Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Burt Kennedy|
|Produced by||Patrick Curtis|
|Screenplay by||Burt Kennedy|
(as Z.X. Jones)
|Story by||Peter Cooper|
by Ian Quicke
|Music by||Ken Thorne|
|Edited by||Jim Connock|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
Hannie Caulder is a 1971 British Western film. The film was directed by Burt Kennedy and starred Raquel Welch, Robert Culp, and Ernest Borgnine. The screenplay was rewritten by Kennedy, who was not credited.
Hannie Caulder (Raquel Welch) is a frontier wife, living with her husband at a horse station between towns in the American West. After a disastrous bank raid, the inept Clemens brothers gang arrives at the station. They murder Caulder's husband, gang-rape her, burn down her house, and leave her for dead. The brothers go on a crime spree, while Caulder recruits bounty hunter Thomas Price (Robert Culp) to help her get revenge by training her to be a gunfighter. The pair travels to Mexico to have gunsmith Bailey (Christopher Lee) 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. Price recommends she give up her quest for revenge, but she refuses, telling him to get out and that she was only using him and does not need him anymore. He leaves, telling her she is a bad liar.
As he goes, Price sees the Clemens brothers arrive in town. His attempt to take down Frank goes awry, because Emmett (Ernest Borgnine) throws a knife into Price's belly, mortally wounding him. Hannie goes after them, killing Frank (Jack Elam) in a whorehouse. The two brothers swear revenge on her, but she gets Rufus (Strother Martin) in a store when he tries to kill her. Hannie lures Emmett to an old prison for a showdown and almost meets the same fate as Price, but Emmett's attempt to throw a knife into her back is thwarted by the preacher, who shoots it from his hand. Hannie kills Emmett face-to-face, but realizes that Price was right – taking revenge will change her forever.
- Raquel Welch as Hannie Caulder
- Robert Culp as Thomas Luther Price
- Ernest Borgnine as Emmett Clemens
- Jack Elam as Frank Clemens
- Strother Martin as Rufus Clemens
- Christopher Lee as Bailey
- Diana Dors as the Madam
- Stephen Boyd as the Preacher
Patrick Curtis, then married to Raquel Welch, met with Tony Tenser of Tigon British Film Productions with a view to obtaining funding for a movie starring Welch. Curtis proposed a horror movie or a Western; Tenser, who had always wanted to make a Western, picked that. Tigon put up 100% of the budget, while Curtwel (Curtis and Welch's production company) put up their services. Neither Curtis nor Welch took a salary, instead taking profit participation. Before Hannie Caulder was released, Tigon and Curtwel co-produced The Sorcerers (1967), a horror film starring Boris Karloff. Thus, Curtis and Tenser teamed up for both a Western and a horror film.
It was the third film from Curtwel, following A Swingin' Summer and The Beloved.
Robert Culp was signed to co-star in December 1970.
The movie was filmed in Spain, mostly around Almería, beginning on January 18, 1971. Burt Kennedy and the cast were reportedly not paid after the first two weeks of filming, causing tension on the set.
Stephen Boyd has a brief, uncredited appearance as a gunfighter known simply as the "Preacher". Flamenco guitar virtuoso Paco de Lucía makes a cameo appearance as a Mexican musician. Diana Dors plays a small role.
Fast-draw artist Rodd Redwing was a technical adviser to the film, working with Culp. Redwing suffered a heart attack on the plane returning from the filming in Spain and died shortly after landing in Los Angeles.
Hannie Caulder opened in London on November 8, 1971.
On September 8, 1971, the British Board of Film Classification announced that the film would receive a AA certificate rating. It is currently a 15 certificate first applied on video in November 1988.
