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Hannie Caulder (1971)

Hannie Poster

With the help of bounty hunter Price (Robert Culp), Hannie Caulder (Raquel Welch) goes after the three marauding Clemens brothers (Ernest Borgnine, Jack Elam and Strother Martin) who killed her husband and have raped her.

Worth to be a cult movie, this (almost) forgotten gem is a kind of an oddity in the history of the Western film. American director Burt Kennedy (who wrote and directed many Westerns like Return of the Seven, The War Wagon, Dirty Dingus Magee and Young Billy Young) took charge of this British production that kicks in at the last years of the declining  cycle of the Spaghetti Westerns in Europe and the Revisionist Western in the US.  There is only half a dozen British Westerns (A Town Called Hell, Catlow, Chato’s Land, The Man Called Noon,  Shalako, The Hunting Party) that became in/famous, and even those stood very much in the shadow of the glory of their Italian counterparts. 

Hannie Caulder is an attempt to combine Spaghetti Western elements (ugly bad guys, dark incidents, cool costumes, funky one-liners, Spanish landscapes and a rousing score) with revisionist ideas (critical, more realistic depiction of the West, activation of stronger female roles, avoidance of an idealistic hero) and a bit of British humor and elegance (ironic and over-the-top characterizations of the bad guys, and Robert Culp and Christopher Lee do represent a dash of British gentlemanship).  The plot moves very fast and is not always “airtight”, but the film certainly can stand as a standard example for an European Western with the additional twist that in the center of the story is not a tough gunman, but the sensuous Raquel Welch who I believe still can be considered a role model for a newer generation of women who is self-confident with its femininity, mental strength and ability to manage male skills.  It took many years, arguably until the Nineties, that female leads appeared in mainstream US cinema who are strong – without adding fictional or overemphasizing masculine traits (or portraying them as femme fatales). Yet, “Hannie Caulder” was strangely shying away from being too consequent and therefore having a stronger ending…

When being asked why the western lost popularity in the public, Burt Kennedy answered in an interview for the MovieMaker Magazine: “Because of the tempo of a western—the attention span [it requires]. We’ve educated audiences to see things blowing up. In the old days we used to do stories.” This movie certainly represents a bridge between old and modern filmmaking. Welcome to the wild Seventies!

IMDb link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068675/?ref_=nm_flmg_dr_29

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32 responses to “Hannie Caulder (1971)

  1. I actually didn’t like this film very much. I thought that it was ok until the ending. I found it frustrating that Hannie becomes this very strong character and a powerful woman, but she still needs to saved by a real man. The man in black was never even explained. It was one if the most unsatisfying endings I’ve ever seen.

    That being said, the movie was a little sexy and had some good violence, so it was at least somewhat entertaining. Also I liked the cinematography. Some of those really wide landscape shots were nice, and I was surprised how close they were able to get to the look of the American West.

    If I hadn’t known that this was a kind of Spaghetti Western, I think I would have liked this film even less. It was a bit too goofy at times compared to most popular, traditional American Westerns. The brothers, for example, get on my nerves.

    There were some funny lines, but overall I didn’t think that the dialogue was that clever. I thought “Faster, Pussycat Kill Kill!” was more entertaining in that regard.

    There must have been a time jump right before Price is killed, but I didn’t really feel it. I thought it was confusing when he was suddenly Hannie of changing and becoming cruel.

    I really enjoyed the concept of this film and the costumes, but I wouldn’t really recommend it.

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    • Richard Specht ⋅

      I agree with you about the ending. That pretty much killed the entire point of the film. It was as if she trained and worked hard for nothing, just to have some no name dude save her ass in the end. I mean at the very least Thomas could have saved her, that would have been a better ending at least.

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  2. Also, that slow-mo scene was unbearable.

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  3. Kris ⋅

    Hannie Caulder. What a great way to show a half naked (3/4s naked?) woman for almost two hours. The film really lacks any real depth or meaning, and seems to be more of a showcase of Welch’s feminine physique rather than a story about the West.

    How does it lack depth? Well within the first few minutes during the rape scene between Caulder and the three stooges (Emmit, Frank and Rufus, the bandits of the story), it turns more into a comedy scene with Rufus being pushed out the door multiple times and then finally settling in near the window to watch his two other brothers rape Caulder. Who ever wrote that or added that into the script is an idiot. If the rape of a woman is too much to show in a film, don’t show it. Turning something like that into a comedy scene is very irresponsible film making/script writing.

    We don’t know about Caulder before the rape event. Who she was and how she lived before a tragic event in her life changed her forever. So she is finding herself along with the audience. This may seem like a great plot device, though I think, in my opinion, it backfired. Typically when a device like this is used the character it is used on dies within the film, like Price. But we know more about Price than we do Caulder. We know he’s a bounty hunter. We know he has friends in high places, we know that he is well respected and/or feared, we know a lot about Price, who he is and where he comes from. Then he dies? That makes no sense. Then Caulder lives, the character we know almost nothing about, lives. Somebody got the writing a little backwards. Caulder’s character depth is non-existent.

