China 9, Liberty 37
Director: Monte Hellman and Tony Brandt
Year Released: 1978
Imprisoned Clayton Drumm (Fabio Testi) is about to be hung when he's given a pardon with a condition: find stubborn Matthew Sebanek (Warren Oates) - who's married to the beautiful Catherine (Jenny Agutter) - and kill him (for refusing to sell his land to the railroad company). Hellman's known for making off-beat Westerns, but this has serious pacing issues - there's no sense of urgency or drive and it's like he's trying to stretch out a (very) bare narrative: even after Agutter's lonely housewife (who is constantly in a state of undress) tries to kill her own husband and run off with Testi (who is not what you'd call the 'best actor' around), it still just kind of sits there, staring at rocks. But I will say this: drinking cocaine juice and going to the circus must have been a hell of a good time....