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Trinity is Still My Name

a/k/a ...continuavano a chiamarlo Trinità

a/k/a All the Way Trinity

     "The only family ties you two ever felt was a hangman's knot!"

-- Momma Farrah    




Gonzoid Cinema




"Stop. Stop! STOP! Forget it. You're going to hell."


Watch it!



Sights &
Trinity is
Still My Name
 West Films /
 AVCO-Embassy Pictures

The Films of
Terence Hill &
Bud Spencer.

God Forgives ... I Don't!

Ace High

Boot Hill

Trinity is Still My Name

All the Way Boys

Watch Out, We're Mad

Crime Busters

I'm for the Hippopotamus

Double Trouble


First off, a friendly suggestion as the following review will probably make a lot more sense if you read the review for They Call Me Trinity first. So go check that one out and then come back. We'll still be here. Thanks.

 -- The Management          

Our film opens with a lone figure wandering out of the desert, who gets the drop on three desperados gathered around a campfire, preparing dinner, after spotting their smoke. The bandits recognize the burly Bambino -- the left hand of the Devil (Bud Spencer), and he's relieved to find out they’re criminals on the run, just like him, because he’s out of ammo. Having a good laugh over the scare he gave them, they loan him some bullets. But as soon as his revolver's loaded, he gets the drop on them again, takes their money, their horses, and the beans they just cooked, and when one of them tries to stop him, he gets a savage blow on top of the head.

Thanking them for the hospitality, Bambino rides off as the credits cue up, and while the balladeer warbles and croons a tune, we meet our second character ambling through the desert: Trinity -- the right hand of the Devil (Terence Hill). Actually, he’s asleep on the liter being drug around by his faithful horse, whose nose leads them into the same camp, where a new batch of beans is almost done. After waking up, Trinity wants to know if the men are criminals, and if they are, how much they’re bounties are worth. Seems he’s a criminal, too, but having just started, his turkey-rustling has only put a $50 price on his head. Taking pity on this seemingly hapless dope, instead of just killing him, the three desperadoes decide to only wound him and steal his horse. But the dirty drifter is more than meets the eye and is faster on the draw, allowing him to steal the last plate of beans. And while sharing the eatable loot with his horse, he makes the others fight, promising not to kill the last man standing, but during the ensuing fracas, he rides off, leaving them to beat the snot out of each other...

My first introduction to the mythical and surreal world of the spaghetti western hearkens way back to the 1970’s, when my dad drug the entire family clan to the Rivoli theater for a double-feature of They Call Me Trinity and Trinity is Still My Name. These proved such a big hit with my brothers and me that we would spend hours playing Trinity in the backyard: Brother Brad got to be Trinity. Brother Terry got to be Bambino. So guess who got his head kicked in every time we played this game?

Childhood trauma aside, I’ve always loved the slapstick antics and familial rancor of Trinity and Bambino in these movies. And to bring those characters to life, director Enzo Barboni turned to a couple of actors whose efforts go a long, long way in explaining my affection for these films. A very gifted physical comedian, Mario Girotti owes a good chunk of his film career to his blue eyes and uncanny resemblance to Franco Nero, which landed him in the sequel to Django after Nero bailed to do Camelot. Given the choice of about twenty different names to give him more international appeal, Girotti choose Terence Hill because it bore the same initials as his mother. Carlo Pederosoli, meanwhile, was a former Olympian swimmer whose beefy frame landed him some bit-parts in several sword-n-sandal pictures. Also changing his name, derived from his favorite beverage and favorite actor, Bud Spencer's big break came with the moody western, God Forgives ... I Don't! -- which also marked his first team-up with Hill, who only wound up in the movie when the original actor injured himself during domestic dispute. The two men played well off of each other and they paired up again for Boot Hill and Aces High, which proved successful enough to give the actors enough juice to get Barboni's They Call Me Trinity into production when no one else would touch it, fearing the world wasn't ready for a comedic spaghetti western. But the seeds for Barboni's slapstick sagebrush epics were already planted in the pair's earlier films, and eventually reached full fruition at the box-office with Trinity, meaning a sequel was definitely in order; and almost everyone returned for Trinity is Still My Name, which would prove to be an even bigger hit than its predecessor.

Once again, Trinity and Bambino are on a collision course as they both return home -- and the pair’s hygiene and eating habits appear to be hereditary! Seems their father (Harry Carey Jr. -- a regular in a ton of John Wayne films) is in a bad way, and before he dies, he wants his two sons to become famous outlaws -- together. As a dying wish, he makes Bambino promise to take Trinity under his wing and become the world's greatest horse thieves (-- just like their old man). Agreeing to this monumental task, the first thing Bambino does is make Trinity lose the traveling bed -- who just converts it into a recliner for his saddle. As they head north, when the brothers come across a lone, broken down wagon on the prairie, bandit school is soon in session as they don their masks to rob these pioneers. Well, they try to rob them but the family claims to have no money. Sent to search the wagon for valuables, all Trinity can find is an ample farmer's daughter (Yanti Summer). With their inaugural robbery a complete disaster, the bandits take pity on the hapless family and help them fix the wagon. And since their baby is really sick -- with a terminal case of flatulence -- Trinity also talks Bambino into giving them some money.

