Cast: Charles Bronson, Jack Palance, Simon Oakland, James Whitmore, Richard Basehart, Ralph Waite, Richard Jordan, Raul Castro
Tough British-American western, filmed in Spain
No real spaghetti feel, despite the locations. In fact, with a chase at the heart of the story, The Wild Bunch seems to have served more as a model. Somehow First Blood also came to my mind (I checked it already: that was not a Michael Winner movie).
A half-breed Indian (Chuck) kills a sheriff in self-defense, but is chased afterwards by a lynch-hungry mob
The mob is led by a former Confederate officer (Palance), who knows something about indians, and slowly becomes aware of the fact that the people he’s travelling with are worse than the person they’re after. After the Indian’s wife is brutally raped and one of the rapists killed, the group members fall out, giving the Indian the chance to play them off against each other.
Some violence XL (rapist Waite ends up with roasted genitals), good atmosphere, occasionally sunspenseful, but not completely satisfying. Michael Winner is one of the most despised British directors, so it seems, and probably therefore turned to American genre movies like westerns and vigilante movies at a certain point in his career. I don’t think he was that bad as a director, but he wasn’t great either. Here his direction is uninspired, merely adequate, leaving it all to the actors. They’re first rate, of course, but cannot overcome the stereotyped characterizations.
To my surprise, Jerry Fielding’s score sounded a bit uninspired too.
still, worth a look.