Hannie Caulder


1h 25m 1972

Brief Synopsis

A female victim of a brutal attack by three thugs learns to shoot and seeks revenge.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Western
Release Date
Jun 1972
Premiere Information
London opening: 8 Nov 1971; New York opening: 24 May 1972
Production Company
Curtwell Productions; Tigon British Film Productions, Ltd.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Country
Great Britain and United States
Location
Almeria,Spain; Costa Del Sol,Spain; Madrid,Spain; Middlesex, England, Great Britain

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 25m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

The brutish, bungling Clemens brothers┬┐Emmett, Rufus and Frank┬┐are in the process of robbing a bank in a sleepy Mexican village when the teller sounds the alarm, sparking off a bloodbath in which the tellers are killed and Frank wounded. Awakened by the gunshots, the local militia pursues the brothers out of town. In their flight, the brothers come across an isolated relay station owned by Jim Caulder and are about to steal some horses when Jim appears and orders them to stop. Rufus responds by killing Jim, after which he stumbles into the house and find's Jim's wife Hannie. The brothers take turns raping Hannie, and in the morning, satiated with liquor and sex, they set fire to the house and run off the horses, leaving Hannie with only a blanket to cover her naked body. Fashioning a poncho out of the blanket, Hannie buries her husband, picks up his rifle and walks into the wilderness. At a well, she encounters Thomas Luther Price, a bespectacled, taciturn bounty hunter, and knocks him unconscious with her rifle butt. Hannie then notices a dead body slung over the back of Tom's pack horse, and troubled by the thought of leaving an unconscious man alone in the wilderness, watches over Tom until he regains consciousness. When Hannie asks Tom to teach her how to shoot so that she can exact revenge, he is skeptical of her motivations and rides away after offering her a hat and a canteen to fend off the heat. Hannie follows him on foot however, and that night, appears after he has set up camp. Settling her head onto a saddle, Hannie falls asleep but wakes up screaming from a nightmare about being raped. Realizing that Hannie does have a motive for revenge, Tom feels sympathy for her and after giving her a pair of pants to wear, offers to take her to Mexico where his friend, Bailey, a talented gunsmith, will make a weapon for her. They stop at a town along the way, where Tom turns the dead man's body in for a reward. Tom then gives Hannie some of the money to buy pants and a pair of boots. The store only carries large sizes, however, so Hannie is forced to mold the buckskin pants to her body by wearing them while she takes a bath. After they reach Bailey's idyllic home on the beach, Bailey begins to forge a gun for Hannie while she exercises to build up the strength in her arms. One day, as Bailey is tinkering with the gun, The Preacher, a mysterious man wearing a black frock coat, arrives to have Bailey repair his weapon. Once Hannie's is ready, Tom sets about teaching her how to defend herself, but their peaceful existence is interrupted one day when a group of bandits rides onto the beach. Bailey, Tom and Hannie fend off the bandits, but when Hannie comes face-to-face with one of the assailants, she realizes she is unable to shoot him. Tom quickly dispatches the man, after which, the few who still remain alive flee. Soon after, Tom and Hannie say goodbye to Bailey and proceed to town, where they rent a hotel room. When Tom learns that the Clemenses are headed that way, he warns Hannie to give up her vendetta, but when she begins to argue with him, he walks out onto the street and spots the brothers riding into town. The Clemenses split up, with Frank going to get a haircut while his brothers visit the bordello. When Frank steps out of the barber's shop, Tom confronts him with a poster for his reward and orders him to disarm. Just then, Rufus and Emmett come out of the bordello and Emmett hurls his knife at Tom, stabbing him in the stomach. Hearing the commotion, Hannie runs out and has Tom carried to her hotel room, where he dies in her bed. Hardened by grief, Hannie struts into the bordello looking for the brothers. Finding Frank with one of the prostitutes, Hannie tosses him his gun belt and orders him to draw. Although Frank wounds Hannie, the propulsion of her gunshots sends Frank flying through the window to his death. After having her wound tended, Hannie claims her reward for Frank, then enters a shop to buy some perfume. Spotting her through the window, Rufus runs in, waving his shotgun at her. With her gun concealed in the sling holding her wounded arm, Hannie turns toward Rufus and shoots him. Hannie then instructs the sheriff to inform Emmett that she will be waiting for him at an abandoned prison on the outskirts of town. Emmett arrives there in the midst of a dust storm and locates Hannie by the shadow she casts on the stairs. Emmett is about to fling his knife at Hannie when the man in black appears and shoots it out of his hand. Recalling Tom's advice about how to protect herself, Hannie outdraws Emmett, emptying the contents of her gun into his body. Hannie then rides off with Emmett's body slung over his horse and The Preacher trailing them.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Western
Release Date
Jun 1972
Premiere Information
London opening: 8 Nov 1971; New York opening: 24 May 1972
Production Company
Curtwell Productions; Tigon British Film Productions, Ltd.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Country
Great Britain and United States
Location
Almeria,Spain; Costa Del Sol,Spain; Madrid,Spain; Middlesex, England, Great Britain