    Story depth fairs no better. Due to the above and also this mysterious man in black that makes two surprise appearances. The first appearance introduces a character that seems to take an interest in Caulder. Nothing is said or seen anymore of him until the very end of the film. He mysteriously pops in to save the day. What the hell? Why? Why write that into the story? Talk about a major plot hole! Caulder should have been able to handle herself by this point. It would have been much more believable and less confusing for her to just kill Emmit by herself and become the “loner – emotional – stoic” type of cowgirl that would emulate the cowboy archetype. See now we know how these stereotypical “Cowboys” are created, a tragic event takes place, revenge is sought, an emotional scar is forever created. Caulder would go through this same process and become a badass cowgirl. Because the mystery man saved her, the audience is left with the feeling that she never grew from her experience. She will always be reliant on some else, a man, and therefore never truly becoming an archetypal cowgirl. She never developed, just changed. So where’s the story?

    The training scene becomes so expository that I thought I was watching a Gun Slingers Handbook YouTube video for a moment. Why can’t we learn with Caulder through the camera lens and cinematography, oh, dare I say, like in CINEMA!?! Instead we’re treated to a “How To” step-by-step instructional method of gun slinging. True, the film does revert to the cinema process, but only after everything is fully explained. The exposit was neither warranted nor needed.

    The character shift with Price towards the end of the film is too much to bear. What happened to this guy? Did he fall in love or something? Minutes before the encounter with the three Clemmens brothers, he goes through a complete emotional 180 with Caulder. Why? It doesn’t make sense except to mask bad writing and lack of plot. He doesn’t need to do this. The relationship breaks down too fast for believability. Price has been training Caulder (though extensive and tiresome expository lectures) for her revenge on the Clemmens brothers. And then, 20 minutes before all the hard work will pay off, he has a change of heart. That’s ridiculous.

    Tom Price is an experienced, feared, respected, skilled, successful Bounty Hunter. He’s been around the block as the term goes, twice it would seem. So when he is caught off guard and struck in the gut with a throwing knife (Though the knife in the film was not balanced so in reality this knife most likely would have struck handle end first and merely been an annoyance.) it’s pretty unbelievable. He knew that the Clemmens bothers rolled around in a pack of THREE!! So why was he caught so off guard? He would have known that there were two other bothers skulking around somewhere and had his guard up. Why not follow Frank and let him meet up with the other two brothers and get all three at the same time? Again this seems like some piss poor writing used to fill in a plot hole. Price isn’t a bad ass bounty hunter after all? You mean the film makers were deceiving me this whole time? What rubbish.

    Plus the wound Price received from the knife barely looked fatal. I doubt the knife blade passed through the stomach muscle into the gastric system. A painful deep cut at most. Keep it clean and dis-infected and a few stitches should do the trick. Four or five days later you’ll be ridin’ your horse again.

    What really seals the deal on the no depth opinion of mine is that this film was really just a showcase of Welch and her body. The blanket/pancho thing, the tight deerskin pants, it’s just exploiting the sexuality of woman.

    Ok so did this film do anything right. Of course it did. The use of wide landscape shots is spot on. The cinematography is good, not great but not bad either, it’s good. It’s standard. The use of blood squibs too is a great touch. Made the film a little more realistic on that end of things. When people get shot, they bleed. The Clemmens brothers also depict what perhaps a real outlaw would look like. Dirty, like homeless people. The outlaws in Jesse James looked so well kept. Though the Clemmens brothers did seem a little to well fed for homeless outlaws. Could be stomach cancer or cirrhosis of the liver though. On this same note, Welch’s hair looked a little too well kept for living out on the range like she did. And they had some really great dental care back in the day of the cowboy because everyone had such pearly whites.

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  4. janey ⋅

    In the opening scene, where the Clemens brothers try robbing a bank in a small town as its “deputies?” are sleeping on the porch outside, the whole scene seems to be quite over the top. So much blood and killing for this tiny bank. What’s even more confusing is when they are trying to escape and one brother gets upset at the other for getting on “his” horse; we get the idea that they are not exactly the brightest bandits. It gets more ridiculous throughout the film. Some of their lines are funny, but felt out of place. It’s just outlandish that these three “stooges” are able to get away with their crimes, but I guess that was added for some “comic relief.”

    I think the strongest character in this film was Thomas Price. He, as the reserved bounty hunter and Hannie’s mentor stayed pretty consistent throughout the film. Because of all the information we learn about him throughout the film, It felt like he was the more compelling character. Like Kris said, we don’t really know anything about Hannie throughout the film. She doesn’t really portray a “strong women,” which is what I think they were trying to do?

    I also think they made a big mistake by letting him get killed by Emmett’s knife throwing. We all knew that Tom was an experienced bounty hunter and his instincts and awareness of danger were sharp. We saw that in the scene at Bailey’s place, when they are attacked by a group of Mexican bandits. It is just silly that he didn’t see or think the other brothers would be around when he encountered Frank.

    This movie wasn’t terrible, but I do agree that the ending kinda killed it. The man in black was just really out of place as well. Might as well just have put a sign saying, “women will always need men to protect them”

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  5. hanaji0 ⋅

    When the film starts, three men appear on the screen. They look very wild and viewers can tell that they are the antagonists. On the other hand, the woman, Hannie Caulder does not look like a housewife who lives in an isolated house only with her husband. We imagine an innocent homely lady. However, the woman who appears on the screen is totally different from our expectation. She is very sexy and wears a dress which emphasizes her breasts. Her appearance makes me think why is she living in that house with him? She looks more like a girl who lives in the city where other cute sexy girls are. More surprisingly this lady eventually becomes a bounty hunter for her revenge. Although I can understand why she only wears the blanket after she gets out of her burning house, it is very unnatural to see her wearing the blanket as tops without any underwear after she gets to the town. It seems that the director is trying to show her sexiness too much but it sometimes destructs me. Many movies portray strong female characters as sexy women such as Charlie’s Angels, Tomb Raider. It makes me think about sexiness and being strong as a woman. Are these related or is it just because this connection is needed to create an appealing film?

