Today: June 16, 2024

The Specialists

From Sergio Corbucci, the legendary director of Django, Navajo Joe, The Great Silence, Companeros and The Mercenary comes The Specialists, starring French music and film great Johnny Hallyday (The Man On The Train, Détective, Vengeance), Gastone Moschin (The Conformist, Caliber 9), and Françoise Fabian (Belle de Jour, My Night at Maud’s.) 

Notorious gunfighter Hud Dixon (Hallyday) arrives in Blackstone, a town where his brother was wrongfully accused of robbing a bank and lynched for it. As Hud seeks revenge, he starts to discover the truth behind the stolen loot, and has to contend with an idealistic sheriff, a beautiful and seductive female banker, a corrupt businessman and a one-armed Mexican bandit, who was once his friend. 

Made in 1969—arguably at the end of the spaghetti western ‘boom’—The Specialists is in many ways very typical of the genre, featuring a laconic hero, an town gone bad, and a nice line in anti-heroes. Yet while The Specialists is not as beautifully filmed or dramatically told as the likes of Fistful Of Dollars, it still delivers a host of memorable performances and some stand-out cinematic moments. The final shoot-out is worth the entrance fee alone.

Gorgeously filmed by Dario Di Palma (The Seduction of Mimi, The Oldest Profession) The Specialists is now available on blu-ray in new 4K restoration, available as part of the Eureka Classics range, bringing this much under-rated classic to a whole new audience. 

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Limited edition slipcase (first 2000).
  • 1080p presentation on Blu-ray from an incredible 4K restoration.
  • Restored Italian and French audio options.
  • Rarely heard English dub track.
  • Optional English subtitles.
  • Feature-length audio commentary by filmmaker Alex Cox.
  • A brand new and exclusive interview with Austin Fisher, author of Radical Frontiers in the Spaghetti Western: Politics, Violence and Popular Italian Cinema.
  • Trailer.
  • A limited edition collector’s booklet featuring new writing by western authority Howard Hughes on both the film, and the ‘French-western’ sub-genre.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email: writerpaula@icloud.com

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