My Name is Pecos
In Maurizio Lucidi’s (The Sicilian Cross) My Name is Pecos (1966), Robert Woods (Johnny Colt) stars as the eponymous Mexican gunslinger, returning to Houston to settle a long-standing score against the racist gang boss (Pier Paolo Capponi, The Cat O’ Nine Tails) who wiped out his entire family.
Maurizio Lucidi’s My Name is Pecos (the second film in Arrow’s Vengeance Trails: 4 Classic Westerns box set) is presented on a dual-layer disc in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The 1080p/24hz high-definition master is sourced from a 2K restoration performed by L’Immagine Ritrovata and scanned from the the 35mm original camera negative.
As with Massacre Time the presentation here is about what I was expecting: it’s a sharp and clean looking image, rendering the film’s grain naturally, leading to wonderful details and textures. The image is smooth in motion, doesn’t present any digital artifacts of note, and just has a great photographic look all around.
There are a few minor marks and stains to be found throughout, usually specs of dirt or fine scratches, but you really have to be looking for them to find them. The frame jumps a bit through one shot during the climax, but it’s otherwise stable. The film, as with Massacre Time, does have a warmer look, but it avoids that heavy yellow tint that can usually plague Ritrovata restorations, Arrow maybe adjusting things. Blues come through and whites do show up. Blacks can get a bit thick in darker shots, limiting shadow detail, but the blacks do look black for the most part, rarely murky, and whatever issues there are may be inherent to the source.
In all, nothing particularly special does stick out about it, but it's still a nice looking image when all is said and done.
Arrow includes two lossless single-channel PCM soundtracks, one in English and one in Italian. Though the Italian track can come off a little sharper with a little more range, both still sound to have been extensively restored, neither showing any signs of damage. Like other Italian genre films of the period both tracks also have that “dubbed” sound to them (because they are dubbed over, of course), with lip-syncing appearing to be out of whack at least half of the time in either case. Like the other films in the set it will again come down to personal preference which track to go with, but they at least both sound about the same.
After participating in the commentary for the set’s previous title, Massacre Time, author and critic C. Courtney Joyner sits for a new audio commentarys with actor Robert Woods to talk about My Name is Pecos. The track ends up being a nice blend of academic analysis and production stories, Joyner talking about the technical and narrative aspects of the film and Woods sharing his recollections, the two working off of each other nicely, which keeps the track from slacking. Joyner likes to mention how the film is more of a “traditional” western that ignores the influences of Leone, being something more along the lines of Delmer Daves, and he also touches on the morality of the film’s central character, which differs from some of the sub-genre’s other “heroes.” Woods is very fond of the film, which is why he would go to do a sequel (usually he would refuse to have done a sequel), and he gets into great detail about what it was like working with a multi-lingual cast while he worked in Italy, and how he was able to do his part without understanding everything being said to him. It ends up being an incredibly engaging track with no lack of material to cover.
Arrow then throws in a few interviews. Italian film historian Fabio Melelli (who pops up throughout the set) appears for 18-minutes to talk about the film and its 4-week production, intercut with an archival interview with cinematographer Franco Villa talking about a number of technical topis, even praising his very professional crew and talking about how to properly film guns and gunshots. Villa’s contribution proves to be the more interesting material, though Melelli points out how the film may have used unused footage from A Fistful of Dollars.
There are also two new interviews with actors from the film: a 21-minute one with George Eastman (real name: Luigi Montefiore) and an 18-minute one with Lucia Modugno. Montefiore had issues with producers, and his height could also get in the way, but his experience on the film (which he claims was his first before correcting himself later) was a cake-walk compared to Modugno’s, who found her role (and close-ups) cut down after she refused an “indecent proposal” from Lucidi, the film’s director.
The disc then closes with the film’s Italian trailer and a gallery that—like Massacre Time—features primarily German promotional material: posters, lobby cards, photos, and so on. The included booklet also features an essay on the film by author Howard Hughes. Hughes gets a little more into the film’s sequel, which sounds to differ greatly from this one despite having many of the same participants. I’m somewhat surprised Arrow doesn’t include that here as an extra at least if it hasn't received a new restoration, though I would have to assume it would have been either cost-prohibitive or was unavailable.
Not stacked but there’s good material found within the supplements and each one is worth going through.
Another decent title in Arrow’s latest box set, delivering a nice-looking presentation and some engaging supplementary material.