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  6. karltuj

    As I mentioned in class: this movie has its shortcomings, although the concept is actually good and parts of it (protagonists, actors, music, costumes, pace, settings etc.) are quite pleasing for fans of the genre. And although Hannie’s portrayal wasn’t pulled through consequently, it was an unique attempt to even try that at that time, and it took more than twenty years until the next female gunslinger (played by Sharon Stone) appeared on a Western’s screen in Sam Raimi’s “The Quick and the Dead” (1995).

    On a special note for the “aspiring filmmakers” among you, let me point out that these imperfect films are the perfect ones to remake, not the ones which ARE already perfect. Great directors have failed in remaking masterpieces (like Gus van Sant with “Psycho”), but Tarantino’s (who more than 10% of my students have selected as there favorite director!) smart strategy is to remake films like these! And this comes from his open mind towards and unconditional love for ALL movies! To make you more aware of how important it is to watch and analyze all kinds of movies is one of the reasons why I put this one (or “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!”) into our program. I felt this is more necessary than just focusing on history’s masterpieces and “promoting” the high quality of American films in this course.

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  7. ken032192

    Being the third Western film we’ve ever seen in class, and also the first to actually star a female protagonist. While this film wasn’t as entertaining as Jesse James, the first Western film we saw, it was certainly more enjoyable than High Noon, and I enjoyed watching the film in general. Having Hannie Caulder as the main character was quite interesting in that I’ve never really seen or heard of a Western film that actually had a young lady as the protagonist before, so it was quite an interesting diversion from watching the male characters being the stars of the films for once. Hannie herself looked quite attractive and sexually appealing, especially to her curvaceous body style and luscious large breasts. I felt sorry for her being gang-raped by the three idiotic and comical bandit brothers, and having her husband killed by them too. I sympathized with her as she tried to become more strong and independent by becoming a bounty hunter and learning how to use a gun in order to defend herself from those dangerous men.

    The trio of bandits themselves were quite hilarious in watching their idiotic and bumbling ways, being the three stooges and the comical relief of the film in a way. I simply like how they are constantly shown to be so unintelligent and cannot seem to do much of anything right, and how inept they are at robbing banks as well. Yet ironically, they managed to gang-rape an innocent woman and even kill her husband despite their general incompetence. They remind me of another trio from the popular Pokemon anime series, “Team Rocket”, which also consists of three bumbling and comical stooges that fail miserably in their schemes, just as much as the trio of bandits. They sure did an excellent job in keeping me laughing with their dialogue as well.

    Thomas was also quite an interesting character, being very important and helpful to Hannie in teaching her the ways of using a gun and help her to become much more stronger so she could help herself from danger since being mortified from being gang-raped. In fact, he seemed to have quite a close relationship with her, as if it was a “teacher-and-student” relationship, and looked as if there would be some sort of romance between the two as well. It was just too bad to see him being killed though, since he went through so much trouble to help the innocent woman overcome her fears since the beginning of the story, so I felt sorry for him also. He died quite an undeserved death in the end, and he shall always be remembered for how much he cared and assisted Hannie from the beginning to the end.

    All in all, this film was quite enjoyable for starring Hannie as the main female protagonist, and was a little better than I expected as well. Even if this film could never top Jesse James, I still think this deserves a number two spot as one of the top three Western films I liked from this class. If another Western film had a sexually appealing and attractive lady as the protagonist, and if it can be entertaining at around the same level of Jesse James, then I’ll be looking forward to that also eventually.

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  8. Chaitea ⋅

    I found the Hannie Caulder to be an interesting film with a female heroine rather than the conventional male hero. In the beginning when we see the woman, she was dressed in bit of a deep cut dress – compared to most of the other women we later see when she goes into town – who are dressed in more covered dresses. This made me wonder at her character when watching the film. Is she a mistress or a lover living with the station man Jim (who was shot at the very beginning and killed), as she just didn’t seem to look a typical “homely” wife’s character. So when she later expressed that Jim was her husband, it surprised me.
    Like Kris mentioned in his comment, I too didn’t like the raping scene. It was a bit too cruel to include it and then make some parts look like a joke. The way the men treated her showed a mentality of considering women as objects by slapping them, bending them to their will without considering of their feelings. I really wish they didn’t include this particular scene in such detail as it was unpleasant to watch.
    I also didn’t understand why the brothers had to destroy the house after taking all that the woman had – they took her husband (by killing him), money, horses, her dignity… and then they destroyed her house – for what purpose? They didn’t shoot and kill her – which they could have done if they actually wanted her dead – but they just destroyed what little she had left and left her to live – which can be considered cruelty as she had nothing to live for or live on. I guess upon further thought, it does push the characters of the brothers to be very evil natured as opposed to outlaws like Jesse James, allowing viewers to sympathize with the woman’s decision to kill them and take revenge, thus driving the story forward.
    Upon first encounter, the bounty hunter looks more like a preacher or Jewish rabbi than a bounty hunter. He’s also older and looks weaker than a typical male hero character. Another point of interest in this film was that justice was carried out not by the actual police or sheriff but by bounty hunters. The sheriffs were portrayed as almost trying to protect the outlaws by turning a blind eye.

