They Call Me Trinity
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They Call Me Trinity (Italian: Lo chiamavano Trinità...) is a 1970 Italian Spaghetti Western comedy film written and directed by Enzo Barboni (under the pseudonym of E.B. Clucher) and produced by Italo Zingarelli. The English version was written by Gene Luotto.
|They Call Me Trinity
(Lo chiamavano Trinità...)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||E.B. Clucher|
|Produced by||Italo Zingarelli|
|Screenplay by||E.B. Clucher
|Music by||Franco Micalizzi|
|Edited by||Giampiero Giunti|
|Distributed by||Delta (Italy)
AVCO Embassy Pictures (US, theatrical)
The film stars Terence Hill and Bud Spencer as two brothers, Trinity and Bambino, who help defend a Mormon settlement from Mexican bandits and the henchman of the land-grabbing Major Harriman. It was filmed on location in Lazio, Italy with financial backing from West Film. The film's theme song, "Trinity (Titoli)", was written by Franco Micalizzi and Lally Stott, and performed by David King, Alessandro Alessandroni, and I Cantori Moderni.
They Call Me Trinity received generally positive reviews, and a sequel entitled Trinity Is Still My Name was released in 1971. Spencer and Hill would go on to star together in numerous Spaghetti Western films, up until Botte di Natale in 1994.
Trinity, a lazy, ne'er-do-well gunfighter with an unnaturally fast drawing ability and marksmanship, is dragged on a travois by his horse to a way station and restaurant. There, he encounters a pair of bounty hunters with an injured Mexican prisoner. Trinity calmly takes the Mexican away from the two men, killing them before they can shoot him in the back. The pair reach a small town, where they witness the local sheriff, a large, burly man with a similarly fast drawing ability to Trinity, gunning down three men after they harass him for not allowing one of their criminal friends to be released.
It becomes apparent that Trinity and the man, Bambino, are brothers. Bambino is merely posing as the new sheriff of the small town while he awaits the arrival of his gang from the penitentiary from which he escaped, following a run-in with the actual sheriff who incidentally took the same way as Bambino on his way to his new post. Bambino is not happy to see his trouble-making brother. However, the two form a temporary partnership to deal with Major Harriman, who is attempting to run a group of pacifist Mormon farmers off their land with the intention of using their property to graze his own horses. The fact that these horses are valuable and unbranded explains Bambino's grudging willingness to work with his little brother, even though he considers Trinity to be a shiftless bum without ambition.
However, Trinity has fallen in love with two Mormon sisters and is genuinely concerned with the Mormon settlers' welfare. He persuades Bambino and Bambino's henchmen to help train the pacifistic Mormons to fight, and in the final battle, the Mormon leader finds in the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible that "there is a time for fighting," and the Mormons are unleashed against Major Harriman's goons, using the dirty fighting tricks they have just learned.
Bambino is flabbergasted and infuriated to learn that Trinity has given the Major's horses to the Mormons. Trinity is about to be happily married to the two Mormon sisters when he learns that being a married Mormon means actually having to work, causing him to hurry after Bambino, who angrily sends him off in the opposite direction. After Bambino departs for California, the real sheriff appears, and Trinity points him in Bambino's direction. Trinity then reclines in his travois and brings up the rear with his horse, following them all.
- Terence Hill as Trinity, "The Right Hand of the Devil"
- Bud Spencer as Bambino, "The Left Hand of the Devil"
- Farley Granger as Major Harriman
- Steffen Zacharias as Jonathan
- Dan Sturkie as Tobias
- Gisela Hahn as Sarah
- Elena Pedemonte as Judith
- Ezio Marano as Weasel
- Luciano Rossi as Timid
- Michele Cimarosa as Drunken Mexican
- Ugo Sasso as Sheriff Zoppo
- Remo Capitani as Mezcal
- Riccardo Pizzuti as Jeff
- Paolo Magalotti as Harriman Henchman
- Antonio Monselesan as Bounty Hunter
- Gaetano Imbrò as Blond Bounty Hunter
- Gigi Bonos as Ozgur, the Bartender
The original actors attached to the film were Peter Martell as Trinity and George Eastman as Bambino. Terence Hill and Bud Spencer were eventually cast, and Hill's young son Jess portrays a Mormon baby who is seen sitting on Trinity's knee. The film was shot in Lazio, Italy, and was financed by the Italian-based company West Film. The town set was filmed at Incir-De Paolis Studios near Rome, while the Mormon valley was filmed at Parco Dei Monti Simbruini and the waterfall scene was shot at Treja Valley Park.
