Stephen Boyd in Westerns: Those Dirty Dogs, 1974 (“Campa Carogna…La Taglia Cresce” / “Los Cuatro de Fort Apache:)

In May of 1974, “Those Dirty Dogs” premiered at a movie houses in both Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, with Boyd attending on a mini promotional tour. Stephen was very proud of this little project which was filmed in Spain in late 1973, featuring the renowned desert ‘spaghetti western’ scenery of Southern Spain. Stephen had been a big part of the production of the film calling it a ‘serious tongue-in-cheek western spoof’ akin to the Mel Brooks film ‘Blazing Saddles’ (“Mel goes a bit far at times”, Boyd says). Obviously success-wise that comparison way off, but nonetheless “Those Dirty Dogs” a good, light-hearted spaghetti western with a truly awesome score by Italian composer Nico Fidenco, raising the bar of the film. It has its moments. Stephen certainly looks the part of the scruffy, world-weary leader, Captain Chadwell. His followers include likable muscle-head Howard Ross as Lieutenant Junger Kohl and upright solider Harry Baird as Corporal Washington Smith (who tragically he developed glaucoma shortly after this film and went completely blind!). The most surprising member of the cast is Italian actor Gianni Garko whose light sense of humor and charm as a quirky Muslim bounty-hunter who frequently quotes words of wisdom from the Koran and rides under a pink umbrella is utterly delightful. The crux of the story is Captain Chadwell and Koran’s mutual pursuit of a dangerous Mexican outlaw. Eventually they decide to work together to catch him. The damsel in distress is another Italian Giallo/Spaghetti mainstay Teresa Gimpera who plays the kidnap victim Miss Adams. In my opinion this movie would have been much better had the damsel in distress actually been rescued! For some reason they let her die in this film, which sort of defeats the purpose I think. All this action, and they can’t save the girl? Argh!

Listen for Stephen Boyd’s singing debut (officially, anyway) in the opening credits in a song he co-wrote with Nico Fidenco – “The Wind in My Face”. It’s a great song and a great way to start the movie.

 

 

Stephen Boyd, Harry Baird, Gianna Garko, Howard Ross in “Those Dirty Dogs”

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Stephen Boyd in full dress uniform as Captain Chadwell, along with his cohorts Harry Baird and Howard Ross
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Stephen Boyd as Captain Chadwell plays rough with the buxom cantina servant but she quickly turns the tables in one of the movie’s funnier moments
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Gianni Garko easily steals the movie with his charm and the sayings of Mohammad