Cast & Crew
Lee W. Beaver
At the end of the Civil War, Confederate veterans Jerry Brewster and Ken Seagall find themselves possessing an army payroll. Brewster leads pursuing troops astray while Seagall flees with the money, and Brewster is captured and sentenced to 5 years in prison. Upon his release Brewster learns that his former friend has become a wealthy and powerful landowner, despised by ranchers throughout the area. Seagall, responsible for the death of Brewster's wife, realizes that his life is in danger and sends a hired gunman, Mendez, to kill his adversary. Getz, a stranger, intervenes by rescuing Brewster while at the same time making it look as though Brewster was slain. Getz then conceives a plan for Brewster to infiltrate Seagall's band of outlaws and plot their downfall. Learning that Seagall's men are about to ride out to "punish" a rebellious town, Brewster organizes the townspeople for a defense. Brewster is wounded in the ensuing gunfight and is nursed back to health by Seagall's daughter, Mary Ann. Eventually Seagall recognizes Brewster and the battle becomes a personal one. Getz, a government agent, joins with Brewster in the final shoot-out in which Mendez, Seagall, and the unfortunate Mary Ann are killed. Brewster is reunited with his lost son; Getz appoints Brewster sheriff; and law and order is restored to the community.
Lee W. Beaver
The Hills Run Red
In The Hills Run Red, Thomas Hunter and Nando Gazzolo play two friends on their way home from the Civil War with a stolen payroll. Unfortunately they run into trouble when Hunter gets caught by the authorities while Gazzolo manages to escape. Several years later when Hunter is released from prison he finds that not only has Gazzolo taken all the loot and created his own mini-empire, he's managed to kill Hunter's wife. Can you spell "revenge"?
Though the lead roles went to Hunter and Gazzolo, their careers were brief and almost entirely in little-known European exploitation films. Better known are two of the supporting actors. Dan Duryea (as Getz) was in dozens of Hollywood films including Criss Cross (1949) and Winchester '73 (1950). Henry Silva's name may not be too familiar but you'll instantly recognize his pinched, skeletal look from such films as The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Ghost Dog (1999) and Sharky's Machine (1981) among the almost 100 films he's made. Nicoletta Machiavelli appeared in several other spaghetti Westerns like 1966's Navajo Joe (airing on TCM on June 23 at 8 pm ET) and A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die (1968). Machiavelli also worked with such high-profile directors as Hans-Jurgen Syberberg and Liliana Cavani.
Director Carlo Lizzani was in his mid-40s at the time, a former critic who worked his way through Italy's apprentice system while co-writing such classics as Germany Year Zero (1947) and Bitter Rice (1948), earning an Oscar nomination for the latter. As a director he contributed one segment to Love in the City (1953) alongside Antonioni and Fellini and though his Chronicle of Poor Lovers (1954) won a special award at Cannes it was banned by the Italian government. He did numerous films throughout Italy's busy sixties and seventies and is in fact still working today, having done a documentary about Visconti in 1999.
Producer: Luigi Carpentieri, Ermanno Donati
Director: Carlo Lizzani (as Lee W. Beaver)
Screenplay: Piero Regnoli (as Mario Pierotti)
Art Direction: Aurelio Crugnola
Cinematography: Antonio Secchi
Film Editing: Ornella Micheli
Original Music: Ennio Morricone
Cast: Thomas Hunter (Jerry Brewster), Henry Silva (Mendez), Dan Duryea (Getz), Nando Gazzolo (Ken Seagull), Nicoletta Machiavelli (Mary Ann).
by Lang Thompson
The Hills Run Red
Copyright length: 94 min. Opened in Rome in September 1966 as Un fiume di dollari. Lee W. Beaver is a pseudonym for Carlo Lizzani; Leo Nichols for Ennio Morricone. Additional song: "I Know a Girl With Golden Hair."