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Film / Hannie Caulder

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Yes, there is a truck in the background, Not that you noticed at first glance.

Hannie Caulder is a 1971 British Western film. The film was written and directed by Burt Kennedy and starred Raquel Welch, Robert Culp, and Ernest Borgnine.

When the criminal trio of the Clemens brothers murder the husband of Hannie Caulder (Welch), gang-rape her, burn down her house and leave her for dead, Caulder recruits bounty hunter Thomas Price (Culp) to help her get revenge by training her to be a gunfighter.

This film features examples of:

  • Actor IS the Title Character: The Video Credits play with this, stating that Robert Culp, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Elam and Strother Martin were their respective characters (as they all die), while Raquel Welch is Hannie Caulder (the title character, who survives).
  • Badass Preacher: The Preacher, appropriately enough, a skillful gunslinger.
  • Bandito: Price and Hannie travel to Mexico to have gunsmith Bailey build her a specialized revolver, to be a fast draw specialist. When bandidos surround the house, a gun battle erupts but Hannie is unable to kill a man face to face.
  • Big Damn Heroes: At the end of the film, when it seems that Hannie will meet the same fate as Price, the Preacher appears to shoot the knife out from Emmett's hand, allowing Hannie to kill him.
  • Bitch Slap: Price back-hands Hannie hard enough to throw her to the ground as punishment for taking his gun to practice shooting without his permission.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: When Emmett attempts to throw a knife into Hannie's back, he is thwarted by the Preacher, who shoots it from his hand.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents: Hannie's first real gunfight is against a bandit gang at Bailey's place. When she hesitates to kill a bandit who comes right up to her, Price does it for her. The result is her getting splattered with the bandit's blood and looking shaken.
  • Bounty Hunter: Price makes a living killing outlaws and collecting their bounties. Hannie is disgusted by this, though only initially, while a sheriff in a town they visit fears him.
  • The Cameo:
    • Christopher Lee as Bailey, a gunsmith who Hannie and Price task with building a special revolver for her. Lee's brief appearance in this film was his only role in a Western.
    • Stephen Boyd as the mysterious gunslinger known as the Preacher.
    • Diana Dors as the madam at the saloon.
  • Crusading Widow: Hannie takes revenge against the Clemens brothers for the attack that included her husband's murder.
  • Destination Defenestration: When Hannie shoots Frank Clemens, the impact of the bullet is enough to send flying backwards through the window of saloon, where lands on top of a woman walking by in the street.
  • Due to the Dead: Whenever Price kills his quarry, he gives back some of his reward to cover the funeral. Hannie does the same thing later on.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Preacher is only known by that name.
  • Flirtatious Smack on the Ass: Hannie asks a sheriff about the Clemens. When she turns to leave, the sheriff smacks her on the ass, much to her irritation. Later he realizes she's with Price and apologizes profusely for the act.
  • Forging Scene: The scenes of Hannie's strength training are interspersed with scenes of Bailey forging her custom firearm.
  • From Dress to Dressing: Emmett rips up his last clean shirt and uses it to bandage his brother Frank's leg after Frank is shot escaping the Federales.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: When Rufus Clemens grabs Hannie, she responds by smashing a bottle over his head. It doesn't do any good.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: When Hannie interrupts Frank Clemens in bed with a prostitute, he claps his hat over his crotch, even though he is still wearing longjohns. However, given what the girl was doing at the time, it seems very likely that his flies were open.
  • Hidden Weapons: After Frank shoots Hannie in the shoulder, she wears her arm in a sling. She hides her gun there and shoots through it in her duel with Rufus.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: This is basically what Price implies when he warns Hannie that taking revenge will change her forever, and Hannie's reaction after she finishes the Clemens brothers implies that he was right.
    Thomas Price: Win or lose, you lose, Hannie Caulder.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Offscreen. The Clemens brothers recall how Rufus accidentally killed their father by mishandling a gun and shooting him in the face.
  • It Gets Easier: Hannie can't bring herself to kill a bandit in her first gunfight, needing Price to do it for her, and she shows clear signs of trauma from witnessing it. She then hesitates to kill Frank Clemens, resulting in her getting shot in the shoulder, but manages to go through with it. Things go more smoothly with Rufus and Emmett.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Price gets killed by Emmett after parting ways with Hannie.
  • No Name Given: Whatever name the Preacher has is not known.
  • Past Experience Nightmare: One night while traveling with Price, Hannie tosses around and screams in her sleep as she has a nightmare about her rape at the hands of the Clemens brothers. This is what makes Price realize something really bad happened to her and decide to take her request to train her in the use of firearms seriously.
  • Pistol-Whipping: Price takes Hannie's rifle off her, unloads it, and tosses it back to her. She responds by slamming the empty rifle down on his head, knocking him out.
  • Protagonist Title: Hannie Caulder is the protagonist of the film and lends her name to it.
  • Quick Draw: Price trains Hannie so that she becomes an expert at shooting accurately immediately after drawing. The ability serves her well as she always gets the first hit on each of the Clemens brothers, and of the three, only Frank is able to hit her back.
  • Rape and Revenge: The title character trains under a retired gunslinger to get revenge on three vicious outlaws who raped her.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Just who is The Preacher, and what does he want? And how does he keep showing up at the crucial moments?
  • Sawed-Off Shotgun: Rufus Clemens weapon of choice.
  • Shrunk in the Wash: Hannie buys pants for herself, but they're not in her size. The vendor advises her to take a bath in them so they'll shrink to her size, which she does.
  • Siblings in Crime: The Clemens brothers: Emmett, Frank and Rufus. Bank robbers, murderers and rapists, they spend as much time arguing with each other as fighting the law.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: It's implied that Hannie and Price fall in love with each other (see: the scene where they walk on the beach holding hands), Price being the one who teaches Hannie to handle a gun. Price dies before this can go anywhere.
  • Teach Me How To Fight: Hannie wants Price to teach her how to use a gun so she can take revenge on the men who raped her and murdered her husband. Price acquiesces, despite being reluctant every step of the way and trying to dissuade her.
  • Terrible Trio: The trio of the Clemens brothers; Frank, Rufus and Emmett. They are very ineffective as bandits and most of their scenes derive humor from that fact.
  • Trigger-Happy: Rufus Clemens. Pretty much every one of the Clemens brothers problems stems from Rufus' propensity to open up with his Sawed-Off Shotgun at the drop of a hat. Dialogue revels that he shot their father in the face, and while Rufus swears that was an accident, his brothers don't believe him.
  • Vapor Wear: When she becomes a gunfighter, Hannie takes up wearing a poncho which barely manages to cover her most revealing curves, and clearly shows that she isn't wearing underwear.
  • Video Credits: The ending credits consist of clips of the Clemens brothers, Price and Hannie walking through doorways, with red text stating the actors' names and the characters they played.
  • The Voiceless: The mysterious black clad gunslinger known only as the Preacher never says a word: communicating only through subtle gestures.