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Ace High

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Ace High
I quattro dell'Ave Maria
Italy 1968 - 117 Min.
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Cat Stevens and Hutch Bessy exchange Bill San Antonio's gold for cash at bank director Herold. Herold, an accomplice to Bill San Antonio, then hires Cacopoulos, sentenced to death, to kill them. Cacopoulos, who has been in prison for 15 years, agrees to appear, but in reality he only thinks of revenge on his friends who betrayed him. The bank director Herold, one of his treacherous friends, first feels this revenge after he has previously told Cacopoulos the whereabouts of the other two traitors, Paco and Drake. On the way to Paco, who has left for Mexico, Cacopoulos attacks Cat and Hutch, takes their money, but doesn't kill them. Cat and Hutch then take up the pursuit. When they arrive in Mexico they learn that Paco has a lot of debts with Cacopoulos and the Greek convinces them to help him so that he can take revenge and the two get the money. After an argument with Paco's small army, in which Cat got help from Mexican mercenaries, Cacopoulos gets his revenge, but the mercenaries are now out for the money. With a trick they can escape the mercenaries, but the Greek leaves Hutch and Cat behind and runs away alone. After Cat and Hutch were able to lose the mercenaries, they take up the pursuit again. They know that Cacopoulos still has a score to settle with his former buddy Drake. Drake now runs a large casino where the guests are evicted by fraudulent means. When Cat and Hutch arrive, Cacopoulos has gambled away all the money. Cat and Hutch find out how the games are manipulated in the casino and decide to get Drake's money back the same way. Together with street artist Thomas and Cacopoulos, they make their way to the casino, where the big showdown with Drake and his men takes place.

"Ace High" is, apart from Hannibal, the second film of the duo Bud Spencer and Terence Hill. It and the direct sequel of the first movie God forgives - I don't The predecessor ends with Cat and Hutch riding away in a stagecoach with the gold of gangster Bill San Antonio. The new film begins on this stagecoach. Cat and Hutch stop in front of the bank of the corrupt bank director Herold.

Gangster Cacopoulos is the actual main character of the movie. It is played by the American actor Eli Wallach, who previously became famous for his roles in "The Magnificent Seven" and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". Although Wallach played more than 100 roles in Italy and the USA in the further course of his career, this remained the only collaboration with the duo Spencer/Hill. Wallach shot until he was very old. He died in 2014 at the age of 98 in New York.

The tightrope dancer Thomas, who completes the group of the heroes, is also portrayed by an American actor. For Brock Peters, too, it was the only performance at Bud Spencer's and Terence Hill's side, despite a long and busy career.

Another American star can be seen in the role of the head villain Drake. He is portrayed wonderfully evil by Kevin McCarthy, who already received an Oscar nomination as best supporting actor in "Death of a Salesman" in 1952 and who could be seen in more than 200 productions during his career. He was also active in the film business until his death. He died in 2010 at the age of 96.

The German-born actor Steffen Zacharias can be seen in the role of Bank Director Herold. Zacharias is known to Spencer/Hill fans above all for his role of the old Jonathans in They call me Trinity. He could also be seen in The Five Man Army, Man of the East and Even Angels eat Beans.

Riccardo Pizzuti can be seen as a henchman of Drake in a short scene. For Pizzuti, who would later become one of the most prominent supporting actors in the Spencer/Hill universe, this was the first appearance at the side of the duo Spencer/Hill. Until 1990, 19 more gigs were to follow.

The director was one again Giuseppe Colizzi who also directed the predecessor. Now he is bringing the characteristics of his newly discovered duo Spencer/Hill to the foreground. For example, there is the duo's first joint brawl against a majority of opponents and in general the second movie comes along with a bit more humor than its predecessor.

In Italy the movie started on 31.10.1968 in the cinemas. Bud Spencer celebrated his 39th birthday on that day. German fans had to wait almost a whole year longer. Here the movie started on 3.10.1969.

Also "Ace High" was a success at the box office. One year later Colizzi sent Bud Spencer and Terence Hill into a third adventure and completed his Cat Stevens / Hutch Bessy trilogy in 1969 with Boot Hill.

The soundtrack of the film was written by Carlo Rustichelli, who also wrote the music to the predecessor "God forgives - I don't!" and to the sequel "Boot Hill". In Italy, Cinevox released a soundtrack LP in 1968, which today enjoys a high collector's value. In 1992 Cinevox also released a CD version in Italy, followed in 1997 by a release from the label Alhambra in Germany. In 2005, Digitmovies in Italy released a double CD with additional tracks.

The film was shot in and around Almería, Spain.