With their criminal careers off to a rocky start, the brothers head to the nearest town and hit the saloon, where they get into a poker game with Wild Card Hendricks, a notorious card shark. When Hendricks deals the first hand, Trinity folds without even looking at his cards. Up next, Bambino prepares to up the ante, but realizes his brother’s up to something and folds, too. After the first hand goes to the dealer, the deck moves to Trinity, who proves a bigger card shark than Hendricks.

Now I may be reading too much into this, but I think Trinity knows Hendricks is crooked, which is why he immediately folds when the gambler deals. Of course, Bambino thinks his brother is just bungling things again, until he realizes what’s going on and holds his bet. Then, when Trinity deals, is it just luck that three of the five poker-players draw full houses? And the other two have four pair? Is the dealer that good, or just lucky to give out hands that solid to get the pot that big? Yeah, he's that good...

Everyone ups the ante until Bambino’s hand is called: he’s got one of the full houses, but Hendricks has four sevens and starts to collect the money -- until Trinity reveals he has four aces. Accused of cheating, Trinity is called out by Hendricks to permanently settle the score. But Trinity is so fast he can draw and slap Hendricks in the face before the other man can even touch his pistol. Knowing he’s outclassed, Hendricks slinks off. But as Bambino moseys up to the bar, wanting to buy his brother a drink for winning them such a big pot, Trinity quickly draws his pistol and shoots a gun out of Hendricks's hand -- without even looking where he was firing! (The villain had snuck back in and was trying to get the drop on him.) Then, after splurging on some new threads, Trinity spots the girl from the wagon, and though dudded-up, she still recognizes them as the men who tried to rob her family -- but knows they couldn’t be real robbers because they were too nice. Trying to impress her, when Trinity says they’re really federal agents on a special assignment, we notice that two gents overhear this fib, grow concerned, and run off.

After Trinity lets Bambino in on his little white lie, the two make their way into a fancy restaurant and make total pigs of themselves -- a truly hilarious scene that's eerily reminiscent of Jake and Elwood Blues at the Chez Paul restaurant in The Blues Brothers (-- that according to several interviews was made up on the spot). All the while, the men are under the observance of some muckety-mucks who conclude that all government officials can be bribed. Bribed for what? Hang on. All will be explained as the head honcho, Murdoch (Jean Louis), asks the two "agents" where they’re headed next. Trinity says San Jose -- as that is where the pioneer family is headed, and wherever the daughter goes, the smitten Trinity soon follows. Turns out that's exactly where the shifty Murdoch feared they were headed, explaining why he offers them $4000 to keep their eyes shut when they get there ... When they arrive in San Jose and mosey into a saloon filled with lowlifes and cutthroats -- who, of course, think they’re lawmen, it isn’t long before the barroom is in ruins after a lengthy brawl.

Recognizing a couple of the bandits, Trinity hits upon the idea to cash in on their bounties, so they haul a few of them to the sheriff’s office, where they find out that every one of them, including the sheriff, is on Murdoch's payroll, too. And when he warns them to stay clear of the local monastery, this succession of comedic errors and mistaken identity continues as some resident peasants approach the "agents" and beg them to look into the local clergy: seems the monks are into drinking, swearing and fornicating -- and beat the locals up whenever they try to confess. Something screwy is definitely going on, but all they find at the monastery are some friendly monks doing what monks normally do. To make sure, Trinity sends Bambino to make a confession. Of course, the monk turns a ghastly white and plugs his ears as the bandit ticks off all of his sins and transgressions, and when he raises an arm to absolve him, Bambino mistakes it for an attack and clobbers him -- destroying the confessional booth in the process ... Despite this misunderstanding all seems normal enough. Trinity still thinks there’s something screwy going on, but Bambino says they need to move on and sends his brother over to Apache Springs to scout out the stagecoach so they can rob it. Instead, Trinity returns to the monastery and finds that the forlorn pioneer family has set up camp there. And later that night, after meeting the girl for a little snuggling, they're interrupted when a wagon and some riders storm into the monastery. These rowdy newcomers are dressed as monks, but it’s pretty obvious they haven’t taken the vows as they bully the other monks around and pull a secret stash of rifles from out of the monastery’s well. Then the head bandito produces a large sack of gold and places it in the well as payment -- that Murdoch will collect in the morning. That is he would have, if Trinity hadn't stepped in and stolen first. 

