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Blue Underground presents
Run, Man, Run (Corri, Uomo, Corri) (1968)

"I haven't done anything. I haven't seen anything. I wasn't there, señor. I wasn't there, believe me!"
- Cuchillo Sanchez (Tomas Milian)

Review By: Mark Zimmer  
Published: February 04, 2003

Stars: Tomas Milian, Donal O'Brien, Linda Veras, Jose Torres, John Ireland, Chelo Alonso
Other Stars: Marco Guglielmi, Edward Ross, Nello Pazzafini, Gianni Rizzo
Director: Sergio Sollima

Manufacturer: Ritek Digital Video
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (violence, minor language, some sensuality)
Run Time: 02h:00m:35s
Release Date: January 07, 2003
UPC: 014381193329
Genre: western


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- B+A-B B-

DVD Review

Although the liner notes for this disc make much of the film as a political Spaghetti Western with Marxist tendencies, put all thoughts of dreary political rhetoric out of your mind. Run, Man, Run has a little bit of this dreaded Message Syndrome, but only a very little, and for the most part is a hugely enjoyable Western farce that is nonstop entertainment.

During the presidency of Porfirio Diaz, "Cuchillo" Sanchez (Tomas Milian) is a Mexican thief and con man who is extremely skilled with knives, hence his nickname. When he winds up in jail with the poet Ramirez (Jose Torres), the poet reveals that he is a leader of the revolutionaries and that when he is released he will pay Cuchillo $100 to accompany him to Burton City, Texas, where the gold of Benito Juarez is hidden away. However, during a fracas Ramirez is killed. As he dies, Ramirez hands Cuchillo a bloodied newspaper as his only clue as to where the gold might be hidden. Cuchillo is soon pursued by renegade lawman Nathaniel Cassidy (Donal O'Brien), the bandit leader Riza (Nello Pazzafini), Penny Bannington, a Salvation Army sergeant (Linda Veras) and a pair of French assassins in league with Diaz—all of them after the gold—as well as Cuchillo's own vengeful girlfriend, Dolores (Chelo Alonso), who wants him to settle down, NOW. Also in the mix is John Ireland as Santillana, leader of the revolutionaries after Ramirez' death.

The results are often hilarious, with Milian playing Cuchillo's cowardly nature to the hilt as he whines and snivels his way out of scrape after scrape, or has to be rescued time and again from one set of pursuers by another. Milian plays the part of a rapscallion perfectly and is highly engaging. But the funniest bits are given to Chelo Alonso, who had made her name in the Italian pepla (think Steve Reeves). She takes the stereotype of the Mexican Spitfire and runs with it as far as is humanly possible, with superb comic timing and great flair. The scenes between Milian and Alonso are every one of them gems of a love/hate relationship. The supporting cast works well, with Donal O'Brien well cast as the grim stalker in Clint Eastwood mode. The Salvation Army angle is startling, but gives occasion to the one overtly political moment after the speech that opens the main titles. But even that is practically a satire of itself, as Cuchillo exhorts the peons of a border town to steal all their bread, as is their duty as honest citizens! At the same time, Cuchillo is torn between his own greed and wanting to try to do the right thing, giving the character some depth that makes the comedy all the richer.

The humor in this picture, a sequel to Sollima's The Big Gundown (1966), also starring Milian as Cuchillo, is a welcome relief after experiencing some of the gorier moments in Blue Underground's Spaghetti Western Collection box set. While there is still plenty of violence and some blood, it doesn't feature the gratuitous gore in which some of the other offerings are drenched. There are some highly striking visuals, such as Riza's pursuit of Cuchillo on horseback through deep snow. Another wild visual moment comes when the French have captured Cuchillo and strap him to the blade of a windmill in order to get him to reveal the location of the gold. There's some nifty creativity on view here.

The theme music (sung by Milian under the main titles, but also sung and whistled throughout the running time). As director Sollima notes in the documentary, this score is by Ennio Morricone, but for contractual reasons has been credited to Bruno Nicolai. I would classify it amongst the best of Morricone's scores. This DVD marks the film's first legitimate appearance in the USA, and it's a welcome addition to the Spaghetti Western library as a bit of the lighter side.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The transfer, restored from original materials, looks excellent for the most part. There are a few slightly rough spots with heavy speckling, but they're brief and infrequent. For the most part the picture is attractive with good detail and color. Some slight shimmer is visible on occasion, but there is no pixelation or edge enhancement visible. This looks great for its age.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, Italianyes


Audio Transfer Review: Judging from the lip movements, most of the cast here seems to have been speaking English on set, so the English dub is probably to be preferred over the Italian dub. But happily Blue Underground has provided both of them here for the viewer's consideration. The dialogue sounds fine on both tracks. The strings are a bit on the harshly bright side during the main theme, but hiss and noise are only nominal on both 2.0 mono tracks.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 27 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
Production Notes
2 Documentaries
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL
Layers Switch: 01h:25m:10s

Extra Extras:
  1. Poster and still gallery
  2. Italian main titles
Extras Review: A little more is provided here than on the other discs in the Spaghetti Western Collection. There's a good documentary (16m:37s) featuring 2002 interviews with Milian and director Sergio Sollima. Although taped separately, there's a bit of back and forth banter that's entertaining. Also here is a period documentary (37m:59s) called Western Italian Style, directed by Patrick Marin. This documentary features interviews with Sollima and Milian on the set of this picture, as well as Chuck Connors and several others making Spaghetti Westerns. Despite a somewhat patronizing voiceover marveling at American stars going to Italy to star in Westerns, the film is a valuable document for providing behind-the-scenes footage of Run, Man, Run, The Great Silence and Once Upon a Time in the West (though the latter is not referenced by name).

The liner notes that tend to overemphasize the political message are otherwise worthwhile, and for comparison's sake the main titles are also provided in Italian, which is a nice touch. The poster and still gallery is a little disappointing here, featuring but one still among a number of posters and lobby cards. Finally, there are substantial bios and selected filmographies for Sollima and Milian.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

A Spaghetti Western that manages to be funnier than most comedies, with a very good transfer and some nice extras to boot. A pleasing package for an unjustly neglected picture.

 


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