I like this film very much. To me it's one of the three most interesting SWs spawned by FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (the other two being DEATH RIDES A HORSE and - the lesser known and, admittedly, less accomplished - PISTOLEROS). Like Leone's masterpiece it combines two classic western motives, the old man/young man motive and the vengeance tale; by adding, as Phil says, the morality aspect to the story, the film reaches emotional depts most other spaghetti westerns lack. The first motive (old/young) takes the mentor/apprentice form often used in Hollywood westerns (The Tin Star is a good example), but the usual outcome of this type of westerns, in which the apprentice most often steps in the shoes of his mentor, is drastically changed by combining it intelligently with the second motive, the vengeance tale. To begin with this motive is mirrored in the film itself: both Van Cleef and Gemma are avenger in the movie, Van Cleef enters the movie as one, Gemma becomes one and ends the movie as such. The relationship between the two men evolve from mentor and apprentice to partners and finally opponents. And ultimately it becomes - like most morality tales - a film about coming of age and redemption by making a moral choice: having the chance to become respected (and feared) by the people surrounding him, Gemma's character is in imminent danger of loosing his own self-respect. Gemma must kill his mentor in order to become of age, and by killing him both men are redeemed.