The White, the Yellow and the Black (1975)

Also known as Samurai and Shoot First… Ask Questions Later, this is the last Italian Western that Sergio Corbucci would make after a career that brought the world DjangoThe Great SilenceCompaneros and The Hellbenders. It is the gateway to his next career of making comedy films, often with Adriano Celentano and Terence Hill, such as 1980’s Super Fuzz.

I was wondering how this movie got away with such a racist Japanese interpretation, with Tomas Milian playing an Asian man named Sakura in the ost stereotypical way possible. I hate to say, “It was a 1975 exploitation movie made in Italy,” but you can also explain that this is a parody of the much bigger film, 1971’s Bronson and Mifune vehicle Red Sun.

Long story short, a Japanese horse that was to be given to the government of the United States is stolen and Sheriff Edward “Blackjack” Gideon (Eli Wallach), outlaw Blanc de Blanc (‘Giuliano Gemma, Ringo himself) and Sakura have to get it back.

Milian must have liked playing this role, because he brought it back for the movie Delitto al Ristorante Cinese, the eighth chapter in the Nico Giraldi film series, which was also directed by Corbucci. Also — keep an eye out for Mirta Miller as a redhead in the saloon.

There’s a cute moment at the beginning of the film as the Sheriff and his wife have an argument and she replies, “For a fistful of dollars. For a miserable fistful of dollars that are not even already your share! At least I did that for a few dollars more… but “vamos a matar”, compañeros! Always around in the good, the bad and the ugly times! Head down, dear; you’re at the day of reckoning, now!” If you get the joke, you’re my kind of person.

You can watch this on Amazon Prime.

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