Man, Pride, and Vengeance (1967) (Blu-ray Review)

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Man, Pride, and Vengeance (1967) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Luigi Bazzoni
Starring: Franco Nero, Tina Aumont, Klaus Kinski
Rated: UR/Region A/2:35/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Blue Underground

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When stalwart Spanish soldier Don Jose (Franco Nero of DJANGO) meets the stunningly beautiful Carmen (Tina Aumont of TORSO), he becomes instantly obsessed with the mysterious gypsy woman. After discovering she has cheated on him with his Lieutenant, Jose kills the officer during a brawl and flees the city. Forced to become a bandit, Jose partners with Carmen’s villainous husband Garcia (Klaus Kinski of FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE) to rob a stagecoach and prove his love for the seductive femme fatale. Also known as WITH DJANGO COMES DEATH, this unique ‘Spaghetti Western’ based on Prosper Merimee’s novella Carmen was co-written and directed by Luigi Bazzoni (THE FIFTH CORD) and beautifully lensed by Academy Award winning cinematographer Vittorio Storaro (APOCALYPSE NOW). Now Blue Underground is proud to present MAN, PRIDE AND VENGEANCE in a brand-new High Definition transfer from the original negative for the first time ever in North America

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Take a book that wasn’t really meant to be a Western, toss in Franco Nero, change the setting and make it a Western. Doing that will give you the film called; Man, Pride, and Vengeance! A movie that not only wasn’t originally meant to be a spaghetti western or even take place in the west, but also wasn’t meant to be a sequel to Django. It is another in the long line of sequels that weren’t official, but having Franco Nero in it at least added some more credit to the idea and it also added some credit to the movie and might be the best part of it. I’m not really use to see Nero play a character like this. Not so much of a bad-ass, but more of a love-sick fool. Then again, when the leading lady a character played by Tina Aumont who could blame him in a way? Regardless that woman named Carmen is the root of all the trouble for Franco’s character and if she’s really just using him or does she have real feelings for him is a question the movie makes us ask again and again. We even have Klause Kinski playing a bastard if we’ve ever seen one, be for a bit too limited of a time. They movie has a lot of what one would need to really be a masterpiece, but it seems like it does fall way short of coming close to that for a number of reasons. One of which being the miscasting of and waste of a few actors and their characters.

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The movie goes a few different ways and some of which might not have been the best choice of direction. There is a scene that has some pretty big impact on the film, but as I sit watching it during the day time, I found the clearly dark day for night shot a bit too dark for my taste and hard to see. Could this have just been where I was sitting? I’m not sure, but there is only one scene like this and it does have a major impact on the rest of the movie. The rest I can’t complain about as far as the looks of the movie go, but the story does bob when it should have weaved from time to time. At the end of the day Man, Pride, and Vengeance is certainly an awkward western. Nero is always great, but I don’t think he does his best work here. It isn’t the type of shoot em’ up western that one would hope for, as it really leans on the twisted love story of Nero and Aumont’s character and if there is anything real there or not. For a Spaghetti Western completest and Franco Nero fan, you will want to own this one just because, but it doesn’t rank up there with the better films of this type for me. It isn’t an awful or un-watchable movie by any means, but it just isn’t what I had hoped for going into it.

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Extras

– Audio Commentary with Journalists C. Courtney Joyner and Henry C. Parke
– Luigi, Vittorio & Franco – Interview with Star Franco Nero and Camera Operator Vittorio Storaro
– International Trailer
– Italian Trailer
– Poster & Still Gallery

Quality of Transfer: 84%

*Screenshots are not from the Blu-ray version*

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