VIDEO ARCHIVES WEEK: Sonny and Jed (1972)

VIDEO ARCHIVES NOTES: This movie was discussed on the January 17, 2023 and January 24, 2023 episodes of the Video Archives podcast and can be found on their site here.

Quentin Tarantino has referred to Sergio Corbucci as the second-best director of Italian westerns, but he didn’t choose to remake any of Leone’s movies, you know?

Corbucci was joined by a veritable posse of writers for this movie, including Sabatino Ciuffini (Super FuzzThe Fourth Victim), Mario Amendola (Cannon’s AladdinThe Great Silence), Adriano Bolzoni (Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the KeySilver Saddle), José María Forqué and Ángel Pageo.

Jed (Thomas Milian) robs from the rich, gives to the poor and treats the woman who loves him, Sonny (Susan George), like dirt. She dreams of him marrying her, which he does, but still abuses her. Anyways, he’s on the run from Sheriff Franciscus (Telly Savalas) when he isn’t trying to woo Linda (Rosanna Yanni, Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror) the wife of land baron Don Garcia (Eduardo Fajardo), who has what he really wants: more money.

Look, I get that Rosanna Yanni is buxom and gorgeous, but the idea that Susan George is seen as an ugly duckling quite frankly makes this movie into science fiction.

Actually, it’s difficult to like Jed, because he started his relationship by assaulting Sonny and now he demands that she always stays three feet behind him and even kneel in subjugation to him. She falls in love and cries every time he treats her horribly and you just want to scream at the screen. And this is the hero!

How often can you hear someone call a woman lower than a dog before you start to wish that Telly Savalas blows his brains out?

I mean, this is the movie that George made after Straw Dogs, Did every casting director say, “This movie has a ton of rape in it. Call Susan George?”

That said, the Morricone soundtrack is great and I’m always fascinated by K-Tel Records starting a studio and distributing movies. They started by selling greatest hits albums and products like the Record Selector, the Veg-O-Matic and the Miracle Brush. In 1970, they started bringing foreign films to North America, including Mr. SuperinvisibleShowdown In Little Tokyo and A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die. K-Tel still exists today, but instead of TV sold products, they make their money by outright owning songs like “What I Like About You” by The Romantics, “Tutti Frutti” by Little Richard and “Surfin’ Bird” by The Trashmen.

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