Duck You Sucker

"If it’s a revolution, it’s confusion. Where there’s confusion, a man who knows what he wants stands a good chance of getting it."

Sergio Leone really wanted to produce his next film after his western opus Once Upon a Time in the West, but unfortunately, no one would have it. They wanted him in the director’s chair. His reticence, paired with his delay in taking the reins, perhaps reflect in the output of his film Duck, You Sucker!, aka A Fistful of Dynamite, aka Once Upon a Time… The Revolution. It’s messier than his other films. It feels a bit more disorganized. And it feels a bit more political, which is strange coming from a filmmaker saying he doesn’t want to be political in his films. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue celebrating Leone’s Once Upon a Time trilogy with his 1971 film, Duck, You Sucker!.

We talk about why this film feels so different from his others and parse out what works here and what doesn’t. We look at the cast – notably Rod Steiger and James Coburn – and chat about their bad accents and what else they’re bringing to the table. (We also dig into the casting process to look at how they each got their roles.) We look at Ennio Morricone’s score and argue about whether it works or not. And we talk about the shifting tones within the film and debate if it works the way it’s constructed.

It’s a frustrating yet enjoyable film and certainly is one that gives us a lot of fodder for conversation. Check out the movie then tune in to this week’s show! The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins.

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