The Movies of Bud Spence & Terence Hill

 

God Forgives, I don't (1967)

 

Rating = 3 Stars

 

Their first official movie they stared in together, a classic spaghetti western. Ironically it was Hill who started out as the harsher character while Bud played the more amicable guy. 

 

It was an entertaining enough movie, but if you're looking for the humourous slapstick comedy we have come to expect from these guys, you won't get it. Unlike Trinity, it's a very serious Western with little in the way of humour, although I do find the shoot outs amusing as the guns seem to fire off more like cap guns than real guns.   

An unusually menacing Terence Hill
An unusually menacing Terence Hill

What intrigues me here is the voice dubbing. Bud was dubbed by the man who was to do his voice in most of his movies; Glauco Onorato. Hill usually did his own English voice dubbing, but in this one he has someone else doing his voice, a much colder and harsher voice to match his character. I guess it's not surprising that they needed to do that, otherwise his character, Cat would just not have the same menacing aura to him.  Perhaps for the same reasons Bud is normally voiced by Glauco.

 

This was the first in a series of three movies using these two characters.

 

Ace High (1968)

 

Rating = 3 stars

 

Carries on almost immediately after "God forgives I don't", with the same characters, although this one gives Eli Wallach top billing. Wallach is entertaining as a roguish, but likable criminal who continually manages to con Hill and Bud to do jobs for him. 

 

Climaxes with a sting operation where they attempt to take advantage of a corrupt casino.

 

I'd say this is better than the previous movie 

 

 

Boot Hill (1969)

 

Rating = 1 star

 

Unfortunately this is an appalling third in the trilogy of "God forgives, I don't" movies. 

 

I found this hard to watch due to the constant closeups, which often made things a blur.

 

Yes, that old guy with the ridiculously raspy voice really is Max from "Hart to Hart" and Victor Buono (Batman's King Tut) also makes appearances.  

 

 

The Call me Trinity (1970)

 

Rating = 4 stars

 

Probably their best known movie with the classic character of Trinity (played by Hill) who spends most of the movie wearing dusty falling apart clothes that never get washed even after he's taken a bath.

 

Spencer plays Bambino, a horse thief, who has managed to score himself a job as sheriff in a town. He is Trinity's brother and doesn't want him around, thus starting the amusing tradition in their movies where Spencer's characters usually find Hill's characters irritating. 

 

One of the delights in this one is little known actor Remo Capitani who plays the Bandit leader Mezcal. His comedic reactions are hilarious when he is slapped or pummeled by Bambino. 

 

Trinity is Still My Name (1971)

 

 Rating = 3 stars

 

Plenty of fun and laughs to be had in this one too, but it does tend to get a little dull in the 2nd half. 

 

In the previous Trinity movie they were helping out a group of Mormons. This time they end up defending monks in a Catholic monastery. 

 

 

 

 

 

Blackie the Pirate (1971)

 

Rating = 2 stars

 

When I first watched this one in 1987, I of course expected a comedy with both Hill and Spencer as the main characters, getting up to their usual hyjinx. I was to be bitterly disappointed. Instead I got a serious drama/action movie, which was more of a Terence Hill on his own type of movie. Bud had a much smaller role and for large parts was absent.  This is probably why many lists do not include Blackie on them when it comes to listing Spencer/Hill movies.

 

Viewing this for a second time 30 years later, my expectations were nowhere near as high and I actually found out it wasn't as bad as I remembered. It was well filmed and although a little formulaic, had some entertaining stuff.

 

Hill plays a gentlemanly honourable pirate, while Bud plays a rival one. It seemed Bud's voiceover was his usual, but for Terence it was someone new.

 

 

All the Way Boys (1972)

 

Rating = 1 star

 

Sadly very few laughs in this one and pretty dull. I'm reminded of the dullness of Boot Hill, but this one was supposed to be a comedy. 

 

This was one of the last Hill/Spencer movies I ever saw the first time around back in the mid 80s and I was bitterly disappointed. I also couldn't get used to the voice of the actor who dubbed Hill. 

 

 

 

Watch out we're mad (1974)

 

Rating = 5 stars

 

This is without a doubt their finest movie and even the critics say it is. Laughs galore and fantastic fight scenes you can watch over and over.

 

I love the setting for this, one, most of which takes place somewhere in Spain or Italy outside a fairground. There is just something about that setting that appeals to me in this movie.

 

Plenty of comical baddies including Donald Pleasance as a former Nazi, trying to teach a bumbling mafia boss how to be a real villain.

The highlight for me is definitely the scene where Bud Spencer is doing choir practice and Terence is trying to warn him that a hitman is in the building. Pure comedy gold.

 

I can well remember seeing this movie for the first time at a picture theatre in Morrinsville New Zealand around 1984, which was full of school kids. I took a bus there on my own to see it. The owner of the movie theatre paused the movie to do a big rant because there was too much fooling around. 

 

A real catchy theme song by Oliver Onions; “Dune buggy”.   

 

Two Missionaries (1974)

 

Rating = 3 stars

 

I remember seeing this one for the first time at a church in Auckland during the school holidays somewhere around the early 80s. It was either this one or "Who finds a friend finds a treasure", which was the first Hill/Spencer movie I ever saw. 

 

I loved this movie the first time I saw it, but now I find it rather dull and slow moving at times. And I can't get over the cultured voice of the actor who dubbed Spencer. It just didn't work for me.        

