The Mercenary | Chicago Reader

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Rated PG-13 · 105 minutes · 1968

A minor effort from Italian director Sergio Corbucci, this Zapata western (a subgenre of the spaghetti western) is set in Mexico during the revolution. Frequent Corbucci collaborator Franco Nero stars as the titular mercenary, who helps an idealistic rebel lead an uprising against a pathologically violent general and his henchmen. As one of the foremost genre aesthetes of his era, Corbucci is no stranger to stylistic excess. In this film, his camera is characteristically unencumbered—Corbucci never met a zoom lens he didn’t love—and his scenes of sadism, oddball humor, and hyperbolic political sentiment form a potent if uneven mixture of tones. Throughout his career, Corbucci’s ironic treatment of religion remained his most notable calling card; he shows it here in a scene where a Catholic procession turns into ruthless shootout. In Italian with English subtitles.
Director: Sergio Corbucci
Producer: Alberto Grimaldi
Cast: Franco Nero, Tony Musante, Jack Palance, Giovanna Ralli, Edorardo Fajardo, Remo De Angelis, Joe Camel, Franco Giacobini and Vicente Roca

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