Nobody Wanted To Die

Vitautas Zalakiavicius, Lietuvos Kinostudija, 1963; 106m
Nobody Wanted To Die
A farm-set tale of family revenge worthy of Sergio Leone but equally steeped in Baltic rural literature, this Lithuanian drama was close enough to a thriller to become a nationwide hit after being dubbed into Russian. Aside from the commendably spaghetti Western title and an extended, wordless ambush sequence in the middle, the film's genre pleasures include Latvian leading lady Via Artmane, whose feisty presence has something of the young Bardot's. Under the surface, however, the "loaded" setting- the Soviet postwar annexation of Lithuania- provides its own stories of Oedipal confusion and general lawlessness; in a much-discussed touch, the film begins and ends with a shot of a wooden roadside Mary.