Why did I want to watch this western? “YEEEE HAAAA!” Quick draws my pistol out of it’s holster and fires into the air. (OOooh matron). Sweet cowgirl Raquel Welch. Here’s my review of the avenging Hannie Caulder (1971).
What’s going down in Western town?
Three outlaws on the run stumbled upon a house in the middle of the desert where a frontier husband and wife tending a halfway horse station. The three deplorable’s kill, rape and steal. Leaving the husband and wife for dead. Dragging her way through the desert, the beaten and broken woman has nothing but revenge on her mind.
Tagline – There was a notch on her gun for every man she got!
Who’s our righteous hero gunslinger?
Hannie Caulder (Raquel Welch) is the frontier wife left for dead. Her spirit for revenge spurs her on to find the three responsible. Determined to bring death the justice against the three outlaws. Untrained in the way of the gun her destiny crosses the path of a bounty hunter who takes pity on her. Soon she’s trained. A true gunfighter ready to be the harbinger of death on the trio of evil.
Hannie Caulder – “Like the man said, there aren’t any hard women, only soft men.“
Does he have a trusty side kick?
Reluctantly bounty hunter Thomas Price (Robert Culp) feels sorry for the helpless Hannie Caulder. Learning of her plight he eventually agrees to teach her in the ways of the gun. He knows she needs her own specialised revolver to help her perfect her fast-draw. It will need a trip to Mexico to meet the gunsmith and give Hannie time to prepare. Maybe even time for some romantic strolls by the beach? Who knows. Thomas is kind at heart but deadly for his bounty prey.
Thomas Price – “If I was to teach you the gun, you’d then go out and get your ass blown off.“
Hannie Caulder – “It’s my ass.“
Thomas Price – “Shame to get it shot full of holes… It is as pretty a one as I ever laid eyes on.“
Cowgirl love interest?
Well the cowgirl love interest is for us the viewer. Lusty good for nothing men looking on droopy jawed at the not one hair out of place, naked apart from a poncho and a a gun belt around her hips. Oh naughty Raquel! Each gust of wind making us poor fellas go religious all of a sudden! “Oh lordy” “Sweet Jesus” “Praise ye the lord” “Good God!”
A collection of low down and dirty bad boy cowboys?
Three inept bank robbers and real low down dirty sons of bitches or should I say bitch. Three murderous brothers with no morals move from one evil deed to another. Nasty pieces of work. The infamous Clemens Brothers lead by Frank (Jack Elam), then Emmett (Ernest Borgnine) and Rufus (Strother Martin). They might act like The Three Stooges but these three are bad to the bone.
Emmett Clements – “Shut the hell up, Rufus! I’ll tell ya what the hells wrong: we pulled four jobs in two weeks and we’re stoney ass broke. Starvin!”
Frank Clemens – “Well, we still got some coffee, three horses we can eat.“
Rufus Clements – “You touch one hair of my animal.“
Frank Clemens – “I wouldn’t touch nothin’ that’s been between your legs.“
Sheriff in town?
Sheriff Lee (Luis Barboo) gives out some information and then goes in for a cheeky cheek slap “Anytime Miss any time at all“. Hannie replies “If you weren’t the sheriff I’d call one” “Your bottoms wet Miss?” “And so’s your chin..” she fires back with a knowing smile. Later when he realises she’s with the bounty hunter he gives a squirmy apology. “For what” ask Thomas? Hannie replies “Oh he was afraid I’d catch a cold from my wet pants” (See one of the best scenes below for context)
Injun’s or banditos?
Marauding gang of bandito’s on the Mexican border rampaging through ready to give the gunsmith and his family a hard time. A good time for Hannie Caulder to try out her gun skills. Has she got the killer instinct she’s gonna need?
Hang on a minute is that so-in-so?