The film was released on VHS. 1n 1995, a LaserDisc was released on a single extended-play disc by Paramount Pictures and distributed by Pioneer Video Manufacturing. It was presented in anamorphic widescreen and a full screen version with no extra features. A DVD was issued in the United Kingdom in 2006 with no extra features. It was reissued in 2010 on anamorphic widescreen with theatrical trailer and stills gallery as extra features. In 2011, Olive Films released the film for the first time on Blu-ray disc in the United States (region A) with no bonus features. It was again released in the U.S. on November 15, 2016, as a digitally restored signature edition Blu-ray with four new bonus features including an audio commentary by Western expert and director Alex Cox, "Exploitation or Redemption?" a 12-minute featurette on the examination of rape-revenge movies with Ben Sher, a 21-minute interview with cultural historian Sir Christopher Frayling on the making of Hannie Caulder, and the history of Tigon Studios titled "Win or Lose" and a 10-page essay titled "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" by film critic Kim Morgan in digital and booklet form.
The film performed well at the UK box office and was reasonably successful in the United States.
In contemporary reviews, the Monthly Film Bulletin described the film as "a disappointing Western" that was an "uneasy course between parody and imitation in an unlikely amalgam of The Wild Bunch and One Million Years B.C., with the odd nod to Myra Breckinridge." The review noted the lack of dialogue from Welch and that the Clemens brothers in the film are allowed some "rather tedious verbal horseplay". However, recent retrospectives and reviews, as in Filmmaker Magazine, saw the film as a "...fascinating bridge between the classical period, represented by John Ford and John Wayne, and the postmodern age of Peckinpah, Corbucci, and Leone. A bouillabaisse of elements that should not work together but do —lyricism, graphic violence, moral contemplation, broad humour, feminist inquiry — it is a masterful hybrid of tried and true Hollywood conventions and the more confrontational style of the Italian Westerns that supplanted American oaters in the mainstream consciousness".
Quentin Tarantino said the film was one of his inspirations for Kill Bill. "Why I love Hannie Caulder so much is Robert Culp. He is so magnificent in that movie. I actually think there's a bit of similarity between Pai Mei and the Bride (in Kill Bill: Volume 2)."
The character Price from the film was the inspiration for the character Captain Price from the game series "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare", parts 1, 2, and 3. In the beginning of "Modern Warfare 1", Captain Price teaches the gamers (similar to Price teaching Hannie Caulder) how to shoot. At the end in "Modern Warfare 3", the game ends with the character Yuri getting a knife through his body like Price did at the end of the film. The characters Price and Captain Price have very similar looks, as do MacTavish and Bailey, and the three villains in both the movie and the game series.
- Dawson, Jan (1971). "Hannie Caulder". Monthly Film Bulletin. Vol. 38 no. 444. London: British Film Institute. pp. 220–221.
- Greenspun, Roger (1971). "Hannie Caulder". The New York Times.
- p. 147 Joyner, C. Courtney Burt Kennedy Interview in The Westerners: Interviews with Actors, Directors, Writers and Producers McFarland
- John Hamilton, Beasts in the Cellar: The Exploitation Film Career of Tony Tenser, Fab Press 2005 p 194-198, 218-221
- Johnson, Patricia. (March 21, 1971). "Raquel Welch the Wife of Patrick Curtis, Not Svengali: Movies Raquel Married to Patrick Curtis, Not Svengali". Los Angeles Times. p. q1.
- Martin, Betty (December 21, 1970). "Movie Call Sheet: Culp, Raquel 'Caulder' Stars". Los Angeles Times. p. i19.
- "Jonathan Rigby, Christopher Lee: The Authorised Screen History, Reynolds & Hearn 2001 p 143".
- "Wayne's Film Fans: They Don't Forget". Los Angeles Times. May 19, 1971. p. h12.
- Vagg, Stephen (September 7, 2020). "A Tale of Two Blondes: Diana Dors and Belinda Lee". Filmink.
- "Hannie Caulder". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
- HANNIE CAULDER (1971) – British Board of Film Classification
- "Hannie Caulder Blu-ray United States Olive Films". July 5, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
- "Hannie Caulder (1971) blu-ray review". November 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
- "Hannie Caulder Signature Edition Blu-ray Olive Films". November 15, 2016. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
- Hemphill, Jim. (December 30, 2016). Jim Hemphill's Best Blu-rays of 2016. Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
- Gerald Peary, Quentin Tarantino: Interviews, Revised and Updated Univ. Press of Mississippi, October 17, 2013 p 119