Double Josephs + Ennio

26 02 2008

This weekend (on Saturday actually), I had the great pleasure of watching 2 great Joseph Cotten movies with the gf. She is a big Cotten fan, and before this weekend I was just indifferent about the man but all thats changed now thanks to The Third Man and Hellbenders. If your keeping score, this is the second time I finally saw a film classic at the insistence of my girlfriend (and also Darcy James Argue), and the second time I can say (type) WTF! The Third Man was a great mystery about Holly Martin (Joseph Cotten), who goes to Vienna to meet with an old friend, only to find out that this friend recently is involved in much illegal activity, and he’s probably dead! Cotten always keeps it interesting, and could definitely carry the film by himself, but his “old friend” Orson Welles nearly steals the show. The amazing Zither score also helped this movie along. Great great stuff.

Next is Hellbenders. This is an Italian Western by Sergio Corbucci that tells the tale of a Confederate soldier (Cotten) after the Civil War who leads his sons on a mission to steal money and smuggle it back to their home by hiding it in a coffin. This movie is a total turn around from The Third Man in many ways. Now Cotten is the (real) bad guy, and the movie consists of watching his whole scheme slowly fail. It’s an interesting way to frame a movie and would not have worked without the acting powers of Mr. Cotten combined with the amazing Leo Nichols AKA Ennio Morricone (thats right, he went by “Leo Nichols” in the American credits). I’m kind of obsessed with the score for this film, which is why I adapted the main theme and a couple other parts into the Glows in the Dark cover version I Crudeli. But anyway, like Corbucci’s great film Django, we get to see a body-less coffin serve as a means of ruining lives. It’s definitely not your typical plot device and so repeating it in this film is less about rehash and more about a creative choice being examined from a different perspective. Just for the sake of things that sound awesome, here is Ennio Morricone’s title music from The Hellbenders/I Crudeli. Enjoy!

I Crudeli (from The Hellbenders Soundtrack)

Also, my gf has been embarking on an even larger Cotten journey on her blog!

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