The Big Gundown
Edition no. 272
Details by Film
Released the same year as Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Sergio Corbucci’s Django, The Big Gundown (La resa di conti) is a classic spaghetti western. Directed by the great Sergio Sollima (Face to Face, Violent City) this brutal film elevated western regular Lee Van Cleef (Ride Lonesome) to his first ever starring role.
When bounty hunter Jonathan Corbett (Van Cleef) is hired to track down a Mexican peasant (Tomas Milian, in a career-defining role) who has been accused of an appalling crime, he is initially outwitted by the wily bandit. However, the relationship between the two men soon takes an unexpected turn and they team up to take on railroad baron Brockton (Walter Barnes).
With its rousing score by legendary composer Ennio Morricone, and its politically charged screenplay by Sergio Donati (Once Upon a Time in the West) and Franco Solinas (The Battle of Algiers), The Big Gundown has earned its reputation as one of the greatest and most influential Italian westerns.
This individually numbered Limited Edition includes three versions of the film – the US theatrical cut, the extended US cut, and the original 110-minute Italian version – along with a fascinating selection of new and archival extra features, a poster, and an 80-page book.
- Three presentations of the feature: La resa dei conti (111 mins): the original Italian theatrical version, presented with both Italian and English soundtracks; the extended US cut (95 mins), with scenes added for television broadcast; and the original US theatrical version (89 mins)
- Audio commentary with writers and film experts Barry Forshaw and Kim Newman on the Italian theatrical version (2022)
- Audio commentary with film historians C. Courtney Joyner and Henry Parke on the extended US cut (2013)
- Spaghetti Western Memories (2012, 52 mins): documentary featuring director Sergio Sollima and actor Tomas Milian revisiting their much-heralded western
- Tomas Milian: Acting on Instinct (2013, 30 mins): the genre-film star recalls The Big Gundown and reveals some of his acting secrets
- Prelude to a Gundown (2023, 10 mins): author and musician Stephen Thrower discusses the career of Sollima and the film’s cast and crew
- Heroes and Villains (2023, 30 mins): Stephen Thrower untangles the themes and politics of The Big Gundown
- A Settling of Accounts (2023, 23 mins): Austin Fisher, author of Radical Frontiers in the Spaghetti Western: Politics, Violence and Popular Italian Cinema, situates the film within the wider context of the genre
- Original US theatrical trailers
- Original Italian theatrical trailer
- TV spots
- Image galleries: production stills and promotional material
- Limited edition exclusive 80-page book with a new essay by Italian cinema expert Roberto Curti, archival interviews with Lee Van Cleef, Tomas Milian, and Sergio Sollima, extracts from the film’s promotional materials, an examination of the work of co-screenwriter Franco Solinas, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and full film credits