Hang on a minute was my exact words when Count Dracula! Lord Summerisle, Saruman, Count Dooku popped up! By jove it is Sir Christoper Lee. He plays Bailey one the best gunsmiths in all the land. Now shacked up on the Mexican coastline with his family. He’s happy to see his old friend Thomas and only to willing to help Hannie with her very own pistol of justice.
One of best scenes.
OK you got me! I’m a hot blood man wolf! Best scene? Well there’s many but Raquel soaking in a bath tub trying to shrink a pair of jeans to fit her posterior. Rising up to feel her buttocks to make sure the shrinkage is working. Hell it’s hard (no pun intended) to pick another scene! Winky face.
The quick-draw question shootout round.
- Shoot-out ratio.
The whole movie is a shoot out. Bank job shootouts, bandit’s shootout, whorehouse shootout, you get the picture.
- Someone has to have the fastest hands?
Ernest Borgnine is fast as lightning with a knife. Thomas the bounty hunter is fast on the draw. Will his skills rub off on our heroine?
- Saloon fight.
No brawling but yet another shootout.
- Anyone else pop up?
A mysterious silent Preacher played by Stephen Boyd all in black appears a few times.
- A rootin and tootin old fella?
I was so hoping to have three rootin and tootin old fella’s but it didn’t turn out to be what I was expecting. See my verdict.
No scalping or hair loss in this film.
- The best little whorehouse in the west?
There is and hang on a minute is that naughty Diana Dors as the Madame? Yes it is.
- Bank robbery?
The film opens with a bodged bank robbery from the three old geezers whilst a bunch of Mexican soldiers sleep near by.
How’s the look of the land?
The landscapes and filming all took place in Spain throughout the surrounding area of Almeria and Andalusia which is located on the Mediterranean sea. For me I had no idea it wasn’t film in Tex-Mex territory so it all looked authentic to me.
The director is Burt Kennedy who liked to write a lot of his films screenplays. He’s made a few westerns with John Wayne like The War Wagon (1967) and The Train Robbers (1973). I haven’t seen either of them. Any good? He also liked to have a tougher darker story line in his films like with Wolf Lake (1980) then again he did make Suburban Commando (1991) with Hulk Hogan in his later years!!
Producer Patrick Curtis was married to Raquel Welch and had a hand in pushing for these roles for her. Bit odd when you gotta pitch the film to your wife. “Right you know Marty? and that cute old fella Strother and classic funny Jack Elam with his crazy wandering eye? Yeah nice old guys hey! Well they gonna rape you one at a time…… You in?“
I read that Hannie Caulder was an inspiration on Quentin Tarantino’s revenging Uma Thurman in the Kill Bill double bill. Replacing gun for samurai sword.
I gotta say, sometimes I should read into the synopsis of a film. Instead as always, and of course the best and only way, I went in blind. Well I’d seen the poster. The delectable Raquel sat in the middle of three classic old timers. Truth be told I do loves me some Raquel Welch but I was here for the trio of Jack Elam, Ernest Borgnine and Strother Martin. In my head from the poster, see image at top, it looked like Hannie had recruited the old boys to help her seek revenge. Bad boy old bank robbers who couldn’t get along and messing up everything they touched. But they have time for redemption. Coming good, helping the lady in distress!! Oh man o man how wrong could I be! The last thing anyone wants to see, I hope, is those three POV raping! WTF!
I’d of much preferred them messing up bank jobs, doing The Three Stooges act and getting taken out heroically trying to help our Hannie out. Maybe I’d of liked it more if I knew what was coming. It does have some great moments though. Robert Culp is great as the likable bounty hunter looking like Kris Kristofferson. And of course Raquel looks her usual beautiful stunning self even if the acting is a little wack. The film does pace on well with a runtime of only 1hr and 25 minutes. If you fancy it you can stream it on YouTube here.
I may of been a little hard on that score thinking back for this review maybe it should be 6.5? Feel free to let me know what you thought of this one?
Thanks as always for popping in for a read. Wishing you well for the weekend.
Keep those eyes square whilst watching great movies.