German DVD (Second dubbing): 117:25 minutes
Italian DVD (General Video): 126:19 minutes
Hungarian DVD: 117:02 minutes

Release Dates:
31.10.1968 Italy Premiere 9.966.497 Besucher
03.10.1969 Germany Premiere 1.150.000 Besucher
13.02.1970 Finland Premiere 166.204 Zuschauer
13.01.1981 Germany Re-release Vier für ein Ave Maria; 150.000 Zuschauer
23.11.1991 Hungary Television premiere MTV2 19:05
Additonal Title Screens:
USA Italy USA (Video) France Deutschland (TV)

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No. Actor Role (Descriptions in German) Voice Actor Picture InfoIMDb
Opening credits
1 Eli Wallach CacopoulosEli Wallach
2 Terence Hill
Cat StevensLloyd Battista
3 Bud Spencer
Hutch Bessy
4 Brock Peters ThomasBrock Peters
5 Livio Lorenzon Paco
6 Steffen Zacharias
(als Stephen Zacharias)
7 Tiffany Hoyveld Frau von Thomas 
8 Armando Bandini Sektretär von Herold 
9 Kevin McCarthy
(con la partecipazione straordinaria di)
Closing credits
10 Remo Capitani
(Altri interpreti)
11 Rick Boyd Einer von Drake beim finalen Duell
12 Isa Foster Frau die Cacopoulos das Geld abnimmt 
13 Bruno Corazzari Apfelbacke
14 Dante Cleri Bankier
15 Antonietta Fiorito
16 Aldo Sala einer von Drake 
17 Giuseppe Terranova Casino-Kassier 
18 Edoardo Torricella Roulettespieler 
19 Corrado Olmi Passant, wird von Cacopoulos nach Geld gefragt (Szene fehlt in dt. Version)
20 Luciano Telli Roulettespieler 
Uncredited Actors
21 Franco Gulà alter, weißhaariger Mann
22 Enzo Santaniello kleiner rothaariger Junge
23 Giancarlo Badessi Promoter des Preisboxers
24 Roger Beaumont Croupier 
25 Simonetta Santaniello Tochter der irischen Familie
26 Vicente Roca Don Pedro Ramirez 
27 Gildo Di Marco Einer von Drake
28 Frank Braña Joe
29 Gino Marturano einer von Drake beim finalen Duell
30 Mel Gaines Einer von Drake beim finalen Duell 
31 Fulvio Pellegrino Betrunkener auf der Straße 
32 Unbekannt Schwarzbart
(evtl,, aber höchstwahrscheinlich NICHT!)
33 Leroy Haynes Preisboxer 
34 Carlo Landa Roulettespieler  
35 Unbekannt Croupier Roulettespieler  
36 Angelo Casadei Roulettespieler  
37 Unbekannt Kleiner Glatzkopf Zuschauer beim Boxkampf 
38 Quinto Marziali Mann im Casino  
39 Riccardo Pizzuti Handlanger von Drake
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Bruno Nicolai (Diretta da), Carlo Rustichelli (Musica di)
Bino Cicogna, Giuseppe Colizzi (Soggetto e sceneggiatura)
Director of Photography
Marcello Masciocchi (Direttore della Fotografia), Antonio Schiavo Lena (Operatore), Giovanni Bonivento (Assistenti operatore (als Gianni Bonivento)), Claudio Tondi (Assistenti operatore), Antonio Serafini (Fotografo), Roberto Girometti (operatore (uncredited))
Marcello Malvestito (Montaggio), Franco Malvestito (Assistente montaggio)
Action sequences staged by
Ferdinando Poggi
Renato Moretti (Segretario edizione)
Augusto Troiani (Fonico), Maurizio Troiani (Microfonista)
Make up
Massimo De Rossi (Truccatore)
Hair stylist
Anna Graziosi (Parrucchiera)
Special effects
Erasmo Bacciucchi (Effetti speciali), Eros Bacciucchi (Effetti speciali)
Art Direction
Gastone Carsetti (Scenografia)
Raffaele Mottola (als Ray Mottola; Dialogue coach)
Production company
Crono Cinematografica S.p.A. (Roma), San Marco S.p.A. (Roma)
Assistant director
Silvana Mangini Colizzi (Aiuto regista (als Silvana Colizzi)), Luigi Mangini (Aiuto regista)
Bino Cicogna (Prodotto da), Giuseppe Colizzi (Prodotto da), Maurizio Marvisi (Direttore di produzione), Sergio Nasca (Ispettori di produzione (c.s.c.)), Bruno Frascà (Ispettori di produzione), Maurizio Biasini (Segretario di produzione), Giuseppe Fioravanti (Amministratore)
Giuseppe Colizzi (Regia)
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This movie can be found on following media
