The Price of Power

The Price of Power

Tonino Valerii (1969)

108min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
This downbeat spaghetti western turns ona plot by disgruntled southern bigwigs to kill the reforming President Garfield (Van Johnson) during an official visit to Dallas. Director Tonino Valerii's film takes as its cue the JFK assassination, restaging it in the aftermath of the American Civil War, and the parallels include grassy-knoll gunmen, a Jack Ruby-like patsy and a high-level cover-up. Giuliano Gemma (Day of Anger) plays the outsider who has an axe to grind with the killers, but he seems more at ease leaping from horses than mustering moral indignation as the tragic events unfold. The fumbled third act overcomplicates the story, but the ambitious history-twisting premise effectively highlights how civil unrest, political corruption and racial inequality were as prevalent in the late 19th century as they were in the late 1960s, when the film was made. The fact that the real Garfield met his own violent fate in an altogether different place remains an incidental footnote.

Summary

The Pinkerton detective agency uncovers a plot to assassinate President James Garfield in 1881 Texas. Allegorical Western mirroring the killing of JFK in 1963, starring Giuliano Gemma, Van Johnson, Fernando Rey and Warren Vanders.

Cast & Crew

Bill Willer Giuliano Gemma
President James Garfield Van Johnson
Arthur McDonald Warren Vanders
Pinkerton Fernando Rey
Lucretia Garfield Maria Cuadra
Willer Antonio Casas
Nick Manuel Zarzo
Jack Donavan Ray Saunders
Sheriff Jefferson Benito Stefanelli
Director Tonino Valerii
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Golden Era Dists LtdAvailable on: video
Drama