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The Italian Job

The 1978 Italian film Quel maledetto treno blindato has had several other titles in English. According to imdb, it has been known at one time or another as Counterfeit Commandos, Deadly Mission, Hell’s Heroes, The Dirty Bastard, and, because of the presence in the cast of Fred “The Hammer” Williamson, G.I. Bro. But it’s best known lately for an English rendering of its working title, Bastardi senza gloria: The Inglorious Bastards.

The yarn is a variation on the testosterone classic The Dirty Dozen; a Nazi attack inadvertently liberates a handful of American military convicts. They, in the process of trying to reach Switzerland, kill lots of Axis lads, and eventually agree to rob a secret weapon from an armored train. As any drooling fanboy can tell you, the reason for the recent resurgence of interest in a 31-year-old war actioner made in the style of a spaghetti Western is that this title, eccentrically misspelled and minus the initial article, was appropriated by Quentin Tarantino for his upcoming WWII epic Inglourious Basterds, starring Brad Pitt.

Enzo Castellari’s original, presented by Midnite Movie Mamacita, plays at MADCAP Theaters. It’s on a double bill with 1972’s The Man from Deep River.

Fri., Aug. 7, 9 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 8, 9 p.m., 2009


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