by Augusto Caminito. It stars Guido Mannari, Tina Aumont, Antonio Falsi, Jack Palance, Maurizio Bonuglia, Paul Jabara and Guido Lollobrigida. Filmed in Technospes Color, with music by Tony Renis and cinematography by Vittorio Storaro.

Determined bank guard Hillman (Palance) pursues the bank robbing Brothers Blue across the years as they make merry hell with care free abandon.

Strange Spaghetti Western that takes Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, sprinkles in some Bonnie and Clyde seasoning and finally dresses it up with a Peckinpah and Altman sauce. For the most part it struggles to make all the parts work, where quite often director Bazzoni gets confused as to just what sort of film he is making. However, some of the visual flourishes are worth the time spent with the movie, be it the shifts into black and white for reflective passages of the gang's life, or the use of slow motion and angled techniques, it's a picture not without technical merit.

It also features violence that hits the right notes by not being over grandiose and ridiculous, the makers clearly aiming for, and getting, a balletic quality to the carnage as the corruption and arrogance of youth in the Wild West is laid bare. Renis' musical score is, different, but pleasing, and the cast perform adequately as per the screenplay. Palance, it should be noted, is more a peripheral character, he's the cool looking sniper adorned ghost out in the wilderness hunting his prey, his dialogue and screen time minimal, so fans of his should not expect a "Palance" movie.

Fascinating Spaghetti Western that nods to its American Revisionist cousins, but ultimately it bites off more than it can chew. 6/10