Friday, February 12, 2010

Woody wants to do BOOT HILL the Italian way.

by Woody Strode and Sam Young

So I took the part and I flew back to Italy. The picture was titled BOOT HILL with Bud Spencer, Terence Hill, Victor Buono, and Lionel Stander. They were all starring in their first western. It was an old-fashioned western with a circus in a big top tent. The director told me, "Woody, we want you to put on these tights, climb the trapeze, jump out, grab that rope, and slide down onto this box on the floor. This stuntman will attack you, and that's when the fight scene starts."
I said, "Goddamn, you finally found someone dumb enough to do it!" But for $50,000 I was going to swing on those ropes.
We were working from six in the morning until ten, eleven o'clock at night. The American actors went by the union rules and that meant twelve hours off between shooting days. They called their agents, and their agents told them to stop working. I told Luana, "Mama, don't say nothing. If this is how the Italians work, then they got themselves a jock strap. It ain't nothing but a little sweat to me."
Nine o'clock one night, Mr. Colizzi said to me, "Woody, all the other American actors have quit. We don't want to take advantage of you. Do you want to call your agent?"
I said, "Mr. Colizzi, let me tell you something. You gave me $50,000 to do this job, and I didn't come here to steal your money. What do you want me to do?" He couldn't believe it.
He stopped the production and fired the director. We started again and Giuseppe Colizzi took over the direction. He gave me an extra $25,000 to finish the picture. I made $75,000, the most money I had ever seen.


  1. I always wished they had used Woody as a black anti-hero and given him a name like the Sartana, Sabata etc. characters. He could have been an ex-slave who was now making his living as a bad ass bounty hunter and started a whole series of films.

  2. Yeah, somebody like the character he plays in THE PROFESSIONALS, at the beginning when he's bringing in the Indian chap, Woody's wearing a vest and kicking ass. I'd have watched that.