27 August 2009 | The_Void
Decent enough western, saved by the central performances
Long Live Your Death is a western comedy. This film tries to pin down the staples of the genre while being funny, and it has to be said that in doing so it pretty much misses both targets; but thankfully, Duccio Tessari's film is entertaining in it's own right and the central cast is just about talented enough to pull it through. The film takes obvious influence from the greatest of all Spaghetti Westerns; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and it could be said in fact that the film is basically a complete rip of the earlier film. The film takes place during the Mexican revolution. Mary O'Donnell, an Irish journalist, wants to inspire a revolt in Mexico and pays for a revolutionary to be released from prison; but unfortunately the man in question is already dead, so another Mexican is freed in his place. He escapes along with a Prince Dmitri Vassilovich Orlowsky, who has designs on finding some buried treasure. He teams up with the bandit and the two pursue the treasure; one knows the town where the gold is buried, the other knows the location.
It's the central pairing of Franco Nero and Eli Wallach that ensure the film works; neither one delivers their best performance, but the pair is constantly entertaining on screen together. They are joined by Lynn Redgrave (apparently Franco Nero's sister is law) and she dons an annoying Irish accent. Thankfully, her role in the film is rather short compared to the other two. The film does have a sense of humour, and at times it is rather funny (the location of the treasure maps, for example) but it's never overly funny, and I'd still call it more of a western than a comedy. Duccio Tessari (who also directed Giallo classic The Bloodstained Butterfly) packs his film with plenty of action and this does ensure that the film is entertaining. The film only runs for just over ninety minutes and it never gets boring enough to really start dragging, so that's a positive. It all boils down to a decent conclusion and overall, while I certainly wouldn't call Long Live Your Death a classic or a must see; it is at least worth a look.