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 25m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

Hannie Caulder - Raquel Welch in the 1972 Western HANNIE CAULDER on DVD


Raquel Welch had just appeared as the post-op/female version of sex change seeker Rex Reed in the notorious stinker Myra Breckinridge (1970) when she signed on as Hannie Caulder (1971), a latter day western shot in Spain by Tigon British Film Productions. Welch was at the peak of her popularity and power as a movie star when she took on the role of a traumatized frontier widow who learns the ways of the gun in order to avenge her murdered husband. Blessed with an extreme physical beauty that bordered on caricature, Welch did best in parts that put her characters through a trial by fire and a learning process. Hannie Caulder slots comfortably beside Welch's turns in One Million Years, B.C. (1966), Bandolero! (1968) and Kansas City Bomber (1972), giving the Chicago-born actress practical onscreen business to offset her exotic good looks and keep the dialogue from degrading into banter. Welch is well-matched with second-billed Robert Culp, fresh from Paul Mazursky's Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice (1970). In an era in which sexuality between actors was given freer rein, the unspoken attraction between Welch's avenger and Culp's reluctant mentor is affectingly old fashioned and surprisingly poignant, turning Hannie Caulder into an unexpected love story set against a sirocco of blood, dust and sweat.

Director Burt Kennedy was best known for comic westerns on the affable order of The Rounders (1965) with Henry Fonda and Glenn Ford, The War Wagon (1967) with John Wayne and Kurt Douglas and Support Your Local Sheriff!(1969) with James Garner. Not surprisingly, Hannie Caulder also boasts a high humor quotient, but the mirth mixture schizophrenically shuffles scenes of slapstick and slaughter. Setpieces devoted to the maladroit antics of desperado brothers Ernest Borgnine, Jack Elam and Strother Martin (who wear atypical western hats and longcoats that make them look like actors in a site specific production of Waiting for Godot) are played for laughs and counter-balanced by vignettes of mass murder (a bank full of customers and clerks shotgunned at close range, spraying gallons of viscous cosmetic blood that surely must be called Peckinpah Red No. 1) and gang rape. Elsewhere, the production betrays signs of sloppiness (in the curtain warmer, Elam receives a bullet in his left leg, which migrates to his right later in the film before returning home later still) while the script feels padded by extraneous scenes (an attack on a seaside hacienda by grinning Mexican rudos). The cash-strapped production was taken away from Kennedy in post-production; given the lumpy texture of the batter, it's surprising how pleasing a confection Hannie Caulder turns out to be.