 

Crime Busters (1977)

 

Rating = 4 stars

 

I remember watching this one for the first time at a church youth group activity in 1985.  We had a large group of us sitting on the floor in the lounge viewing it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

 

I still enjoyed watching it this time around too, although there are just way too many remarkable coincidences, which seemed completely unnecessary to me, but what the hey, you have to suspend disbelief in a Spencer/Hill movie anyway. 

 

In this movie our duo are a couple of small time criminals who when attempting to commit a robbery end up unintentionally enlisting in the police force and once there, attempt to do everything wrong so they will get fired. However no matter what they do, they end up commended for it. 

 

The highlight for me was the final showdown at the bowling alley.

 

 

Odds & Evens (1978)

  

Rating = 5 stars

 

I love the start to this movie, with the great theme tune “Brotherly love” playing while we see scenes of sports and gambling in Miami.

 

This is definitely one of Spencer and Hill’s best with lots of laughs, action and crazy fights.

 

I didn’t get to watch this one until it came out on video in the mid-80s, but it’s always been one of my personal favourites. 

I'm for the Hippopotamus (1979)

 

 Rating = 4 stars

 

Plenty of laughs and fight scenes in this one and this is the only one of their movies where Spencer comes across a guy who is nearly as tough as he is. 

 

Hard to deal with seeing wild animals locked up in cages, but I suppose that it's good that Spencer and Hill were on a mission to set them all free. Some of the scenes really did look like animals were being set free for real.  

 

BTW, hippopotami only feature in the first scene. A laughing mechanical one in particular. 

 

 

Who finds a friend finds a treasure  (1981)

 

Rating = 4 stars

 

In January 1982, my family was doing a tour of the South Island of New Zealand when my father took me to see this one at the movies in Christchurch. It was my favourite Spencer/Hill movie for years, set on a tropical island, and the theme tune “Cruisin Cruisin” stuck in my head and I was determined to one day get a recording of that song. I’m happy to say I now have it on my IPod (along with “Dune buggy” and “Brotherly Love”.)  

 

This is one of their movies that perhaps hasn’t aged quite as well and is probably more appealing to kids. It also resorts to racist stereotypes with the islanders and the Japanese soldier, who still thinks World War II is going, but it’s still a classic as far as I’m concerned. Great fight scenes and plenty of laughs, as well as comical villains who as usual never get the better of Bud and Terence. 

 

Go for it (1983)

 

Rating = 3 stars

 

A lot of fun this one, as Bud and Terence are mistaken for a couple of government agents. Kind of a spoof of James Bond movies with a sinister Bond Villain to go along with it. 

 

My only real problem with this movie is in the later stages. Sure, as with any Hill/Bud movie I can suspend disbelief, but I'm sorry I just can't buy that going into a restroom of a pizza cafe in Miami can teleport you onto a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean. Come on! Surely they didn't have to get that ludicrous? I can remember even as a 15 year old watching this at the movies for the first time, being incredulous about that. 

 

Double Trouble was a fun movie too, but I think Go For It is the last really good movie they did together. The last where you could actually see Bud Spencer as the legitimate superhuman strong guy. 

 

Double Trouble (1984)

 

Rating = 3 stars

 

This was the first Bud & Terence movie I saw after I left home in 1985. It was also sadly the last good one they did, but even then it was obvious Bud Spencer was no longer as fit as he used to be. In previous movies you could really believe that the power in his punches could really have the effect they did. In  this one though, he appears sluggish and seems to lack that power he had in previous movies. Age was surely taking its toll on him physically, which is probably why we only got one more movie after this one before they called it quits. 

 

Both men played dual roles in this movie set in Brazil and I have to say they were surprisingly delightful as two toffee nosed, upper-class wimps.  It showed just what comedy skills they had and they could do more than just play tough guys. 

 

Classic line in this movie by Bud Spencer "I AM my dietitian!"

 

Miami Supercops (1985)

 

Rating = 2 stars

 

When I went to see this at the movies in early 1986, I had no clue that it would be the last time I would ever see Bud or Terence together on the big screen ever again.

 

Sadly I was disappointed by this movie. It was very dull and it was missing the trademark fight scenes, which their movies had become so well known for. Instead they mainly used guns to capture crooks and the odd fight scene that there was, were pretty standard fare and over quickly. I guess the fact that Hill was 46 and Bud 56, it was decided to tone down the physical side a bit.

 

The final scene of this movie sees our pairing saying goodbye at the airport and a poignant comment is made about money and friends. The two then do a "bro" handshake and the movie ends. After doing a movie together every one to two years since 1967, perhaps this was their official goodbye moment...

The final goodbye
The final goodbye

But wait... 10 years later...  an encore for old times sake.

Troublemakers (1994)

 

Rating = 3 stars

 

It had been 9 years since Bud and Terence had done a movie together and I'd viewed every single one of them by the end of the 80s. I figured we'd never see anymore. However one day while looking through the new releases at the video shop I got a wonderful surprise. A new Bud and Terence movie! Woohoo!

 

It was a good laugh and wonderful to see the two of them back together again, although even Hill (in his 50s) was getting a little too old to do fight scenes. In one fight, Spencer, who was now in his mid 60s even got to watch Hill from a distance rather than get involved himself. 

 

It was definitely not going to be a revival. In fact it was done as a 25th anniversary special for "They call me Trinity" and only intended to be a one off reunion. It was even supposed to be the third in the Trinity series, but they couldn't get the rights to use the Trinity and Bambino characters, so they gave the characters different names and even different backgrounds. 

 

This was truly the final act for these two as a team. There was never to be another Bud and Terence Movie ever again. 

 

 

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