    With regards to production value, I think it is better than previous movie (Faster Pussycat). Comparatively even the plot and story is better – there’s a motive and I could even enjoy most of the movie – especially the story after the woman meets the bounty hunter.
    The ending was interesting as the woman was portrayed as strong willed and independent throughout the movie but she couldn’t kill the last man without the help of the man who’s character remained unexplained at the end. This man was the only big flaw I could observe with regard to story as he was not sufficiently explained. Overall however, I did enjoy watching this film, much more than Faster Pussycat.

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  9. maiorengi

    Overall, it was an okay film. In my opinion, Raquel Welch seemed to be too much of Ralph Lauren model and did not really go with the setting. With the background of a grandiose mountain of Spain in the beginning, three unappealing brothers appeared on the scene. This is reasonable since the film is Western with fancy-like mountains behind them. When the three brothers stepped into the house, there was this modernized lady played by Welch standing frightening. The mountains, the old filthy house and the three guys with Raquel Welch?? I do not think so. I kept thinking from the start to near ending how women are portrayed in the film during the 70s. In fact, in the bar scene, where Thomas kills one of the guys, women were still had their 70s clothes and the old fashioned makeup on. Welch, on the other hand, had her tight western outfit on to make her body more appealing. It seems like this film is all about promoting Raquel Welch as an actress since the cover of the film already says, “Raquel Welch is Hannie Caulder.” In fact, Erin Brockovich played by Julia Roberts is also an example of this tactic advertising.
    As everyone talks about the slow motion editing, I, too, am distracted by that meaningless slow motion. It could have been no slow motion, or could just simply cut fast to the next.

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  10. Nemokenza ⋅

    So I loved Hannie Caulder.
    Well perhaps loved is a strong word. However I do enjoy revenge films.
    With that being said, I think that people are perhaps being a bit too critical of the film.
    I could never fully bring myself to expect any real depth from a Western. We were all aware that we were watching a Brit produced Western right?

    For me, Westerns are like a cheap comfort food. growing up my father liked Westerns and I would often watch them with him. He liked westerns for the fact that he was actually a child when they were popular. (He was born in 1938 and became a teenager in the 50’s- the hayday for Westerns). I would watch them with him on the couch at home yet, I couldn’t fully relate. They were fun to watch, and I learned morals, however they were more often than not, a bit too squeaky clean for me. It was this squeaky cleanness that made it hard for me to take them serious. While I am aware the West was actually very different than what we’re often lead to believe in popular culture, (i.e. the first cowboys were Black Americans and there were way more people of colour roaming around and actively taking place in the Western states before they became part of the union) I’ve come to appreciate certain motifs from the genre.

    The reason why I like Hannie Coulder was because it opened up the notion of European Westerns to me. At first I was extremely sceptical. (what do Europeans know about the Western?) However it would appear that England (at least) did their homework and also manage to put their own touch to things. To hear profanity and see some bloodshed (no matter how fake) is just the right amount of camp to make me feel as if the movie is some what a bit more realistic. Also Raquel Welch is FIT, OH MY GOD IS SHE FIT. Good Lord, I need to watch this movie again….

    With that being said. I think that if you’re seriously looking for a good film, you’ve need to check your ideals of film at the door. This is, as Karl said, a product of a system that cranked out roughly 600 films in a ten year period. It could have been heaps worse. Plus, once again, Raquel Welch is FIT.

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  11. At first I thought this film was quite interesting. The way the female lead was portrayed, while it was a “western” did not seem very…western-ish.

    While the plot was quite predictable, I quite enjoyed the story-line. As I have said before, I am not a very big fan of westerns, but this one was bearable, although some scenes were…not.

    I did not understand exactly why the brothers always had to be yelling. Is this a way to portray how uneducated they are? It reminded me a lot of the previous film, Faster Pussy Cat Kill Kill (?), in which they always yelled at each other while communicating. Just because you are speaking louder, does not mean that your message is going to be easier to understand…

    The scene in which the Mexican gang attacked them at the gunman’s house seemed very random. I realize that it was to show us that she was not ready, or perhaps never will be ready, to kill a person with a gun. I realize that this is what it is supposed to show, but it came so randomly and there was no reasoning behind the attack in the first place.

    Then the one slow-motion scene that appeared towards the end? Not only was the scene horrible, but why was it used just there?
    Then the mysterious priest-like man who virtually had no meaning to the film except to ruin the ending.
    As Andrew said in his post and in class, I did not like how they gave her so much power and then took it all away at the end when she HAD to get help from this mysterious priest-like man. Then at the end, without even properly introducing him, we see the two ride away on their horses together. Who is he? This really bothered me and it also really took away from the whole film.

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  12. Ah, this was an interesting film. Being that I am a fan of westerns, it wasn’t the most horrible movie I’ve seen by any means, it kept my attention. For a woman in the west, Hannie Caulder was a bit too much of a sexual figure to play the part. Throughout the film, I expected her to become a bit more masculine, but during the film, she would always revert back to her feminine ways, always wearing some sort of small, tight article of clothing. I thought it was comical how she never invested in any shirt, “Just a poncho for me, thanks.”

