MOVIE REVIEWS

Navajo Joe (1965)

6/10 NR

November 25, 1966

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Navajo Nearly No!

Navajo Joe is directed by Sergio Corbucci and collectively written by Fernando Di Leo, Ugo Pirro and Piero Regnoli. It stars Burt Reynolds, Aldo Sambrell, Nicoletta Machiavelli, Tanya Lopert and Fernando Rey. Music is by Ennico Morricone and cinematograpy by Silvano Ippolitti.

Though Reynolds would say it’s the worst film he ever made, anyone who has followed his career will know that simply isn’t the case! It’s an odd Spaghetti Western that sees Reynolds play the title character, who strides out for revenge against the ragamuffin varmints who slaughtered his woman and tribe. Cue blood letting galore as Joe enacts said revenge with bloodthirsty glee as the hints of anti-racism struggle to show their heads above the pasta strewn pulpit.

Narratively there’s nothing else to add, it’s simplicity 101 and at times it becomes laborious. Where the film doesn’t lack for interest is with the technical aspects. Corbucci hones his skills as a purveyor of brutal set pieces, each striking for entertainment purpose. Ippolitti adds his own brand of cinematography, gracing the story with a pizzaz it doesn’t deserve, whilst Morricone provides a wonderfully catchy musical score. As for Reynolds? He does OK. Veering close to being pantomime and showing a lack of interest, his all round brooding charisma shines bright and gives the picture a macho edge.

Not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, the script is just too lazy, but it is above average and Spaghetti Western fans can find enough here to gorge on for a satisfying meal. 6/10

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