Type Title Publisher Country Date
Blu-ray Ace HighAce High Kino Lorber USA 20.09.2022
Buch Vaya con DiosVaya con Dios Subversiv Media Germany 11.12.2020
Buch Bud Spencer és Terence Hill Sztori - Gyűjtemény 1Bud Spencer és Terence Hill Sztori - Gyűjtemény 1 JCS Média Hungary 12.11.2015
DVD Bosszú El PasóbanBosszú El Pasóban Fibit Media Hungary 2014
DVD Los cuatro truhanesLos cuatro truhanes Rider Films Spain 01.11.2013
DVD Terence Hill & Bud Spencer - Spaghetti Western Collection Volume 1Terence Hill & Bud Spencer - Spaghetti Western Collection Volume 1 Platinum Packaged Media Australia 07.03.2013
DVD I mitici Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Uscita 05: I quattro dell'Ave MariaI mitici Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Uscita 05: I quattro dell Gazzetta dello Sport Italy 24.01.2013
DVD Grandes éxitos Bud Spencer & Terence Hill (10 DVDs)Grandes éxitos Bud Spencer & Terence Hill (10 DVDs) Impulso Records Spain 2013
DVD Vier für ein Ave MariaVier für ein Ave Maria Paramount Germany 05.01.2012
DVD Bosszú el pasóbanBosszú el pasóban Ultrafilm Hungary 30.08.2010
DVD Les 4 de l'Ave MariaLes 4 de l Paramount France 17.08.2010
Buch Terence Hill, Bud Spencer: La vera storia di Giuseppe ColizziTerence Hill, Bud Spencer: La vera storia di Giuseppe Colizzi Edizioni Falsopiano Italy 18.05.2010
DVD I quattro dell'Ave MariaI quattro dell General Video Italy 23.09.2009
DVD Ace HighAce High Paramount USA 09.11.2004
DVD I quattro dell'Ave MariaI quattro dell General Video Italy 21.04.2004
VHS 4 für ein Ave Maria4 für ein Ave Maria CIC Video Germany 1992
VHS Ace HighAce High Paramount USA 06.05.1991
VHS Les 4 de l'Ave MariaLes 4 de l E.C.S. France 1991
VHS 4 für ein Ave Maria4 für ein Ave Maria Taurus Video Germany 1983
Promo Vier für ein Ave Maria (Werberatschlag 2)Vier für ein Ave Maria (Werberatschlag 2) Cinema International Germany 1978
DVD Ace High - Les quatre de l' Ave MariaAce High - Les quatre de l Paramount USA
VHS Hævneren fra El PasoHævneren fra El Paso Esselte Video Danmark
VHS Los cuatro del Ave MaríaLos cuatro del Ave María AVH Argentina
VHS Have gun will travelHave gun will travel Filmview Great Britain
VHS Los 4 truhanesLos 4 truhanes CIC Video Spain
Promo 4 für ein Ave Maria4 für ein Ave Maria Neues Filmprogramm Austria 1969
Promo Vier für ein Ave Maria (Werberatschlag 1)Vier für ein Ave Maria (Werberatschlag 1) Cinema International Germany 1969
Promo 4 für ein Ave Maria (Presseinformationen - Werberatschlag)4 für ein Ave Maria (Presseinformationen - Werberatschlag) Paramount Germany 1969
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Type Title Publisher Country Date
CD Bud Spencer e Terence Hill Music Collection - Volume 1Bud Spencer e Terence Hill Music Collection - Volume 1 Hobby e Work Italy 2006
CD Bud Spencer e Terence Hill Music Collection - Volume 2Bud Spencer e Terence Hill Music Collection - Volume 2 Hobby e Work Italy 2006
CD C'era una volta il Western (2 CDs)C Cinevox Italy 2006
CD I quattro dell' Ave MariaI quattro dell Digitmovies Italy 16.11.2005
CD Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Greatest Hits 2Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Greatest Hits 2 Vivi Musica Italy 2003
CD Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Greatest Hits (3 CDs)Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Greatest Hits (3 CDs) Vivi Musica Italy 2003
CD 4 für ein Ave Maria4 für ein Ave Maria Alhambra Germany 1997
CD I quattro dell' Ave MariaI quattro dell Cinevox Italy 1992
LP12 Ciak - Spaghetti WesternCiak - Spaghetti Western Cinevox Italy 1984
LP12 I quattro dell' Ave MariaI quattro dell Cinevox Italy 1968
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