The main title song "Trinity (Titoli)" was written by Franco Micalizzi and Lally Stott, and sung by David King, featuring whistling performed by Alessandro Alessandroni and backup vocals by Alessandroni's choir I Cantori Moderni. King is billed as "Annibale" on Italian soundtrack releases. The song was included on the soundtrack to the 2012 Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained.
A sequel, Trinity Is Still My Name, was released in 1971 and proved to be an even bigger success. Terence Hill and Bud Spencer would pair up in over a dozen other films, using the formula of brawls and jokes established in the Trinity films. Several of Hill's and Spencer's Westerns made prior to Trinity were re-released in the United States to take advantage of their popularity, with Boot Hill (1969) being marketed as Trinity Rides Again.
Howard Thompson of The New York Times praised the film's sense of humour, as did critic Roger Ebert, the latter of whom gave the film two-and-a-half out of possible four stars. In a review published by Time Out, the film is called "first and best in the 'Trinity' series of spaghetti Westerns, rare in that it is successful in combining laughter and some degree of interest in the action". In his book Once Upon a Time in the Italian West: The Filmgoers' Guide to Spaghetti Westerns, author Howard Hughes writes "They Call Me Trinity is Hill and Spencer’s finest vehicle".
Differences in various versionsEdit
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In the English version, the scenes where a man on a horse rides past Bud Spencer have the exchange "good evening sheriff" with Spencer grumbling "shut up" whilst the Italian version is silent. The Italian version has the two Mormon women quote suggestive Biblical dialogue to seduce Hill that is not in the English version. The English version adds a loud clap of thunder when the head Mormon remarks about God helping them through sending them the two brothers to protect them whilst the thunder is not on the Italian soundtrack.
They Call Me Trinity was in the public domain until 1996 (due to the Uruguay Round Agreements Act), and hence most video releases were of a poor quality. Hen's Tooth Video officially released this film and its sequel on DVD in the US on September 4, 2007. Both are new digital transfers from the original negatives, but there are complaints that some scenes are missing from the sequel. The Hen's Tooth Video release also features interlacing due to using pulldown to take the PAL digibeta transfer and put in an NTSC format. The PAL digibeta should have only been given to DVD companies who use said format. The film was released on Blu-Ray in late 2013 in Germany.
- Hughes, Howard (May 25, 2006). Once Upon a Time in the Italian West: The Filmgoers' Guide to Spaghetti Westerns. I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1850438960.
- "Django Unchained - Original Soundtrack". AllMusic. December 18, 2012. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
- Maltin, Leonard (August 2003). Movie and Video Guide (2004 ed.). New York: Signet. p. 160. ISBN 0-451-20940-0.
- Howard Thompson (May 11, 1972). "The Screen:'They Call Me Trinity' Relies on Humor". The New York Times. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
- Roger Ebert (November 25, 1971). "They Call Me Trinity Movie Review (1971)". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
- "They Call Me Trinity". Time Out. Archived from the original on November 22, 2017. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
- "Public Domain Films RetroFilmVault.com - They Call Me Trinity". Retrofilmvault.com. Retrieved 2016-07-15.
- "Trinity (Film)". TV Tropes. Retrieved 2016-07-15.
- "Trinity Twin Pack (They Call Me Trinity / Trinity is Still My Name): Terence Hill, Bud Spencer, Steffen Zacharias, Dan Sturkie, Gisela Hahn, Elena Pedemonte, Farley Granger, Ezio Marano, Luciano Rossi, Ugo Sasso, Remo Capitani, Riccardo Pizzuti, Aldo Giordani, Enzo Barboni, Donald Taylor, Ezio Palaggi, Italo Zingarelli, Joseph E. Levine, Roberto Palaggi". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2016-07-15.
- "DVD of the Week: They Call Me Trinity – CINEBEATS". Cinebeats.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2016-07-15.