The struggles of the ’70s are transposed to the front lines of the Mexican Revolution in Sergio Leone’s last Zapato western. James Coburn is an IRA dynamite expert on the lam who teams up with a Mexican bandit (Rod Steiger); together they become accidental revolutionaries when they case a bank that’s been transformed into a political prison by the Mexican government. Duck, You Sucker! is infamous for its confusing theatrical release—it was released as both A Fistful of Dynamite and Once Upon a Time… the Revolution—but Leone pulls out all the stops for this epic western-cum-war-picture, which features one of Ennio Morricone’s finest scores, spectacularly explosive set pieces, and healthy doses of the director’s idiosyncratic humor.
“We did not see this during work on Bacurau, simply because it is one of those films that live in you. We did, however, specifically discuss the ‘first class’ carriage scene, and also the opening note about revolutions not being ‘nice’ or ‘polite.’ Oh, and just about every shot is a pleasure.” —Kleber Mendonça Filho
“Resistance, revenge, or opportunism? The film begins with an energetic quote from Mao Tse Tung: ‘The revolution is not a social dinner, a literary event, a drawing, or an embroidery; it cannot be done with elegance and courtesy. The revolution is an act of violence…’ This Western is perhaps unfairly considered one of the lesser known films of the great Sergio Leone, whose charismatic, villainous protagonists steal, kill, and blow up banks ‘in the name of the revolution.’” —Juliano Dornelles