    Like others have said, this is a western, I wasn’t expecting any sort of super in-depth storyline, as most of the storylines of westerns are rather predictable, but this one kind of took the cake for randomness, I think anyways. Like the Mexican gang that rides up on them, what was that? I loved it how the gang decided to ride in the salt water, because, you know, screw weapon maintenance. After the shootout, there was not even an explanation as to WHY the group of hooligans decided to attack, especially after that nice conversation with the gunmaker and the leader. It’s during this scene we see that Hannie still has her femininity, or innocence, when she attempts to shoot her first man.

    The other random part of this film that just, really, really bothered me was the priest-looking guy. WHO WAS HE?! WHY was he in the film? It almost looks like they were thinking about a sequel with these odd additions. I actually think that was the most disturbing portion of the film, the damn priest.

    I really enjoy the brothers in this film. Not the real dense one, but the other two. They seem to be in every single western I watch lately. That’s also one of my favorite things about westerns, it’s usually the same actors in the films. Like Junko said though, that slow motion scene, I thought the video player was messing up and then I still heard the audio. I think that part was shown a little too dramatic.

    This film was predictable, but like others have said, it’s what I sort of expect from these sorts of films.

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  13. Jordan ⋅

    This film was a hybrid between the classic spaghetti westerns mixed with new elements including a dash of British humor. It’s interesting to see a British production’s take on what is considered to be a very American cinematic genre. One of of the things that stood out to me was a refreshing take on the Asian revenge story structure. This film perfectly showcased the idea of someone being wronged, taking steps to discover how to better themselves through the aid of a mentor and then successfully enacting the revenge in a climatic fashion. Where this film differs is the concentration of the female protagonist, which is actually a well written female character until the end. It’s a shame they included the cliche of her being saved by the male at the end, because that slightly ruined what can be considered one of the stronger female roles of cinema. Although the film was entertaining, I felt the dialogue was a little too cheesy, as was the music. I think this was intentional, and was an artistic decision of the director. Perhaps it was homage to old western cinema. But because of silly dialogue and sound, to me this film will always be pigeonholed as a 2nd tier B-movie despite its cult classic status.

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  14. Richard Specht ⋅

    This movie was not as bad as I thought it would be, the jokes were a little lame and the acting was so so, but none the less it was a pretty good film. The one point of the movie I really did not like was the fact that in the end she ended up being saved by some unknown man. This act right here destroyed the entire plot and point of the movie. The point was supposed to be a woman decided to stand up and take revenge against three brother criminals. She had worked so hard throughout the entire film to get the revenge she so craved and ended up being saved by someone else. And that someone else was a character who had absolutely no name, no point, and no part of this film. If it was not for that man, she would have been killed by the last brother and all of her work would have been for absolutely nothing. So why did the director decide to do that? Is he trying to say that even after hard work and dedication that women still can not stand up for themselves? Whatever the point the director is trying to make is, it absolutely ruined this film.

    There was also a lot of other random unknown things in this film such as the random mexican gang that started shooting the house up for no reason and then disappeared without a trace. I understand that the point was to have her first kill, but she did not even kill the guy and was saved by Tom. So from that point to the very end of the movie it was as if she had made no progress whatsoever.

    Another thing was the relationship that Tom and Hannie had formed during her training. That which disappeared without a trace too. So actually looking back at this film, it was pretty bad and I do not think I will watch it again.

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  15. Marya ⋅

    It was rather refreshing to see a female play the leading role in a western film. I think it was our first western to see a female in pants. Although, Hannie is depicted as a sexual icon, since the film occasionally reveals her curvy waist when she lifts up her poncho to retrieve her gun, I thought less and less flesh was being shown as she progressed through her training in becoming a bounty hunter. She started off bare naked with gradually gained more clothes and the attitude to match her clothes. In comparison to “faster pussycats” I prefer Hannie’s portrayal of women in movies, because she is ambitious and has a reasonable and proper goal, she doesn’t use her sexuality as a weapon.

    One thing that stuck out to me the most the mismatch of Thomas Price’s costume and role. His image was the complete opposite from what I expect a bounty hunter to look like. Price looked far from aggressive and somewhat noble and wise. However, I felt that the gap between the appearance and role is what added charm to his character. Since this film is a mixture of spaghetti western, a remake of European vision of western I could see these influences upon the several parts of the film, particularly in Hannie’s costumes and locations. It was difficult to figure out where the story was set, I thought it was somewhere in Latin America from the house Hannie lived in and scenery. Her costume didn’t appeal to me as western, it has a mixture of Mexican and somewhat western. Through these two elements, we could see the director’s attempt to replicate a western film, but I personally felt that it wasn’t very successful.

    Overall, I enjoyed the film, however, I wouldn’t say it was the best one out of all the westerns we had seen so far. I found the whole training sequel a little cliche.

