Ben And Charlie

Watch Ben And Charlie

"BRAWLIN'... BLASTIN'... BOOZIN'... They Made The West Go W-I-L-D!!"
  • PG
  • 1972
  • 1 hr 47 min
  • 6.1  (545)

Ben and Charlie is a 1972 Spaghetti Western film directed by Michele Lupo that delves into the popular Italian Western genre, which gained prominence in the 1960s and 70s, owing much of its growth to the works of directors such as Sergio Leone. The movie stars Giuliano Gemma and George Eastman as the titular characters, with Vittorio Congia playing a supporting role. The film is known in Italy as "Amico, stammi lontano almeno un palmo" and has often been appreciated for its unique blend of action, comedy, and the exploration of themes such as friendship and betrayal typical of the genre.

The narrative unfolds in the post-Civil War American West, a lawless terrain ripe with opportunity and danger, where outlaws and gunslingers are as common as the tumbleweeds that dot the arid landscape. In this setting, we find Ben (played by Giuliano Gemma), a charismatic and skilled gunslinger with a penchant for trouble, yet who possesses a likable and humorous side that endears him to audiences. Alongside him is Charlie (portrayed by George Eastman), a towering and equally adept gunman whose no-nonsense demeanor balances Ben's more light-hearted approach to the perils they face.

Ben and Charlie form an unconventional duo, and their relationship fluctuates between being partners and opportunistic frenemies, as their personalities and individual goals often clash. The pair find themselves entangled in various schemes revolving around bank robberies, treasure hunts, and the chasing of bounties, all classic staples of the Western narrative. These endeavors take them through the desolate and dusty towns of the American frontier, where they encounter a host of other colorful characters—each with their own nefarious or quirky storylines that add depth to the overarching plot.

The film spotlights the dynamic between the two protagonists, whose mutual respect is upheld by their combined skills and desire to stay one step ahead of the law—and one another. Their interactions swirl with a mix of humor, earnestness, and cynicism, depicting the complex nature of partnerships formed during tumultuous times. Ben's dexterity with a gun is matched by his wit and charm, which he often uses to defuse situations or manipulate them to his advantage. On the other side, Charlie's imposing figure and straightforward approach make him a formidable presence, both in confrontations and when dealing with the more duplicitous characters they encounter.

Vittorio Congia, in his supporting role, contributes to this milieu of misfits and outlaws, adding another layer to the film’s expansive view of the Wild West as a place where everyone has an angle, and trust is both invaluable and scarce. The storyline unfolds episodically, allowing each character’s backstory and motives to be unveiled, often through lively dialogue and tense standoffs that are hallmarks of the genre.

The visual and thematic stylings are indicative of what audiences came to expect from Spaghetti Westerns. The movie boasts sweeping shots of barren, sunbaked hills and stark shoot-out sequences that are choreographed with precision and tension. The atmospheric score complements these scenes, drawing on the works of composers who defined the sound of the Westerns of the era, with twanging guitars, whistling, and bombastic orchestral pieces.

What sets Ben and Charlie apart from the darker and more violent Westerns is its deliberate injection of comedy, serving as a commentary on the often overstated machismo and the absurdity of the gunslinger mythos. The humor is layered between action sequences, influencing the film’s pacing and lending a capricious tone to the overarching narrative. Through creative storytelling and character development, Ben and Charlie manage to escape heavy-handed cliches, providing a refreshing take on a genre that thrived on archetypes and predictable plotlines.

The action scenes, though plentiful, are balanced by character-driven moments that develop interpersonal relationships, deepening the audience's investment in the duo's adventure. The banter, the shared glances, and the occasional backstabbing are all presented with a comedic undertone, providing relief and humanizing these otherwise larger-than-life characters.

In summary, Ben and Charlie is a Spaghetti Western that boasts all the staple features of the genre while also providing a unique, humorous twist. The movie invites audiences on a wild ride through the American West, replete with gunfights, chases, and betrayals, but always with a wink to the viewer. The charm and chemistry of both Gemma and Eastman, combined with the film's engaging direction and quirky narrative style, make it a notable example of how a Western can both embrace and playfully critique its own traditions.

Ben And Charlie is a 1972 western with a runtime of 1 hour and 47 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.1.

Ben And Charlie
Where to Watch Ben And Charlie
Ben And Charlie is available to watch free on The Roku Channel Free and Pluto TV. It's also available to stream, download on demand at . Some platforms allow you to rent Ben And Charlie for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 47 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.1  (545)