The Belle Starr Story, 1968 - ★★★½

The Belle Starr Story, 1968 - ★★★½


"Don't be fooled by her pretty dress, shes a real tomboy."

- Uncle Jonathan (uncredited)

..:: Machismovision: Wow The West Was Fun - Film #15 ::..

Larry Blackie wins notorious cowgirl outlaw Belle Starr (based on real frontier outlaw Myra Maybelle Shirley Reed Starr) in a poker game. They become close and she tells him her tragic back story of how she earned her name (via her first love Cole) and notoriety by killing her wealthy misogynistic uncle (because he'd raped an Indian slave) and also the towns sheriff. Blackie starts to trust Belle and they join forces (sorta) to pull off an audacious diamond heist guarded by pinkerton men, thats worth a cool million dollars.

As a western Lina Wertmüller's 'Il mio corpo per un poker' aka Belle Starr' is admittedly a tad weak, its just so damn uneven and feels like three separate films shoddily tied together... but as a curiosity (possibly the first western directed by a woman officially listed as 1st spaghetti one) its hella fun. Elsa Martinelli is mighty pretty as the smoking fiery redhead Belle. George Eastman's his typically slimey self, in fact the entire male cast are equally slimey.

I like Lina Wertmüller, shes got balls - here shes clearly going for the politically correct spin, by showing the Injuns as the oppressed and having the women bitch slap misogyny (in the face), but its still rip roaring fun. The movie ends with an hint there would be more adventures for Martinelli as Belle, but sadly that wasn't to be.

[Personal Reasons For Remembering]

Martinelli's black leather clad cowgirl pew pew. The saloons so rowdy they even play pool on horseback. Belle taking time out to sing a ballad. Uncle Johnathon arranging a old man (hey its Mr. Monopoly) as a fiancée for Belle. Laughing my head off at the credit THE END, because it was subtitled THE SLUT. Ohh how about the crazy director credit for 'Nathan Wich' even though it was co-director by both Lina Wertmüller & Piero Cristofani.

*note also got me reading about the real life Belle [WIKI HERE]

Originally taken from Letterboxd

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