The winning pairing of Welch and Culp aside, Hannie Caulder also benefits from an uncharacteristic (and therefore delightful) cameo from horror actor Christopher Lee, then in the bell lap of his run as Hammer Studio's Count Dracula. Sporting a full beard and playing a philosophical Southern gunsmith who has found peace and happiness raising a handful of halfbreed children on a stretch of Mexican beach, Lee is relaxed and charismatic in his few scenes and his character is missed when the plot leaves him behind. Popping up in bits are Stephen Boyd (the Ben-Hur star contributes a beguiling, entirely wordless performance as a black-clad bounty hunter with a ministerial air) and former British bombshell Diana Dors (who walks through a brief semi-comic scene as a blousy Lone Star madam whose bordello loses a window and a paying customer to Hannie's vengeance). Ken Thorne's rousing score is another asset (although one smells the meddling of the producers when Thorne's muscular orchestrations are dialed up under Bobby Hanna's closing vocal) and Edward Scaife's work behind the camera is every bit the equal of his photography of Robert Aldrich's The Dirty Dozen (1967) or Jack Cardiff's Dark of the Sun (1968), leavening grimy and gory close-ups with gorgeous panoramas of Andalusian landscapes that are, like Hannie Caulder, as breathtaking as they are potential lethal.

Hannie Caulder makes its Region 1 DVD under the auspices of Paramount Pictures (who acquired the film for distribution in 1971) and Olive Films. The original 2.35:1 aspect ratio is preserved in this bare-bones release, which lacks even a theatrical trailer as a bonus feature and is encoded at a miserly eight chapter stops. The image is clear, given a high degree of film grain appropriate for a film of this vintage, and colors are vivid and life-like, despite an intentional color palate that favors earth tones over primary chromatics. Paramount's packaging is rather perfunctory, with a microscopic font size for its pedestrian box copy and a cut-and-paste aspect to the design that would be more at home on a gray market DVD-R. Nonetheless, it's great to have Hannie Caulder available on DVD and to have the chance to see and reevaulate a flawed but worthwhile and unjustly forgotten 70s western.

For more information about Hannie Caulder, visit Olive Films. To order Hannie Caulder, go to TCM Shopping.

by Richard Harland Smith
Hannie Caulder - Raquel Welch In The 1972 Western Hannie Caulder On Dvd

