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Added by BH72 on 10 Oct 2009 05:03
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Spaghetti Western Classics On DVD & Blu-Ray

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This 2 Disc edition was restored with 18 minutes of scenes originally cut from the US release and are re-inserted into the film. Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach were brought back in to dub their characters' lines for the additional scenes, which up to that point only had Italian dialogue. Voice actor Simon Prescott substituted for Lee Van Cleef who had died in 1989. Other voice actors filled in for actors who had since passed away.

In 2005, a Canadian fan who goes by the name of "Franco Cleef" released a fan made DVD of this film that many believe is currently the definitive English version for North American audiences. Scenes that were originally cut from the film were restored. English dialogue was also added to most of these scenes. The scenes in which English dialogue was not found remained in Italian while subtitled in English.

Koch Media has also released the full cut of the film as part of a box set with 2 other Sergio Sollima spaghetti westerns for the European market. The release contains English subtitles but no English soundtrack option.

The release I recommend is the Japanese Region 2(NTSC) SPO version, that includes English audio.

All other releases to my knowledge are without English audio except in subtitles.
Up to this point all US release of this film have been low budget. The UK release by MGM features 2.35:1 with English soundtrack.
The Japanese SPO/Stingray version of "The Mercenary" is the best available which also includes English audio.
If not for the horrible soundtrack, I would probably rate this higher.

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