Now here we have a real surprise!
El puro by Edoardo Mulargia. Aka The Reward’s Yours, the Man’s mine.
The latter one is a translation of the original italian title, but it doesn’t make very much sense according to story and film.
It’s an widely unknown SW, which wasn’t released in Germany.
The film is about a legendary, but now retired gunfighter (Robert Woods) known by the name of El Puro, who meanwhile became an alcoholic who bathes in self-pity. A 2nd plot introduces a gang of sadistic outlaws, who on the other hand have a taste for fooling people by playing childish diguising games, so that also the audience is sometimes not sure who they are and what they are.
These gang, complete with a near crazy leader, now tries to collect the bounty money on the disappeared El Puro’s head. By bringing pressure to bear upon all people who might know about El Puro’s whereabouts, they force him to come back to form again for a final duel.
After having seen nearly every “important” SW, and after having seen 4 (out of 9) not so interesting ones by director Edoardo Mulargia (Shango, W Django), I expected not much and got a lot.
This is an astonishingly unusual, often irritating SW with interesting, strange characters, well acted and well directed. And it has an unusual end too. Mulargia delivers interesting images with often very individual framings (the 1st scene e.g. seems to start in the middle of a scene) , combined with a feeling for typical western moments, which I haven’t noticed in other works by this director. (Must give them a new watch.)
And El puro has great music by Alessandro Allesandroni (he did many of the famous whistlings on several soundtracks since AFoD), which bears more than one resemblance to A Fistful of Dollars. In fact this is so close to the music of AFoD that it would be appropriate to give Morricone the credits for greater parts of this score. So if someone wants to hear the wonderful AFoD music in another context, try to get this film.
Bill San Antonio must have seen this film. Anyone else?