Hannie Caulder - Raquel Welch in the 1972 Western HANNIE CAULDER on DVD

Raquel Welch had just appeared as the post-op/female version of sex change seeker Rex Reed in the notorious stinker Myra Breckinridge (1970) when she signed on as Hannie Caulder (1971), a latter day western shot in Spain by Tigon British Film Productions. Welch was at the peak of her popularity and power as a movie star when she took on the role of a traumatized frontier widow who learns the ways of the gun in order to avenge her murdered husband. Blessed with an extreme physical beauty that bordered on caricature, Welch did best in parts that put her characters through a trial by fire and a learning process. Hannie Caulder slots comfortably beside Welch's turns in One Million Years, B.C. (1966), Bandolero! (1968) and Kansas City Bomber (1972), giving the Chicago-born actress practical onscreen business to offset her exotic good looks and keep the dialogue from degrading into banter. Welch is well-matched with second-billed Robert Culp, fresh from Paul Mazursky's Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice (1970). In an era in which sexuality between actors was given freer rein, the unspoken attraction between Welch's avenger and Culp's reluctant mentor is affectingly old fashioned and surprisingly poignant, turning Hannie Caulder into an unexpected love story set against a sirocco of blood, dust and sweat. Director Burt Kennedy was best known for comic westerns on the affable order of The Rounders (1965) with Henry Fonda and Glenn Ford, The War Wagon (1967) with John Wayne and Kurt Douglas and Support Your Local Sheriff!(1969) with James Garner. Not surprisingly, Hannie Caulder also boasts a high humor quotient, but the mirth mixture schizophrenically shuffles scenes of slapstick and slaughter. Setpieces devoted to the maladroit antics of desperado brothers Ernest Borgnine, Jack Elam and Strother Martin (who wear atypical western hats and longcoats that make them look like actors in a site specific production of Waiting for Godot) are played for laughs and counter-balanced by vignettes of mass murder (a bank full of customers and clerks shotgunned at close range, spraying gallons of viscous cosmetic blood that surely must be called Peckinpah Red No. 1) and gang rape. Elsewhere, the production betrays signs of sloppiness (in the curtain warmer, Elam receives a bullet in his left leg, which migrates to his right later in the film before returning home later still) while the script feels padded by extraneous scenes (an attack on a seaside hacienda by grinning Mexican rudos). The cash-strapped production was taken away from Kennedy in post-production; given the lumpy texture of the batter, it's surprising how pleasing a confection Hannie Caulder turns out to be. The winning pairing of Welch and Culp aside, Hannie Caulder also benefits from an uncharacteristic (and therefore delightful) cameo from horror actor Christopher Lee, then in the bell lap of his run as Hammer Studio's Count Dracula. Sporting a full beard and playing a philosophical Southern gunsmith who has found peace and happiness raising a handful of halfbreed children on a stretch of Mexican beach, Lee is relaxed and charismatic in his few scenes and his character is missed when the plot leaves him behind. Popping up in bits are Stephen Boyd (the Ben-Hur star contributes a beguiling, entirely wordless performance as a black-clad bounty hunter with a ministerial air) and former British bombshell Diana Dors (who walks through a brief semi-comic scene as a blousy Lone Star madam whose bordello loses a window and a paying customer to Hannie's vengeance). Ken Thorne's rousing score is another asset (although one smells the meddling of the producers when Thorne's muscular orchestrations are dialed up under Bobby Hanna's closing vocal) and Edward Scaife's work behind the camera is every bit the equal of his photography of Robert Aldrich's The Dirty Dozen (1967) or Jack Cardiff's Dark of the Sun (1968), leavening grimy and gory close-ups with gorgeous panoramas of Andalusian landscapes that are, like Hannie Caulder, as breathtaking as they are potential lethal. Hannie Caulder makes its Region 1 DVD under the auspices of Paramount Pictures (who acquired the film for distribution in 1971) and Olive Films. The original 2.35:1 aspect ratio is preserved in this bare-bones release, which lacks even a theatrical trailer as a bonus feature and is encoded at a miserly eight chapter stops. The image is clear, given a high degree of film grain appropriate for a film of this vintage, and colors are vivid and life-like, despite an intentional color palate that favors earth tones over primary chromatics. Paramount's packaging is rather perfunctory, with a microscopic font size for its pedestrian box copy and a cut-and-paste aspect to the design that would be more at home on a gray market DVD-R. Nonetheless, it's great to have Hannie Caulder available on DVD and to have the chance to see and reevaulate a flawed but worthwhile and unjustly forgotten 70s western. For more information about Hannie Caulder, visit Olive Films. To order Hannie Caulder, go to TCM Shopping. by Richard Harland Smith

Quotes

Win or lose, you lose, Hannie Caulder.
- Thomas Luther Price
I stole a Bible, Emmett. Do you want to read over Frank?
- Rufus Clements
You know damn right well I can't read! The hell with him anyway!
- Emmett Clements
You shouldn't have done that, Emmett. You're gonna get God mad at us and he's liable to...
- Rufus Clements
Shut your damn mouth!
- Emmett Clements
Well, I want to say something over Frank!
- Rufus Clements

Trivia

Notes

Onscreen credits note that post-production work on the film was done at the Twickenham Studios in Middlesex, England. According to Filmfacts, Z. X. Jones was a pseudonym for Burt Kennedy and David Haft, who co-wrote the screenplay for Hannie Caulder. Haft was listed as the film's executive producer in Hollywood Reporter production charts. The film's end credits feature a shot of each actor with his or her character name in the past tense. For example, the credit reads "Jack Elam was Frank." Only Raquel Welch's credit is listed in the present tense, "Raquel Welch is Hannie Caulder," alluding to the the fact that everyone else has been killed.
       According to Filmfacts, location scenes were filmed on the Costa Del Sol in Spain andHollywood Reporter production charts noted that location shooting was also done at Alermia, Spain. A March 1971 Hollywood Reporter news item notes that ten days of interiors were filmed at the Moro Studios in Madrid. Curtwell Enterprises was a company formed by Welch and her then husband, Patrick Curtis, who also served as the film's producer. A June 1972 news item in Box Office notes that Pinnacle Books published a novelization of Hannie Caulder by William Terry.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1971

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1971