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  16. Tim ⋅

    Hannie Caulder (1971) is an American directed spaghetti western, starring American actors, filmed in Spain and for some reason ends up being called British. Thank you, film industry.
    It wasn’t great, but wasn’t too bad either. I actually enjoyed this more than Jessie James, but that might be because of the fact that Raquel Welch was in it. This film has some glaring problems. First of all we don’t really get to know the Welch’s character before the events that put her on the path to vengeance. Secondly, I agree with Chris about the whole rape scene which turns into a comedy and it is indeed a very irresponsible thing to do by whoever was responsible for writing the script. Moreover there are uneasy changes in tone, with the goofy and comic portrayal of the three bad guys right next to people graphically killed? This thing is all over the place.

    And the most appalling thing is the ending, as most of the film involves Welch training for vengeance, so that when she is ready for revenge, so less than a quarter of the film left to run. And instead of getting her revenge, the main bad guy gets killed by some random bugger, whose character I even fail to recognize, due to the fact that the ending scene must have been his first and the only one in that film. That pretty much killed the whole crime/revenge idea for me I agree with Richard, at least if Thomas was the one who saved her, it would have made more sense that way.
    The production values were decent enough, well at least in comparison with that “Pussycat Run and Kill” thing we watched the other day which makes this film seem like Avatar or Titanic in comparison.

    Still, I have to admit that overall I did find this film quite entertaining. It’s certainly not boring, at least not as boring as Jessie James. I particularly enjoyed Robert Culp’s performance as the bounty hunter, and as someone had pointed out in our class – loved the way he looked – not your typical bounty hunter. So overall, despite some major flaws it is a very watchable film.

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  17. Yet again I was surprised on how much I enjoyed this film. As a whole the film was pretty well done. I personally didn’t like the Antagonists in this film. They could have been casted a little bit better. To me they were kind of to cheesy for the roll, but I’m not the producer so he clearly thought these were pretty great picks. The main role was casted perfect. Raquel Welch is a perfect sex symbol, and makes you pay attention more to the story because of how strong of a role she plays. At first she is a damsel in distress who turns to a badass. The cinematography in this film was pretty up to par. I feel during the shooting scenes it could have been a little bit faster paced and jumpy. It just felt a little slow to me when the scene happened on the beach. Also even though Raquel was a great sex symbol I feel as she could have been a little bit more into her role. In some scenes she just wasn’t feeling her role as much as she should have been. Over all the movie was well done, other then being a little bit of a struggle in some of the camera work this film was a passing grade in my book.

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  18. Chroma ⋅

            Like others have mentioned, Hannie Caulder was more of a pretty face on screen than a portrayal of a strong female character; I might have been a little more contemplative about that statement if an unknown, male character didn’t have to come to her rescue in the end.
            I found Thomas Price to be a more memorable character. To put it simply: he was a badass. It would have made more sense if he had Caulder’s back in the last scene than a random man in black, regardless that she’d still be saved by a male figure either way; the movie would have come to a close with fewer questions from the audience; the ending couldn’t even be called a cliffhanger! 
            I wonder if Price’s death was just a wy to move the story along, so the lead female would have to stand on her own (which failed anyway..)
            Kris absolutely hit the nail on the head about the rape scene; there’s nothing funny about it. It was uncomfortable to watch, and the script writer(s) made a really poor decision about injecting even the slightest bit of humor into it. The dumber than doorknobs Clemmens brothers had enough antics to provide comic relief at other points in the film.
            Overall, it wasn’t the greatest (then again, I’m gradually becoming more biased against western movies), but it wasn’t entirely terrible; it entertained (though not very well, in my opinion).

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  19. Carl Knewbert ⋅

    “Hannie Caulder” was one of the best westerns I have seen thus far. Director Burt Kennedy did a fantastic role in balancing sexiness and action. This movie opened many doors for future films such as “I Spit on Your Grave.” The plot to this story is similar to that of “Hannie Caulder.” This movie did a substantial job at combining the traditional Spaghetti Western (Male Dominated roles) with revisionist ideas (Female Dominated role). Raquel Welch opened the door for females to play a role other than just a sex symbol. After watching this movie numerous times within a week span, Spaghetti Westerns are far more entertaining than the tradition western. For 1971 the graphics of this film was very futuristic vs that of the traditional film of that time. After reading previous blogs on this film, it has been said that this film lack depth. I agree with this statement as for the director should have done a better job introducing the main character vs. just throwing her in to the fire (rape). We know more about the rapist than the actually victim. Throughout the story we are giving background information on who the rapist were and their origin. In conclusion, this was a fantastic film in my opinion, for the time it was released this movie was ahead of its time.

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  20. satchi ⋅

    Compared to the movie from last week, I highly enjoyed this film. Although it was fairly easy to tell that this wasn’t a traditional American western, I really enjoyed it more than the few other westerns I’ve seen. I really liked the music and settings (although these were perhaps the most obvious in difference from a typical American western). The costumes were also very nice. They didn’t quite match the time period or setting all the time, but I really loved the designs in general, especially the ones for Hannie, so I didn’t really care so much.

    Another point I really enjoyed were the three Clemens brothers. As mentioned in the description above, I could really see the British humor in their portrayals. At first, of course I couldn’t like them because of what they did, but after a while their humor made me want to like them although I knew that they were the bad guys.

    I do rather think that Hannie’s confidence and toughness rather came up a bit too fast at the end, but I still liked how she was able to defeat the brothers at the end. I know a lot of people were disappointed in how a man had to “save her” at the end, but I never really saw it that way? After all, he really didn’t do much, and she was the one who dealt the finishing blows at the end for all three. Also she only got “help” for the last brother, she finished off the other two all on her own.

