We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
By opening with a quotation from Chairman Mao and then a stream of urine, Duck, You Sucker immediately announces it will not coddle bourgeois sensibilities. Sergio Leone’s last “Western,” now restored with 20 minutes never before seen stateside, could only have been made circa 1971. With the Revolution imminent, the zeitgeist led the director to the Mexico of Pancho Villa. The story follows the odd couple of Juan (Rod Steiger), a Mexican bandit who cares nothing for politics, and John (James Coburn), a fugitive IRA explosives expert who also claims no interest. Despite their supposed detachment, the two men deal the country’s brutal army and corrupt president a measure of justice. This is not Ennio Morricone’s best score, and the pastel, slo-mo flashbacks are ickily Elvira Madigan-like. Still, the film is full of grand Leone flourishes, and it manages to sustain a wry tone amid chilling scenes of authoritarian violence. Duck, You Sucker screens at 2, 5, and 8 p.m. (see Showtimes for other dates) at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $8.50. (301) 495-6700. (Mark Jenkins)