$7 Member $12.50 Regular
(1967, Sergio Corbucci) Confederate officer Joseph Cotten and his three sons escort a hero’s coffin home despite Union patrols, banditos, vengeful Indians, a stalking posse, and a buttinsky reverend — only trouble is, the coffin’s packed with stolen greenbacks intended to rejuvenate the Cause. HD.
♫ Music by Ennio Morricone
“Corbucci and [screenwriter José Gutiérrez] Maesso focused on the character of Jonas [Joseph Cotton] – leader of the Hellbenders. Jonas is, obviously, another version of Major Jackson, the Klan leader and principal villain of Django. Both men are obtuse, monomaniacal racists who can’t accept the Civil War is over. Both are violent, treacherous hypocrites. Jackson is worse than Jonas, more of a sadist, but Jonas’s plan – ‘a new Confederation of States, united under God’ – is considerably more threatening… Like Django, he drags what is most precious to him around the West in a coffin. And, like Django, his dream is shattered when the coffin breaks open – revealing the corpse of a bandit who has vowed to see Jonas in hell… For Corbucci, there’s a real distinction between North and South. His Northerners are courteous to women and to their defeated adversaries, and attempt to play by the rules (though the rules are broad, and allow for the lynching of Mexicans without trial). By contrast, Corbucci’s Southerners are avaricious, fanatical, dishonest, and rapists… So, in Corbucci’s West, the Civil War still evokes a clear opposition of good and bad sides (with both against the Mexicans)… The war may be over, but its conflicts are as fresh as the colours both sides wear. In one ironic sequence, underscored by Morricone’s horns, the adversaries are finally united: Corbucci depicts the Union cavalry dragging Mexican prisoners with ropes around their necks, while escorting the Confederate hearse to a safe haven.”
– Alex Cox