Vivi o preferibilmente morti (1969)

Alive or Preferably Dead is also known as Sundance and the Kid and Sundance Cassidy and Butch the Kid, an attempt to win the audience of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It was directed by Duccio Tessari, who wrote A Fistful of Dollars and would go on to direct A Pistol for Ringo. Its story comes from Ennio Flaiano, who wrote ten movies with Fellini, and has a screenplay by Tessari and Giorgio Salvioni (The Tenth Victim).

In the U.S. version, everyone gets an American name: Giuliano Gemma is John Wade; Nino Benvenuti becomes Robert Neuman; Sydne Rome is Karen Blake and director Tessari is called Arthur Pitt.

Country mouse Ted Mulligan (Nino Benvenuti, a former boxer) and city mouse Monty (Giuliano Gemma) inherit $300,000 if they can live together for six months.As soon as Ted arrives, he insults local tough “Bad Jim” Williams (Robert Huerta) who responds by burning down his brother’s house. Soon, the two of them are doing odd jobs, including robbing banks and kidnapping Rossella (Sydne Rome, What?Some Girls Do) who they both fall for.

It’s all rather goofy and really a predecessor of the sillier Italian westerns that were soon to come riding into town.

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