China 9, Liberty 37 (Italian: Amore, piombo e furore) is an Italian-Spanish 1978 western film directed by Monte Hellman, starring Warren Oates, Jenny Agutter, and Fabio Testi. The film was shot in locations in Spain and Italy by cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno. Pino Donaggio composed the musical score. The film had a very sparse theatrical release in the United States, and did not play in some cities until as late as 1984.
Gunslinger Clayton Drumm (Testi) is about to be hanged when railroad company men offer him a chance to live if he will agree to murder Matthew (Oates), a miner who has steadfastly refused to sell his land to the railroad. Matthew’s refusal is a major obstacle to the railroad’s plans for expansion.
Although he naturally accepts the assignment, Clayton has become weary of killing and wants to try to build a new life for himself. The would-be killer and his potential victim meet and quickly become close friends. Matthew is married to the beautiful Catherine (Agutter), who greatly complicates matters by promptly falling in love with Clayton. Clayton, despite his growing loyalty to Matthew, gives in to lust and sleeps with his new friend’s wife. When Matthew discovers his wife’s infidelity, he becomes infuriated and beats her. While defending herself, she stabs him in the back and then hits him in the head with a rolling pin. Believing that she has killed her husband, she runs off with Clayton. Matthew recovers from his wounds and asks his mentally unstable brothers to help him track down his wife and her lover.
Meanwhile, the railroad men haven't failed to notice that Clayton has not lived up to his part of the bargain. Consequently, they’ve changed their plans and now want everybody who gets in their way dead, including Clayton.
- Warren Oates as Matthew Sebanek
- Fabio Testi as Clayton Drumm/Braun
- Jenny Agutter as Catherine Sebanek
- Sam Peckinpah as Wilbur Olsen
- Isabel Mestres as Barbara Sebanek
- Gianrico Tondinelli as Johnny Sebanek
- Franco Interlenghi as Hank Sebanek
- Carlos Bravo as Charly Bravo as Duke
- Paco Benlloch as Virgil Sebanek
- Sydney Lassick as sheriff's friend
- Richard C. Adams as sheriff
- Natalie Kim as Cassie
- Ivonne Sentis as prostitute
- Romano Puppo as Zeb
- Luis Prendes as Williams
- Helga Liné as Cottrell's wife
- Mattieu Ettori Cottrell
- David Thomson as Jack
- Daniel Panes as Joe
- Piero Fondi as Tanner
- Tony Brandt as Jefferson
- Luciano Spadoni as hangman
- Frank Clement as Tom
- Jose Murillo as Jimmy
- Rafael Albaicin as prison guard
- Luis Barboo as Henry
- Freda Lorente
China 9, Liberty 37 has never been given an official, legitimate DVD release in any region. Various unlicensed bootlegs have been issued, including a reportedly poor, grainy and edited version (78 min) on Region 0 DVD by Alpha Video on July 27, 2010.
The full (98 mins @ 25 fps) director's version, in English language and original scope, has been broadcast by TCM and subsequently made available on couple of unauthorized torrent websites.