They Call Me Trinity (1970)

The opening eight or so minutes of this movie are priceless. Trinity (Terence Hill) is wandering the west riding on a litter dragged behind a horse who courteously wakens him upon reaching their destination. It is a stagecoach station, and the filthy, haggard Trinity yawns, makes his way inside, plops down at a table and orders up a plate of beans. The station master goes from table to table, ladling out the thick, steaming beans and gruel for his hungry guests.

“Leave it” quips Trinity, who scoops the beans from his plate back into the pan, and proceeds to eat the mass of beans with a loaf of bread on the side, shoveling the food into his gobbling mouth using the serving ladle. Trinity is a small, skinny fellow, and by the looks of it he puts away about five pounds of beans in under 90 seconds, sopping up the last of the gravy + sauce with a crust of bread, washing it all down with an entire bottle of liquor. He stands up, belches (politely), and then the movie becomes a Spaghetti Western for another 100 minutes or so until Bud “Bulldozer” Spencer starts pounding guys over the head like a telephone pole piledriver machine.

But the bean scene is amazing, ranking up there with the sequence from DJANGO where Franco Nero blows a cork into the face of some punk who disturbs his own feeding time. Someone should write a book some day about the use of food and eating in Spaghetti Westerns, from Clint Eastwood cracking fried eggs in FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE to Max Lawrence’s roast turkey with dressing & sweet potatoes in CAN BE DONE AMIGO. Here it serves a transformational role, where Trinity literally “feels more human” after stuffing his face, and it would be fascinating to map out all the different meals and the roles they served, which were usually more than nourishment.

But this is a wonderful movie from a very special time in international cinema, made by & with some of the best talents in the industry. Seek out a British made DVD from Nouveaux Pictures (www.nouveauxpictures.co.uk) which have unedited 2:35:1 Techniscope versions of both of the Trinity films. Even non genre fans will find them watchable, and to the already converted they will prove to be a revelation after those murky $5 bargain bin discs. Nice, stick to your ribs entertainment that the whole family can enjoy together, though the jokes about marrying two pretty blond Mormon sisters who like to frolic together in the ole’ swimmin’ hole may go over the heads of the 10 year old boys in the peanut gallery. Which is kind of the point.