Saturday, February 24, 2018

RIP Christian Rode

German film, radio, actor, voice dubber Christian Rode died in Berlin on February 20th, He was 81 years-old. Born in Hamburg, Germany on July 20, 1936 he first appeared on stage and then worked his way to film and television. Beginning in the 1960s he reinforced his career by becoming a voice dubber. He can be heard giving his German voice ot such actors as Michael Caine, David Carradine, Craig T. Nelson, Robert Culp, Christopher Plummer, Barry Bostwick and Dennis Farina. He was also the successor in 1985 of Wolfgang Kieling as spokesman for Bert on the "Sesame Street". Rode appeared in two Euro-westerns: “Thunder at the Border” (1966) and was also the voice of Boris Dvornikand in the 1968 TV western “Wind in den Zweigen des Sassafras” as Carlos. Rode's voice can also be heard in

Ringo, the Face of Revenge – 1967 [German voice of Anthony Steffen], A Coffin Full of Dollars – 1971 [German voice of Jeff Cameron], The Hills Run Red – 1966 [German voice of Thomas Hunter], Return of the Seven – 1966 [German voice of Fernando Rey], The White, the Yellow, the Black – 1975 [German voice of Jacques Berthier] and also the voice of Adam West in the New Zorro TV series 1990-1992.

Who Are Those Composers? ~ The De Angelis Brothers

The De Angelis brothers were born in Rocca di Papa, near Rome, Italy.

Guido De Angelis on December 22, 1944, and Maurizio De Angelis on February 22, 1947. Their musical career started in 1963, when, after successfully publishing an LP, they became arrangers for RCA Italiana. Their success led to many more albums in which they composed, arranged, and sang their music.

The De Angelis brothers were among the most prolific Italian musicians of the 1970s. In fact, they were forced to use different names for many of their projects to avoid over-saturating the market. One of these was Oliver Onions, which eventually became the name they were mostly identified with. Another name they recorded under was Juniper.

Although they released many standalone albums, it is for their soundtrack work for which the De Angelis brothers are best known. Out of their many scores, which includes the main theme for the 1983 Italian cult movie “Yor, the Hunter from the Future”, undoubtedly the most famous and popular are those composed for the Terence Hill and Bud Spencer comedies. Their song ‘Dune Buggy’ for the film “Watch Out, We're Mad” reached the top of the charts in Europe.

They are also known for their work on animated series, having composed original songs for Italian-dubbed anime (such as “Doraemon”, “Ashita no Joe” and “Galaxy Express 999”) and European series (such as “Around the World with Willy Fog”).

They composed the  music also for title song of Sandokan series, which was based on the novel E. Salgari.

They are also famous for writing and composing the themes to “Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds” and “Bobobobs”.

De ANGELIS, Guido e Maurizio (De ANGELIS, Guido [12/22/1944, Rocca di Papa, Lazio, Italy -     ], De ANGELIS, Maurizio [2/22/1947, Rocca di Papa, Lazio, Italy -     ] – producers composers, songwriters, musicians (guitar), singers.
Trinity Is STILL My Name!* – 1971
Man of the East* - 1972 [as Oliver Onions]
The Sting of the West* – 1972
Chino* – 1973
Karate, Fists and Beans – 1973 [as Juniper]
Spaghetti Western – 1975
Trinity, the Clown, the Guitar – 1975
The White, the Yellow, the Black – 1975
Zorro* – 1975
Keoma* – 1976
A Man Called Blade* – 1977
Arrivano i Vostro (TV) - 1983
Doc West (TV) – 2008
Triggerman (TV) – 2008
My Name is Bud – 2011
My Name is Carlo – 2011

* Available on CD

Special Birthdays

Al Lettieri (actor) would have been 90 today, he died in 1975.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Spaghetti Western Trivia ~ Romance on the set of Starblack

Robert Woods had gotten his start in Spaghetti Westerns the year before with “Five Thousand Dollars on One Ace” and “The Man from Canyon City.” “Starblack is one of four Spaghetti westerns he made in 1966. The leading lady of “Starblack” was beautiful Elga Andersen as Caroline Williams. This marked the only Spaghetti western for Andersen, who started working in films with small roles in 1957 and was the top-billed female in Steve McQueen’s 1971 racing film, “Le Mans”. An on screen romance sparked between Woods and Andersen which carried on for some time off the screen as well. 

For All the Dollars ~ Part 6 “A Day of Anger”


Day of Anger (1967), Tonino Valerii
            If Death Rides a Horse wasn’t enough to satisfy, and you wish to see another spaghetti western where payback is overdue, Day of Anger is a great choice.
            Once again, Lee Van Cleef takes the lead as Frank Talby, an opportunist who strolls into the quiet town of Clifton to set up his own casino. But there are a couple of criminals and corrupted town officials that he must bring down. Things seem a bit okay for Talby though, when he receives a welcome from social outcast Scott Mary (Giuliano Gemma). And this outcast becomes a very big ally in Talby's ambitions in town.
            Scott Mary is the town street sweeper and trash collector, and therefore treated as something unclean. Wishing to become someone big and important with a sense of acceptance, he finds opportunity when Talby shows him compassion and puts a revolver in his hand. And since Talby’s opponents are the same bullies of Scott Mary, it’s safe to assume that this whole town is about to erupt like a volcano.
            Yet, payback isn’t the only thing that makes this story so interesting. In a world where trust can be defined by the type of gun somebody puts in your hand, things may not be what they seem between Talby and Scott Mary. Spaghetti westerns were known for reshaping the western genre by featuring more anti-heroic characters. Day of Anger blurs the line between who is good and who is bad. The chemistry between the characters is superb, backed up with flawless acting by Van Cleef and Gemma.
            Day of Anger is noted for its own revenge theme, character development, and music by Riz Ortolani, whose musical reputation goes beyond spaghetti westerns. It also started a common “tutorship” theme where a younger gun seeks the tutelage of an older gun. Talby certainly has a lot of lessons for Scott Mary, one of them being that once you start killing, you can't stop. Such lessons turn out to be true, as Clifton is put on a path to gunfire and destruction.
            Day of Anger is a .45 colt pistol that shoots a powerful bullet. Definitely don’t get between it and its target.
Trivia: Aside from spaghetti westerns, composer Riz Ortolani has achievements in a variety of genres, including Italian giallo, Eurospy, exploitation, and mondo. In 1962, he earned a Grammy award and Academy Award nomination for the song “More,” which appeared in the movie, Mondo Cane. His music has been used in modern video games such as Grand Theft Auto: London 1969, and in movies like Kill Bill, Drive, and Django Unchained.

Lives in Rockaway Borough

He's a 2013 graduate of Centenary College (now Centenary University) in Hackettstown, NJ

He currently work as a freelance reporter

Anthony is an avid movie fan, reader, and lover of arts and entertainment. I've attended and covered music concerts, art exhibits, festivals, parades, book readings, library lectures, and even a movie premiere in Parsippany and a movie shooting in Roxbury.

[Continued next week]