Sette donne per i MacGregor (1967)

a.k.a Up the MacGregors

The Old West's favourite Scottish family return in this lighthearted Spaghetti Western scored by Ennio Morricone. RHV Italian R0 disc.

The Film

Concerned that their sons would be corrupted by it, the senior MacGregors bury their stash of gold outside of the ranch - but they are observed by a bandit, and during a big MacGregor party, the gold is stolen under the cover of a raid. The MacGregor sons, lead by Gregor, head off in search of the notorious Frank James who they believe is behind the theft, but they find him to be just an old man, and they had been tricked by the Mexican bandit Maldonado. Going to great lengths to find his secret hideout, the MacGregors are folied at every turn but eventually suceed in tracking him down - but when Gregor's fianceé heads down to Mexico to find him, the trouble really starts...
The Spaghetti Westerns boomed in the mid to late 1960s, and Sette donne per i MacGregor (1966) had been one of the more popular genre films of the year, its lighthearted tone contrasting with the often rather grim Westerns being shot in Europe at the time. For the sequel, writers Enzo Dell'Aquila and Ferdinando Di Leo return, and the film has a similar feel to its predecessor - however, although this means that we do get some often rather clever comedy (that doesn't resort to slapstick), some of the humour still feels a little forced, and the presence of some rather grim scenes (most notably a young girl walking through a massacred town) doesn't quite fit too well with the otherwise family friendly tone of the piece. The pacing is fortunately better than its predecessor, although still on the slow side, and it does build to a quite thrilling climax.

The otherwise little known director
Franco Giraldi is on top form here and the film looks fantastic throughout (the shots in the massacred town look superb), boosted by some solid production values and the usual good locations. Ennio Morricone again provides the soundtrack with the MacGregors' theme remaining unchanged.

Although by 1967 many Spaghetti Westerns boasted all European casts, American actors were still often imported for the lead roles, and in this case the future star of long running TV soap Another World, David Bailey, gives a good turn as Gregor MacGregor. A number of familiar faces crop up in the rest of the cast including the young Alberto Dell'Acqua, best known from Texas Addio (1966), and Roberto Camardiel from Django Kill (1967) - many of the cast of the previous MacGregor film also reappear.

Rather like its predecessor, Sette donne per i MacGregor is lighthearted, and avoids resorting to simple slapstick for comedy, but is rather too grim and brutal in places to be recommended for family viewing. For Spaghetti Western fans however, thanks to its effective direction and strong conclusion, Sette donne should prove enjoyable watching and comes partly recommended.

In brief:

Anyone famous in it? Several familiar genre faces but no-one of note.
Directed by anyone interesting? Franco Giraldi - a lesser known director who also shot the first MacGregors film Seven Guns for the MacGregors (1967) as well as A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die (1968).
Who else was involved?The script was co-written by Ferdinando de Leo who went on to direct Italian crime film Milano Calibro 9 (1971)
Any violence? A couple of rather brutal deaths with some blood, and some very grim scenes.
Any sex? No.
Who is it for?
Partly recommended to genre fans who enjoy the more lighthearted Westerns.
Good Soundtrack?A lively Ennio Morricone soundtrack.


Visuals Original Aspect Ratio  - 2.35:1 anamorphic wide-screen. Colour.
The image is very good with just light grain and speckling and good colours.
Audio English and Italian mono tracks - the English dubbing is good.
Subtitles None
Extras The disc includes:
  • Interview with the director about this film and the genre in general. In Italian with English subs. 14 minutes. (Different to the interview included on the 7 Guns for the MacGregors disc)
  • Unused footage - a selection of additional scenes shot for the film but never used including some alternate versions of a few scenes - very interesting as it features the frequent genre star José Manuel Martín who seems to be playing the Maldonado role, but does not actually play this (or any) role in the film itself. 10 minutes - silent with soundtrack from the film as backing. In anamorphic widescreen.
  • Original American title sequence.
  • Still photo and poster gallery, presented as a video file with soundtrack backing.
  • Original Italian trailer.
  • The disc box includes an insert looking like a pressbook, that contains a complete cast listing for the film.
Availability Availabe in on its own, or in the Pistole Non Discutono boxset.
Region Region 0 (worldwide) - PAL
Other regions? Not available on DVD elsewhere.
Cuts? The film is believed to be fully uncut. Titles and credits are in Italian.



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All text in this review written by Timothy Young - 14th April 2007.
Text from this review not to be used without authorization.

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