Joe, oh Banana Joe!



Bud Spencer | von BonkIf you grew up in the wake of the 80’s or 90’s, in Italy or Germany, you surely will be part of the generational batch grown by fathers, uncles, cousins and grandparents, with a beans and knuckle sandwiches based diet.


If you belong to this elected dynasty you already know what I am talking about, if you are not – because too young/too busy combing doll hair/victims of Baywatch and Beverly Hills 90210 – be ready for something sensational, for badass men, skilled at fighting.






[Photo via Flickr]



34 years ago the versatile Stefano Vanzina (for friends “Steno”) conducted his motion picture film (because calling it “film” would be too simplistic) Banana Joe, starring Bud Spencer (aka Carlo Pedersoli).


The Parthenopean colossus – already known at the time for his roles based on spaghetti westerns and slaps – this time was not accompanied by his historical mate Terence Hill but as usual they made him walking in the shoes of a gentle giant: a self-made man with a disconsolate history behind, able to make justice for himself but especially for the others (I can assure you I am not talking about Bruce Wayne).


Well, this is the story of how a big boy ends up being a bananas trafficker on an Ecuadorian river, in order to feed the natives who have raised and cared him since the tender age (Mowgli anyone?).

One day there comes a bad and ugly gangster with some “business plans” that would disturb the working activities on the river, so what does Banana Joe do then? Does he beats him black and blue? No. He recourse to the law in every way – passing through whirlwind adventures, he will try to obtain a licensed trade in order to continue to sell bananas on the river.


To tell you in details about his martyr faces when ready to clear up, the vintage sound effects of his hands on the poor unfortunates or his rare smile, would not make sense because these are things that need to be seen and experienced personally.


Take 92 minutes of your doing nothing and watch this little masterpiece of honest and genuine emotions.


Bud from up there will be happy and maybe – if you will get the moral – he will throw you a rib or a piece of sausage soaked in the sauce.




Alessandra Sciarrino