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Film / Don't Turn the Other Cheek!

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Don't Turn the Other Cheek! (originally titled Viva la muerte... tua!, or Long Live Your Death) is a 1971 comedy Spaghetti Western directed by Duccio Tessari. It's loosely based on a Western pulp novel, "The Killer From Yuma", by Lewis B. Patten. Set during The Mexican Revolution, it tells the story of a Russian conman named Dmitri Vassilovich Orlowsky (Franco Nero) looking for the other half of a treasure map, tattoed on the buttock of Mexican convict Max Lozoya (Eli Wallach). Their little treasure hunt gets complicated when bubbly, bright young Irish reporter Mary O'Donnell (Lynn Redgrave) wants to break El Salvador out of prison, wanting to motivate the Mexican people against the corrupt system, and get a good news story in the process. Hearing of this, Orlowsky, knowing that El Salvador is long dead, pretends that Lozoya is El Salvador. At first, Lozoya only wants to be an "honest bandit", but wears the "El Salvador" name like a thin veil. Then something triggers and he actually starts to care...

This movie provides examples of:

  • Accidental Hero: In the full Italian version, Lozoya only killed those soldiers to get to the gold. This leads to the peasants believing that he saved them (partly thanks to Mary).
    Lozoya: Who told them I was El Salvador?
    Orlowsky: It wasn't me, it was your admirer.
  • Accidental Pervert: Lozoya (possibly) when he seems to feel up a horse's leg that turns out to be a female horse trader's.
  • Action Girl: Mary, as it turns out, is a crack shot with a rifle and can beat up about 20 of Huerta's armed men with just her bare hands.
  • Agony of the Feet: Orlowsky drops a machete from above through a soldier's foot in the final battle.
  • Alliterative Name: Lupita's maiden name: Lupita Lozoya.
  • Bandito: Max Lozoya is an anti-heroic example. He steals, cheats and deceives. He's a thief, a murderer and a pervert. But he's up against a cruel regime of men even worse than him.
  • Becoming the Mask: At first, Lozoya uses his pretend role as a revolutionary hero to get back at Orlowsky and get the buried treasure himself. But when Huerta's soldiers under Randall kill his sister and nephew, he starts actually caring about fighting back against the Huerta's regime.
  • Big Bad: General Huerta.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Mary arrives at one point in the film to save Orlowsky and Lozoya from a slow and painful execution by Huerta and his men.
    • When Lozoya and Orlowsky are cornered by soldiers in the full Italian version, hundreds of peasants show up to support them.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Mary's aim isn't quite so good once she loses her glasses.
  • Brownface: Polish-American Eli Wallach plays a Mexican bandit for the fourth and final time.
  • Cassandra Truth: Lozoya tries to prove to Mendoza early on that he isn't El Salvador. No one believes him, of course, and Mary, who turned him in, insists he is.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Orlowsky, Lozoya and Mary screw each other over constantly.
  • Cool Uncle: Miguelito thinks this about his uncle Max.
  • Death of a Child: Miguelito, Lozoya's nephew.
  • Disney Death: Lozoya. It turned out he was shot with blanks by a firing squad.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Mary tries to pull this on Huerta. It almost works.
  • Enemy Mine: Lozoya and Orlowsky, at first.
    Orlowsky: You disgust me, too, but it seems we are forced to be partners, right?
  • Expy: Lozoya is a clear knockoff of Tuco from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, even moreso than Cacopoulos in Ace High. All three even share the same actor, Eli Wallach!
    • Orlowsky may have been based on Yodlof Peterson from Compañeros.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Lozoya may be an immoral scoundrel, but he also has a sister and nephew he loves very much.
  • Evil Cripple: Randall, whose whole spine has to be supported by a metal brace.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Orlowsky and Lozoya become close friends over moments of constantly betraying each other and selling the other out.
  • Foreshadowing: When he's tied to Orlowsky by Huerta's soldiers, Lozoya says that he won't see his sister or Miguelito any more... but that's because he thought he was going to die and not them.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Huerta and his regime.
  • Hates Being Touched: Max doesn't entirely mind being touched, but he really doesn't like being touched on the rear.
    Lozoya: I'm a Mexican.
    Orlowsky: So?
    Lozoya: No one touches my ass. It just don't happen. You got that, gringo?
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Lozoya begins to redeem himself after he wins the final battle. However, he becomes an "honest bandit" again after Orlowsky saves him from the firing squad, meaning that his El Salvador persona is almost literally dead and buried.
  • Hollywood Costuming: Mary's costume is more appropriate for 1971 than for 1916.
  • Hollywood Drowning: Lozoya can't swim, yet he somehow manages to keep himself afloat in the well when Orlowsky keeps refusing to help him out.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Deconstructed by Orlowsky, who suspects that Mary is adding fuel to the fire of the Mexican Revolution so she can get a story.
  • Last-Name Basis: Lozoya is only called "Max" on rare occasions.
  • Laughably Evil: Lozoya is cheeky, manic, kind of slimy, and quite amusing to watch at times.
  • Lovable Rogue: Orlowsky and Lozoya both fit into this. Orlowsky acts charming and suave while Lozoya has a warm and welcoming presence about him.
  • Lovable Traitor: Cheerful, opportunistic Lozoya.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Lozoya comes across as this. In the uncut version, while riding behind Mary to escape from Yuma Prison, he gets a chance to cop a feel. He puts his hands behind her head when she suspects that he's doing so.
  • Machete Mayhem: Used in the final battle. Also, Lozoya confesses to killing people with a machete.
  • Noodle Incident: We never get to find out what crime Lozoya committed when he was sixteen years old.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Orlowsky is supposed to be Russian, though Franco Nero keeps his Italian accent.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: Lozoya. He's only after the buried treasure and is pretending to be El Salvador so he doesn't get caught. He ends up Becoming the Mask after the soldiers kill his sister and nephew, and becomes a hero of the Revolution.
  • Precision F-Strike: At the end, when being left behind, Mary screams at Lozoya and Orlowsky, "You fucking bastards!"
  • Railing Kill: How Orlowsky kills a soldier.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Lozoya wears a pink shirt for a portion of the film.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified: Not even when three anti-heroes, no saints themselves, are leading it.
  • Rising Water, Rising Tension: When out to interrogate Mendoza on his own, Lozoya gets into a fight and, looking for defense, hurls himself into an empty well. This doesn't work out as he gets a graze on the hand, his gun runs out of bullets and the soldiers fill the well with water to drown him...
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Orlowsky
  • Stock Scream: A man falls past Lozoya uttering the Wilhelm scream in the final battle.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: After getting the other half of the information about the money, Orlowsky knocks Lozoya out with spiked whiskey.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Lozoya's life of crime began when he was fourteen, after killing some guy who stole his tortillas.
  • Tongue Trauma: Not shown onscreen, but Lupita's tongue was cut out for speaking out against Huerta's regime.
  • Tsundere: Lozoya seems very much to be a tsundere towards Orlowsky. He acts in a hostile manner towards him, but shows no ill will to him by the end and abandons Mary to go and adventure with Orlowsky. He also first saves Orlowsky, even if it's because of his own avarice, in an "I'm-not-saving-you-because-I-like-you" fashion.
  • Voice of the Resistance: Lozoya, eventually.
    Lozoya: I'm a Mexican flag!
  • With Friends Like These...: Orlowsky, Lozoya and O'Donnell's relationship with each other.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • Huerta's soldiers torture and kill Lozoya's sister.
    • Orlowsky hits Mary across the face at one point.