    I also liked how Hannie was portrayed as a rather tough girl, but she was still portrayed as being a girl throughout the entire film. Although she wore pants and carried a gun, she also wore dresses at times and was seen perfume shopping later. It is a good blend and different from the modern tough girls who are basically just like biologically female male characters.

    I also like how the film was set up like an asian martial art movie in a way, what with the need for revenge, the training under a teacher, the plot ultimately culminating in the teacher’s death and the lead character’s time to go and get their revenge on their own using the skills that they have learned. I really enjoy those types of movies so it was really interesting to see those types of themes in a western, and with a female lead. The only thing that I didn’t like too much was that Thomas was portrayed as such a strong fighter throughout the film and then he died in such a simple manner. That entire scene seemed a bit out of character for him.

    Overall I did really enjoy this film. The music, scenery, plot, themes, costumes, and even the appeal of the lead all made it a very enjoyable movie for me.

    Like

  21. Tad ⋅

    As I was watching Hannie Caulder I didn’t really go into having any expectations, and because of that I think I enjoyed the movie more than I might have if I had gone in expecting something it wasn’t. However as the movie went on I started to notice that I’ve seen a lot of the story elements before. After watching this film it was clear Hannie Caulder was a big inspiration to Quentin Tarantino. A lot of the story elements of Hannie Caulder were used in Django Unchained. The two that stuck out to me mostly were the main protagonist who gets trained by their well known and feared bounty hunter mentor(who eventually dies) in order to enact their revenge.
    The bounty hunters’ characters themselves were also kind of similar in that both weren’t your typical idea of what a bounty hunter would be. In Hannie Caulder, the protagonist’s mentor wasn’t a young, rough and tough bounty hunter, he was older, in this 30’s maybe 40’s and wore glasses. While in Django: Unchained, Django’s mentor was an older German Doctor.

    As for how women were portrayed in this film, like we discussed in class, Hannie’s character seemed to be pretty tough and self sufficient. However that image was kind of destroyed in the final show down when the man in black saves her from the target of her revenge.

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  22. Tatsuya ⋅

    The film “Hannie Caulder” has a Spaghetti Western element and is considered as a cult movie. I think it was pretty good to be a cult movie in my opinion anout this film. This movie has a sex symbol and also there is a idea of female gun-man, female hero who has lost her husband and makes a revenge. The plot and storytelling were both well-done and the acting was also great in my first impression for this film. Overall, this is a flim worth to watch.

    In the story, the main female gun-man Hannie Caulder acted by Raquel Welch learns how to use a gun and she killed (complete a revenge) at the end of the story which I think the storytelling is well-done and smoothly improved step by step.

    This film is not an American film so I wonder how the poeple, at that time, thought about this Western Film. It was very natural and nothing was weird but maybe it is not American enough for the American audiences.

    I also like how the film made this female gunman as a main character in the film, nowadays we can see many films with female main fighters but I did not expect to watch it in the Western films especially at the age 1970’s.

    I would like to watch more of Spaghetti Western films to compare to real American Western films how each makes and portrays the Western scene differently.

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  23. michi1st

    Hannie Caulder (1971) was a rather strange film to watch. While I understand that it is an attempt at a spaghetti western, there were aspects of this film that were distracting. The hero character, Price, was rather annoying to me. He wasn’t very hero-like and his actor seemed to have something off about him. The way his lines were delivered almost seemed as though he was forgetting and remembering them part way through. It may have been a character choice, but to me it was just distracting. The ending was also rather “in your face” the woman needs the man to survive.

    The landscapes were really pretty, although really obviously not American. The dessert lands had mountains in the background, making it a clearly not-American setting. I was curious if the sand/windstorm in the ending was intentional/man-made or a last minute “We need to shoot, let’s work with this.” There was an effect they were going for but it didn’t seem to work without how it covered too much in that ending point.

    Lastly, the editing was annoying. Yes, it was cranked out very fast and on a low budget, but it showed a bit too much in places that made it distracting in a “final climatic scene.”

    I don’t know, the film overall was so-so to me. The quick moving-yet dragging plot was a bit too much for my tastes.

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  24. Hosta Mahogey ⋅

    Hannie Caulder is an awesome film. Right from the get-go, I knew i was going to really enjoy the movie. The pop art intro and catchy tune certainly piqued my interest.

    I find the rape scene despicably grotesque. Even though they don’t overtly show anything happening (sexual wise), it is more than enough. After that scene I wanted those three men dead. And I am glad that was accomplished.

    I love the costumes of the film. Hannie’s costume is ultra bad-ass and super sexy at the same time. Her bell bottoms also gives her outfit a little 70’s flair.

    Hannie Caulder is pretty graphic in comparison to what we have seen before. The constant appearance of the bright red liquid Caulder tries to pass as blood makes the film more light-hearted in my opinion.

    The mentor/love interest character is very non-traditional and cool. He is older, sensitive, and dons glasses. I believe this character to be a huge inspiration for Chistoph Waltz’s character in Tarantino’s Django Unchained. In fact, many elements from this film can be found in Django. I suppose that could just be chalked to both films following the revenge genre.

    Overall, I would definitely recommend this film to anyone who is a fan of Westerns.

