This classic meshing of Italian spaghetti western and slapstick comedy became a trendsetter with the pairing of the legendary Terence Hill and Bud Spencer.
Trinity is a reclusive cowboy strolling into town riding the back of his horse. When he sees a Mexican fugitive, he intends to get the bounty to himself from the hands of two greedy goons. The current sheriff nearby is Bambino, who turns out to be Trinity’s estranged older brother. The two have been constantly at odds due to their conflicting personalities. Bambino is the hard-headed stern brother while Trinity is the free-spirited wild brother.
When Mormon settler Brother Tobias finds his land under siege by Major Harriman and Mexican bandit leader Mezcal, the brothers reluctantly help. Bambino only wants to make things right but for Trinity, it is also about falling in love with Tobias’ two daughters. As tensions begin to grow between the brothers, Bambino’s old crew arrives, and along with Trinity set out to help and train the Mormons in the rigors of combat to protect their land once and for all.
Directed by Enzo Barboni, using the pseudonym E.B. Clucher, this is a classic fun romp that meshes both the thriving (at the time) Italian spaghetti western with classic Hollywood slapstick comedy. Despite the title, the story revolves around two estranged brothers who must work together to protect a settlement from the clutches of both bandits and a greedy major. There are plenty of fun gags mixed in with the firepower of the western genre, sometimes done even quite funny.
The reason to see the film is the iconic pairing of Terence Hill and Bud Spencer. These two would become the dream team of Italian slapstick comedies in the 70s and 80s. Hill is the titular Trinity, who is free spirited, always smiling, and knows how to put up a good fight. As for Spencer, the burly legend is the stern, tough as nails Bambino. The chemistry between these two is magnetic, with them unleashing a dose of sibling rivalry and at times doing so well as a team when it calls for it. Of course, they each have a little trademark in the film with Trinity being able to shoot without seeing and deciphering where the adversaries come from while Spencer can take hits and unleash more knockouts.
With Hill and Spencer being Italian born, the film does boast some talent from across the ocean and Europe as well. American actors Dan Sturkie and Farley Granger are great respectively as Mormon leader Father Tobias and the villain of the film, Major Harriman. German-born Greek actor Steffen Zacharias is just one of the comic reliefs of the film as Jonathan, Bambino’s bumbling deputy who always finds himself in the middle of the action. Gisela Hahn and Elena Pedemonte are the two women who don’t need to vie for Trinity’s love because he loves them equally. Remo Capitani is hilarious as Mexican bandit leader Mezcal, who ends up having a crazy rivalry with Bambino that is even more tested in an all-out finale that could have inspired Mel Brooks’ insane finale of Blazing Saddles just four years later.
They Call Me Trinity is a very fun and inspiring cult classic that is a perfect spaghetti western comedy with Terence Hill and Bud Spencer leading the way. And “fun” is just an understatement.
WFG RATING: A
AVCO Embassy Pictures presents a West Film production. Director: E.B. Clucher (Enzo Barboni). Producer: Italo Zingarelli. Writer: E.B. Clucher (Enzo Barboni). Cinematography: Aldo Giordani. Editing: Giampiero Giunti.
Cast: Terence Hill, Bud Spencer, Steffen Zacharias, Dan Sturkie, Farley Granger, Gisela Hahn, Elena Pedemonte, Remo Capitani.