Hannie Caulder is a 1971 British Western film. The film was directed by Burt Kennedy and starred Raquel Welch, Robert Culp and Ernest Borgnine. The screenplay was rewritten by Kennedy, who was not credited.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Burt Kennedy|
|Produced by||Patrick Curtis|
|Screenplay by||Burt Kennedy|
(as Z.X. Jones)
|Story by||Peter Cooper|
by Ian Quicke
|Music by||Ken Thorne|
|Edited by||Jim Connock|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
Hannie Caulder (Raquel Welch) is a frontier wife, living with her husband at a horse station between towns in the American West. After a disastrous bank raid, the inept Clemens brothers gang arrive at the station. They murder Caulder's husband, gang-rape her, burn down her house and leave her for dead. The brothers go on a crime spree, while Caulder recruits bounty hunter Thomas Price (Robert Culp) to help her get revenge by training her to be a gunfighter. The pair travel to Mexico to have gunsmith Bailey (Christopher Lee) build her a specialized revolver, to be a fast draw specialist. When bandidos surround the house, a gun battle erupts but Hannie is unable to kill a man face to face. Price recommends she give up her quest for revenge but she refuses, telling him to get out and that she was only using him and doesn't need him any more. He leaves, telling her she's a bad liar.
As he goes, Price sees the Clemens brothers arrive in town. His attempt to take down Frank goes awry, because Emmet throws a knife into Price's belly, mortally wounding him. Hannie goes after them, killing Frank (Jack Elam) in a whorehouse. The two brothers swear revenge on her but she gets Rufus (Strother Martin) in a store when he tries to kill her. Hannie lures Emmett (Ernest Borgnine) to an old prison for a showdown and almost meets the same fate as Price but Emmett's attempt to throw a knife into her back is thwarted by the Preacher, who shoots it from his hand. Hannie kills Emmett face to face but realizes that Price was right: taking revenge will change her forever.
Patrick Curtis, then married to Raquel Welch, met with Tony Tenser of Tigon British Film Productions with a view to obtaining funding for a movie starring Welch. Curtis proposed a horror movie or a Western; Tenser, who had always wanted to make a Western, picked that. Tigon put up 100% of the budget, while Curtwel (Curtis and Welch's production company) put up their services. Neither Curtis nor Welch took a salary, instead taking profit participation. Before Hannie Caulder was released, Tigon and Curtwel co-produced The Sorcerers (1967), a horror film starring Boris Karloff. Thus, Curtis and Tenser did team up for both a western and a horror film.
It was the third film from Curtwel, following A Swingin' Summer and The Beloved.
Robert Culp was signed to co star in December 1970.
Burt Kennedy and the cast were reportedly not paid after the first two weeks of filming, causing tension on set.
Fast-draw artist Rodd Redwing was a technical adviser to the film, working with Robert Culp. Redwing suffered a heart attack on the plane returning from the filming in Spain and died shortly after landing in Los Angeles.
Hannie Caulder opened in London on November 8, 1971.
On 8 September 1971, the British Board of Film Classification announced that the film would receive a AA certificate rating. It is currently a 15 certificate first applied on video in November 1988.
The film was released on VHS. A DVD was issued in the united Kingdom in 2006 with no extra features. It was reissued in 2010 on anamorphic widescreen with theatrical trailer and stills gallery as extra features. A 2011 Blu-ray edition was released in the U.S. (region 1) with no bonus material.
The film performed well at the UK box office and was reasonably successful in the United States.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating based on 2 reviews, with an average rating of 4/10. In contemporary reviews, the Monthly Film Bulletin described the film as "a disappointing Western" that was an "uneasy course between parody and imitation in an unlikely amalgam of The Wild Bunch and One Million Years B.C., with the odd nod to Myra Breckinridge." The review noted the lack of dialogue from Welch and that the Clemens brothers in the film are allowed some "rather tedious verbal horseplay". However, recent retrospectives and reviews, as in Filmmaker Magazine, saw the film as a fascinating bridge between the classical period, represented by John Ford and John Wayne, and the postmodern age of Peckinpah, Corbucci, and Leone. A bouillabaisse of elements that should not work together but do —lyricism, graphic violence, moral contemplation, broad humour, feminist inquiry — it is a masterful hybrid of tried and true Hollywood conventions and the more confrontational style of the Italian Westerns that supplanted American oaters in the mainstream consciousness.
Quentin Tarantino said the film was one of his inspirations for Kill Bill. "Why I love Hannie Caulder so much is Robert Culp. He is so magnificent in that movie. I actually think there's a bit of similarity between Sonny Chiba and Uma (in Kill Bill) and Raquel Welch and Robert Culp in Hannie Caulder."
The character "Price" from the film was the inspiration for the character "Captain Price" from the game series Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 1,2,3. In the beginning of "Modern Warfare 1" Captain Price teaches the gamers (similar to Price teaching Hannie Caulder) how to shoot. At the end in Modern Warfare 3 the game ends with the character "Yuri" getting a knife through his body like "Price" did at the end of the film. The characters Price and Captain Price have very similar looks as well and the same goes MacTavish who looks like Bailey. Also notable are the three villains in the movie and three villains in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 1,2,3 that have quite similar looks.
- Dawson, Jan (1971). "Hannie Caulder". Monthly Film Bulletin. Vol. 38 no. 444. London: British Film Institute. pp. 220–221.
- Greenspun, Roger (1971). "Hannie Caulder". The New York Times.
- p. 147 Joyner, C. Courtney Burt Kennedy Interview in The Westerners: Interviews with Actors, Directors, Writers and Producers McFarland
- John Hamilton, Beasts in the Cellar: The Exploitation Film Career of Tony Tenser, Fab Press 2005 p 194-198, 218-221
- Raquel Welch the Wife of Patrick Curtis, Not Svengali: Movies Raquel Married to Patrick Curtis, Not Svengali Johnson, Patricia. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] March 21, 1971: q1.
- MOVIE CALL SHEET: Culp, Raquel 'Caulder' Stars Martin, Betty. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] December 21, 1970: i19.
- Jonathan Rigby, Christopher Lee: The Authorised Screen History, Reynolds & Hearn 2001 p 143
- Wayne's Film Fans: They Don't Forget Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] May 19, 1971: h12.
- "Hannie Caulder". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
- HANNIE CAULDER (1971) - British Board of Film Classification
- Hannie Caulder | Blu-ray | United States | Olive Films | 1971 | 85 min | Rated R | Jul 05, 2011
- "Hannie Caulder - (1971)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
- Hemphill, Jim. (December 30, 2016). Jim Hemphill’s Best Blu-rays of 2016. Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
- Gerald Peary, Quentin Tarantino: Interviews, Revised and Updated Univ. Press of Mississippi, October 17, 2013 p 119