Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Duck, You Sucker

(Giù la testa, Italy, 1971)

Duck, You Sucker (1971) Original title: Giù la testa, which my online translator renders as “Down the head.” As in “keep your head down,” I guess. Online translators suck at idiom. (Which would probably translate as “perform fellatio on a figure of speech.”) To complicate matters further, the VHS tape I watched had retitled it to A Fistful of Dynamite. I know why they changed it for Americans, to echo the popular A Fistful of Dollars, but Duck, You Sucker! is better in every way.

I’m afraid I’ve never been a big fan of Sergio Leone movies, or any spaghetti westerns for that matter. Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) is currently #4 on the IMDb list of Top 250 movies, and not only would I not rank it that high, it would not be on my Top 250 movie list at all. I just don’t connect with them. I find them ponderous, pretentious, unintentionally funny. Most of all I get very tired very quickly of counting the nasal hairs in ugly men’s noses. A little of that can be good, for dramatic tension, but the key word here is “little.” I don’t get off on pores, teeth, beards, or bloodshot eyeballs that fill the screen. That’s way too much intimacy for me. Squeeze that blackhead, you sucker! Here, I enjoyed seeing Rod Steiger overacting and James Coburn underplaying, and the story was not bad, but the technique overwhelmed me, as always.