DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

DEAF SMITH & JOHNNY EARS (LOS AMIGOS) (director/writer: Paolo Cavara; screenwriters: Oscar Saul/Harry Essex/Lucia Brudi/Augusto Finocchi; cinematographer: Toninio Delli Colli; editor: Mario Morra; music: Daniele Patucchi; cast: Anthony Quinn (Erastus "Deaf" Smith), Franco Nero (Johnny Ears ), Pamela Tiffen (Susie the hooker), Ira von Fürstenberg (Hester McDonald Morton), Franco Graziosi (General Morton), Francesca Benedetti (Ms. Porter, madame), Adolfo Lastretti (Williams), Antonino Faà di Bruno (The Senator); Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Joseph Janni/Luciano Perugia; MGM; 1973)

"It plays out as a listless spaghetti western."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An unbearably dull buddy western with fictionalized historical references. It's awkwardly directly by Paolo Cavara ("Mondo Cane"/"Women of the World"/"Black Belly of the Tarantula") and written like mush by Cavara, Oscar Saul, Harry Essex, Lucia Brudi and Augusto Finocchi. The comedy is forced, the story is absurd and the action comes too late in the third act. It plays out as a listless spaghetti western.

In !836 Texas is a Republic and Sam Houston its president. A General Morton (Franco Graziosi), with German backing, violently thwarts Houston's efforts to become an American state and schemes to become the Republic's dictator. Houston hires his chief spy, the deaf mute, Erastus "Deaf" Smith (Anthony Quinn), to spy on the enemies of the Republic. Smith brings along for a companion the young Spanish gunslinger Johnny Ears (Franco Nero). The odd duo locate Morton's well-armed garrison and blow it up.

Pamela Tiffen woodenly plays a brothel whore, who runs away with Nero.

REVIEWED ON 4/23/2015       GRADE: C

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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