Man, Pride & Vengeance / L'uomo, l'orgoglio, la vendetta (1968)

4.5 out of 5

Don Jose, a soldier in the Spanish military, meets an attractive gypsy named Carmen and soon falls madly in love with her. Murdering his lieutenant after discovering Carmen has slept with him, Don Jose deserts his unit with this vagabond, schizophrenic female. Becoming an outlaw, Carmen ultimately strips the naive Don Jose of his dignity resulting in tragedy for all involved.

Franco Nero leaves his coffin dragging and Indian half breed heroes at home to fashion a fascinating portrayal of an inexperienced young man who allows the wiles of a manipulative young woman to systematically destroy his sanity and self worth. Arguably one of Nero's best performances, here he's the definition of a desperate man who does things above and beyond rational thinking for the futile affections of an emotionally cold, callous and empty souled woman.

Luigi Bazzoni, The Fifth Cord, 1971, directs this exceptional film version of Carmen, a story by Prosper Merimee. Tina Aumont, Torso, 1973, is successful at making the audience wish her dead. Klaus Kinski appears briefly; possibly the production couldn't afford his high price tag but for a few scenes. Often lumped in with westerns, it has a slight, fleeting aura of an oater about it. Serious viewers will likely find this an immersive experience.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics