[quote=“Phil H, post:1, topic:610”]I have just watched this film for the first time and was struck by a couple of things.
Firstly, how little I have seen it discussed or mentioned yet I think it is a good movie and an interesting example of the genre. Secondly, how much it had a feeling of being a crime thriller as much as a western. [/quote]
I had never seen this one before, hardly ever heard of it. Like the same director’s DIECIMILA DOLLARI PER UN MASSACRO, it’s an above average SW. Guerrieri is not in a league with Corbucci or Sollima (let alone Leone), more in one with the likes of Petroni, Castellari or Carnimeo. DIECIMILA … was an excellent SW, but marred a little by a protracted finale, set during a sand storm. JOHNNY YUMA has a protracted finale too, but at least it takes places in broad daylight.
The script, co-written by Fernando di Leo (which explains a lot) clearly has some Gothic influences. Rosalba Neri is deliciously wicked and tantalizingly sexy as the widow who hires her former lover to kill her late husband’s heir, only to find herself cornered by both men. She has a hilarious scene in which she undresses for her over-sexed parrot. This is not the only tongue-in-cheek element: there are a lot of continuity lapses (for instance Damon alternately using his right and left hand to shoot, a scar dissapearing from one scene to another etc.) and a Trinity like barroom brawl completely out of sync with the rest of the movie. The violence is pretty strong (and bloody) for a film of the period. It won’t upset many people these days, but it might well have scandalized critics at the time. Maybe this is one of the SWs that gave the genre its bad name.
The film is a bit uneven and takes some time to get going, but once it does, it’s a humdinger of a gothic spaghetti western.