Warned that Murdoch will never let him get away with the money, Trinity is well aware of that and knows he'll need his brother's help to keep it. But Bambino doesn’t like the odds and decides to dump the federal agent scam and move back to robbing stages. And under the threat of bodily violence, Trinity is encouraged to tow the company line. He agrees, and Bambino's plan is to pose as a passenger, giving them an inside man, while Trinity holds up the next stage. But when Trinity stops them, he only takes Bambino’s money and then rides back to the monastery and waits -- and not for long, before his royally pissed off kin storms the monastery gate, with every intention of dismembering his little brother. Luckily, Trinity quickly calms him down with the promise of big payoff if he'll just listen to his plan...

Sometime later, when Murdoch and his men approach the monastery to collect his money, the head monk won’t let them in unless they take off their gun belts. Not expecting any trouble, Murdoch orders his men to leave their guns outside, and once inside, they don't realize they're being locked in. Finding the well empty, and since the monks won’t tell him what happened, Murdoch orders his men to burn the monastery and kill them all. To do this, they'll need their guns but the two monks by the door won’t move -- and prove to be the only ones inside the walled compound who are armed. Throwing back their hoods, Trinity and Bambino order everyone to put their hands up. Unfortunately, one of the villains has a knife and grabs the girl. But instead of turning their guns over to the bad guys, the two brothers just heave them over the wall. Having them outnumbered about twenty to one, Murdoch takes his money back and then turns his attention back to the locked gate. But Bambino wants the money back and charges into the men, triggering a long brawling sequence, where everybody plays a rousing game of "keep away" with the moneybag. Amazingly, the two hold their own against the horde as Bambino throws bodies around and gongs people over the top of the head, who drop like a sack of potatoes once hit. This mayhem continues unabated until a company of Rangers arrives and restores order. 

When the lead monk introduces the head Ranger to the alleged federal agents, the lawman swears he’s seen the bigger one before, who looks just like a horse thief they’ve been looking for. But Trinity distracts him by turning over the large sack of loot and all the bounties they collected while posing as lawmen ... Broke and dejected, the two ride off. Trying to cheer his brother up, Trinity swears that things will get better and promises they'll rob the very first people they see. But upon rounding the next hill, they spot the same poor pioneer family in trouble again, and while Bambino shakes his head in disgust, Trinity rides off to help.

The End

After the rousing success of both They Call Me Trinity and Trinity is Still My Name, for over the next decade, Barboni, Hill and Spencer would keep on reuniting to make at least a half-dozen "unofficial" sequels -- set in different time periods, and taking place all over the world -- that always followed the exact same formula: Hill was always a sly deadbeat, who knew more than he let on. Spencer, meanwhile, was a surly brute, and always managed to be one step ahead of everyone else -- usually the law. Then Hill would get them into trouble, even though Spencer wants nothing to do with him or his problems. They’d eat. They’d fight. They’d fart. Hill would have an obligatory love interest and get into more trouble, and then they’d eventually join forces and the film would end in a big brawl with Spencer gonging people over the head with a meaty fist. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. I'm at a loss for words as to why, but the formula has never grown stale.

As I said before, it's the characters and the men who play them that keeps bringing me back. However, mention should also be made for the unsung heroes of this franchise, Pino Locchi and Glauco Onorato. For those of you who are unfamiliar with those names, they're the ones who dubbed the movies into english, and it was their pitch-perfect vocalizations that helped endear the bickering and brawling brothers to me. In fact, it's kinda startling to hear Hill and Spencer talk in their real voices, and dare I say, a tad bit disappointing.

Hill eventually made a few films in the States to cash in on his notoriety, but they didn’t do very well. Having seen Mr. Billion, where they wasted the guys enormous physical talents by having him play the lead in romantic comedy, it brings to mind the disastrous attempt to Hollywoodize Roberto Benigni in Son of the Pink Panther -- a truly awful film. Alas, I’ve never seen any of Spencer’s solo projects, but I’ve seen a enough of Hill's -- Mr. Billion, March or Die -- to safely say that these two guys really need each other to play off of. Their films -- like all foreign imports, lose a little in the translation. And as a viewer, you’ll be asked to accept some quantum leaps in plot logic and continuity, but tough it out. It’s well worth it. Trust me.

Trinity is Still My Name a/k/a …continuavano a chiamarlo Trinità (1971) West Film :: AVCO-Embassy Pictures / EP: Ezio Palaggi, Roberto Palaggi, Joseph E. Levine / P: Italo Zingarelli / D: Enzo Barboni / W: Enzo Barboni / C: Aldo Giordani / E: Antonio Siciliano / M: Guido De Angelis, Maurizio De Angelis / S: Terence Hill, Bud Spencer, Yanti Somer, Harry Carey Jr., Jessica Dublin, Pupo De Luca

Originally Posted: 02/06/01 :: Rehashed 04/18/09

Knuckled-out by Chad Plambeck: misspeller of words, butcher of all things grammatical, and king of the run on sentence. Copy and paste at your own legal risk. Questions? Comments? Shoot us an e-mail.
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