“The West was a place where the improbable happened every day.”
– Louis L’Amour
I’ve always contended that most Movie Stars want to be in a Western at some point in their career.
But for many – especially European Actors – such a dream seemed far fetched. Impossible.
THEN… in the mid 60’s an incredible and unforeseen thing happened:
The Spaghetti Western.
Started by Sergio Leone – and spearheaded by Clint Eastwood‘s Star Power.
the door was flung wide open.And the rage was on.
Wikipedia: “Over six hundred European Westerns were made between 1960 and 1978.”
Shalako was shot in Almería, Spain.
This explains a lot about the it’s spectacular Cast.
Sean Connery (Scottish) as Moses Zebulon ‘Shalako’ Carlin
Brigitte Bardot (French) as Countess Irina Lazaar
Jack Hawkins (English) as Sir Charles Daggett
Stephen Boyd (Irish) as Bosky Fulton
Peter van Eyck (German) as Baron Frederick von Hallstadt
Honor Blackman (English) as Lady Julia Daggett
Woody Strode (American) as Chato
Eric Sykes (English) as Mako
Alexander Knox (Canadian) as Sen. Henry Clarke
Valerie French (English) as Elena Clarke
Julián Mateos (Spanish) as Rojas
Don “Red” Barry (American)as Buffalo
Rodd Redwing (American) as Chato’s Father
An amazing cross section of Cultural Thespian wannabe Cowboys!
Leone wanted to cast James Coburn for A Fistful of Dollars.
But Coburn was asking $25,000.
Leone couldn’t afford him!!
Clint only wanted $15,000.
The West is history.
Coburn did later Star in a couple of Spaghetti Westerns:
– Duck you sucker/Fistfull of Dynamite – (1971)
and – A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die – (1972)
Not to mention that he Starred in 2 of the greatest Westerns ever made:
– The Magnificent Seven (1960)
and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973)
Not bad at all.
Coming up … more on this remarkable Cast.