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  25. tbrenji

    Hannie Caulder was unique with the use of a strong female lead for a western. What the film did well was create the transition of the female lead from an innocent defenseless woman to the some what stronger character she becomes. The visual representation of the damsel in distress really stood out to since even now I am able to envision how she was portrayed in the beginning of the film. Whether her training and journey with Price was believable, her portrayal of the strong fearless gunslinger was easily accepted. Her resolve to get vengeance for her husband as well as herself stayed strong, even with the constant attempts to persuade her not to by Price. The training scenes between Hannie and Price greatly reminded me of the similar pattern kung-fu movies used during training between master and pupil. I can vividly see Price standing beside Hannie, telling her to wax on and wax off or using some philosophical proverb to explain the importance of patience and determination. Going back to the beginning of the film regarding the rape scene between Hannie and the Clemens brothers, by today’s standards may not seem that graphic, but considering the time this movie was filmed makes it understandable why audience members would find the scene unbearable. In my opinion though, if the director wanted to create a strong impact on the film’s basis for revenge then he should not have tried to water down the scene by adding a slight bit of humor. During the scene, the Clemens brothers took turns taking advantage of Hannie and this sequence was a bit comedic, possibly to not upset the audience too much. I personally believe if you have a certain goal in mind, then you should follow through all the way. Taking the sequence out or making it more grittier or sadistic would have solidified Hannie’s resolve for wanting to seek revenge and allowed the audience to not only hate the Clemens with a stronger passion but also accept Hannie’s resolve easier. During Hannie’s training, her, Price and the gunsmith became involved in a gunfight with a gang of bandits. the purpose of this scene was to display Hannie’s improvement, gain experience and learn what it means to be apart of a gun fight. The scene was very much needed but what could have made it more believable was if a reason was given for the attack. A way to do this could have been to allow the audience to listen to the conversation between the gunsmith and the bandits. What did NOT make sense was the man in black. He seemingly did not have a purpose in the film and his act of saving her in the end to allow her to have the final draw hurt Hannie’s character build up rather than helped. One thing the director could have done was show the audience that the man was after the Clemens bounty, this would have presented him as a competing bounty hunter for Price and after Price’s death, him saving Hannie would seem like his acceptance of her as Price’s replacement as a rival.

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  26. theeradicator33 ⋅

    Thank you for visiting my website
    Click Eradicator Reviews
    You have a cool website here. It’s great that you review a lot of cult films which I’m into as well. Some of these I haven’t heard of. This Raquel Welch film sounds interesting.

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  27. Roger Murdock ⋅

    I found this to be a very interesting film to view. It was a classic portrayal of a western film, yet with a twist of a feminine protangonist, which I was very curious to see how that would be done. In many of the western films I have seen, the protagonist is usually a stoic man, void of any relationships, who has no reliance on anyone and learns empirically. The director, Burt Kennedy, depicts Hannie Caulder, played by Raquel Welch, in the most vulnerable situation a woman can be in…yet is a setup for the stoic and cunning personality she develops. Very early on in the film, Caulder is raped by three unintelligent bandits, who not only strip her of her dignity, but kill her husband in the process. Left alone, she devotes herself to revenge, and in the process meets a bounty hunger Tom Price who she follows in hopes of learning how to kill. As she tries to convince him to teach her, she begins to try to seduce him into it but Price is no man who would fall for such a thing. Caulder cannot rely on her femininity and must earn Price’s respect in order for him to teach her. I thought this was a fascinating way of converting a beautiful pure female metaphorically into the rugged and stoic outlaw, which in Westerns are usually played by a man. Kennedy refers to his when she goes to buy pants to ride in, and they are too big for her. This “shoes to big for her” metaphor is so literally depicted in with her wearing pants too large, yet she succeeds in mastering the gun. In a scene in Mexico preceding the final battle with the bandit brothers, she fails to pull the trigger and take a life, which Price warns her she will not be able to. She fails again to protect Price when one of the bandit brothers kills Price as she is not there to protect him. Caulder must then mature from student to master and kill the bandit in the same way Luke avenged Obi-Wan to fight Darth Vader. This classic setup poses the ultimate trial for Caulder to prove herself and win back her dignity as an individual, no longer with male reliance which she was with her husband. In the final scene she is able, with the help of an uknown hero, which I believed to symbolize Price’s influence, and kill the bandit in which she could finally redeem herself.

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  28. This film did little to impress me. At first I was intrigued because I thought the idea of a female lead in a gun slinging Western sounded quite interesting, and it still does, I just feel like it was not executed well.

    The plot itself was thin and the characters forgettable. Raquel Welch as the main Character Hannie Caulder was sexy, but I wasn’t too impressed by her acting. I felt like she was only cast because she was sexy, which unfortunately for her only took her so far.

    The rape scene I felt was pretty squicky and I disliked how they portrayed the brothers as these comedic character types even after this development. I felt like that scene could have been more powerful as a plot tool if they had shown it differently and not shown as much of it. If they had used more suspense and undertones I feel like it could have been more intense.

    I also disliked how they took all this time to show Hannie Caulder training, and this big build up showing how she had progressed and she still couldn’t save herself at the end. Some random character we never were introduced to saved her. It kind of made the whole journey feel a little pointless in my opinion. If they were going to have someone save her they could have at least had the guy who trained her die BECAUSE he took the bullet for her or something. At least that would have made more sense.
    -Lynn

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