Cemetery Without Crosses – Review

Arrow Video release Cemetery Without Crosses onto Blu ray, this unusual Spaghetti Western is actually a French  production starring and directed by Robert Hossein as his tribute to Sergio Leone.

After her husband is lynched by bandits, Michèle Mercier (Mario Bava’s Black Sabbath) seeks revenge and turns to an old friend, played by Hossein, for help. A solitary figure who lives in a ghost town and dons a single black glove before each gunfight, Hossein is initially reluctant but soon infiltrates the widow s enemies to force a showdown.

The thing that strikes you about the film is its very melancholy tone. It strikes you as being very different from the usual Italian westerns and many scenes are shot without dialogue letting looks, gestures and music tell the story (composer is André Hossein father of Robert) . Hossein is very bleak in his portrayal of a lone gunman he never smiles once, its as if he knows what he must do even though he does not want to get involved.

Cemetery Without Crosses lobby card

A very interesting release from Arrow and Western fans should definitely check it out and i can guarantee you will be whistling the theme tune long after the movies has ended. By the way Sergio Leone was so moved by the tribute that he visited Hossein and his crew in Almeria and shot a sequence that appears in the final version of the film. (The dining scene).

The Blu ray release from Arrow is problematic in places but its not their fault. Elements were hard to come by and some scenes, especially at the start are full of stains and scratches but it soon clears to give a great organic appearance, especially in the close ups. Audio gives you a choice of Mono English or Italian language ( both post dubbed) and English subtitles if needed. Extras are very interesting and are as follows:

  • Remembering Sergio – an all-new interview with star and director Robert Hossein, filmed exclusively for this release.
  • Rare French television news report on the film’s making, containing interviews with Hossein, and actors Michèle Mercier and Serge Marquand.
  • Archive interview with Hossein
  • Original theatrical trailer

An interesting release from Arrow who incidentally released exactly the same disc in the USA at the same time so both are region free.

FILM :7 PICTURE: 7 AUDIO: 7 EXTRAS: 8

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