Cast & Crew
Marvin "Vee" Duncan and his band of outlaws destroy an entire Indian village; the sole survivor is Navajo Joe, who swears revenge. He slits the throats of two of Duncan's men sent to capture him, shoots two more, and knifes a third as the outlaws are about to capture three saloon hostesses. Finally, he thwarts a railroad holdup. The townspeople quickly forget their gratitude to Navajo Joe, however, in their fear of an assault from Duncan and his gang. Joe demands a dollar from every family for each bandit he kills, and after some argument, the obligation is met. While saving an Indian girl, Estella, from the outlaws, Joe is captured and hanged from the ankles. With the help of the saloon pianist, he cuts himself loose, knifes his guard, and stampedes the gang's horses. When he learns of Joe's escape, Duncan fills the church with hostages, and his men take over the town. The outlaws then rush off to rob the train, but they are again foiled by Joe, who dynamites the train. Duncan and his surviving followers pursue Joe as he rides back to the Indian village. In a final confrontation, Joe chokes his enemy to death, returns the bank money to the townspeople, hands over his bounty to Estella, and rides away.
Alvaro De Luna
Gianni Di Stolfo
Dino De Laurentiis
Marcella De Marchis
Fernando Di Leo
Eduardo Torre De La Fuente
After the surprise success of A Fistful of Dollars (1964), producer Dino De Laurentiis decided to produce his own spaghetti Western with an American actor who could rival Clint Eastwood in popularity. For the lead in Navajo Joe (1966), De Laurentiis needed someone who could pass as a Native American and Burt Reynolds was the ideal choice. Not only was the actor part Cherokee but he had also convincingly played other minorities on two popular TV series; in Gunsmoke, Reynolds played Quint Asper, a half-breed who worked as the town blacksmith, from 1962-1966 and in Hawk (1966-1976), he was cast as a full blooded Iroquois Indian working as a cop in New York City. Although Reynolds had his doubts about a Western in which he killed about a hundred men single handedly, De Laurentiis convinced him to sign on to his first and only spaghetti Western.
Although Navajo Joe is considered one of the better spaghetti Westerns by fans of the genre, it fared poorly in the U.S. where it was block-booked without fanfare as a second feature at drive-ins and less discriminating movie houses. Reynolds was particularly unkind about the film and often said it was the worse movie he ever made. In fact, the actor remarked that it was "so awful, it was shown only in prisons and airplanes because nobody could leave. I killed 10,000 guys, wore a Japanese slingshot and a fright wig." Obviously, Reynolds had no appreciation for this unique genre and ignored the obvious virtues of Navajo Joe: the rousing music score by Ennio Morricone (credited under the pseudonym Leo Nichols), Silvano Ippoliti's unconventional cinematography and Sergio Corbucci's tightly paced direction. Corbucci, who had helmed some of the most successful Italian sword and sandal epics like Duel of the Titans (1963) with Steve Reeves and Gordon Scott, would go on to direct two of the most influential and acclaimed entries in the spaghetti Western genre - Django (1966) and The Great Silence (1968).
Producer: Luigi Carpentieri, Ermanno Donati
Director: Sergio Corbucci
Screenplay: Fernando Di Leo, Ugo Pirro (story), Piero Regnoli
Cinematography: Silvano Ippoliti
Film Editing: Alberto Gallitti
Original Music: Ennio Morricone
Principal Cast: Burt Reynolds (Joe), Aldo Sambrell (Duncan), Nicoletta Machiavelli (Estella), Simon Arriaga (Monkey), Fernando Rey (Rattigan), Tanya Lopert (Maria), Cris Huerta (El Gordo), Franca Polesello (Barbara).
by Jeff Stafford
Released in Italy in 1966 as Un dollaro a testa; in Madrid in November 1967 as Joe, el implacable; running time: 93 min. Actor Aldo Sambrell is also known as Sam Brell.
Released in United States 1966
Released in United States 2011
Released in United States 1966
Released in United States 2011 (Danielle Luppi Presents)