- 1 hr 41 min
Mannaja, also known as A Man Called Blade, is a 1977 Italian spaghetti western film directed by Sergio Martino. The film stars Maurizio Merli as Blade, a former bounty hunter who is hired by a rich landowner to track down a group of bandits who have kidnapped his daughter. Things take a turn for the worse when Blade discovers that the true motives behind the kidnapping are not what they seem.
The movie opens with a group of bandits attacking a stagecoach and killing its occupants. This is followed by a scene where Blade is introduced as a skilled bounty hunter who has been hired to track down a notorious outlaw. Blade is shown to be a man of few words, but his reputation precedes him, and people are quick to recognize him as a force to be reckoned with.
The plot of the movie revolves around Blade being hired by a wealthy landowner named McGowan to rescue his daughter from the clutches of a group of bandits led by a man named Voller. Blade agrees to take on the job, but soon discovers that there is more to the situation than meets the eye.
As Blade makes his way through the desert, he encounters a number of colorful characters, including a group of Indians who offer him help, a beautiful woman named Regina who becomes his love interest, and a band of thieves who attempt to rob him.
In his quest to rescue McGowan's daughter, Blade must contend with both Voller and his band of bandits, as well as a corrupt sheriff who is in cahoots with them. The action scenes in Mannaja are classic spaghetti western fare, with plenty of shootouts, fistfights, and horse chases.
One of the standout features of Mannaja is its atmospheric score by composer Guido and Maurizio De Angelis. The music adds to the tension and suspense of the movie, and is one of the reasons why the film has remained popular with fans of the genre.
Another highlight of the movie is the performance of Maurizio Merli in the lead role. Merli brings a quiet intensity to the character of Blade, and his presence on screen is commanding. John Steiner also delivers a memorable performance as the villainous Voller, who is equal parts menacing and charming.
Sonja Jeannine plays the role of Regina, the love interest of Blade. While her character isn't given as much to do as the male leads, Jeannine brings a certain vulnerability and sweetness to the part.
Overall, Mannaja is a delightful entry in the spaghetti western canon. It has all the elements that fans of the genre are looking for â rugged landscapes, stoic heroes, dastardly villains, and plenty of action. The film is a great example of the kind of cinematic escapism that was popular in the 1970s, and it remains an entertaining watch to this day.
Mannaja is a 1977 western with a runtime of 1 hour and 41 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6.