One of the most known SW that I haven’t seen yet
Another Dirty Dozen, or should I say The Secret Invasion premise based spaghetti, that SW directors seem to like so much.
Castellari was one of those professional directors, with little concerns in the artistic note of his films, with the exception of the camera work, which I found quite good in this and other films he directed, justice must made to men we was a real craftsman with the camera.
So action was all it matters and we got plenty of it here, the problem it’s its distribution, and above all a plot that run out of thoughts somewhere in the film, the successive twists and psychological effects on the character’s could have been done and used better, but if that worked right it would have made a terrific movie, and that wasn’t suppose to be, if you hire Castellari to direct an SW, you probably won’t be expecting much more than this as the final result.
Chuck Connors was a very physical actor, with the ideal look (in my view) for Westerns and above all for SW, pity he didn’t had done more SW than the few he did, I can imagine him in a few spags replacing some other actors to a better effect. The rest of the cast doesn’t need much talk about, Frank Wolff seems like an improbable match for a fist fight with Connors, and does not look very menacing, surprisingly in this stunt made cast, is the fact that Spanish actor Leo Anchoriz was also a scrip writer of some arty pretentious films (and comedies), and it seems also an art director. In another perspective couldn’t help noticing Ken Wood trying to emulate Charles Bronson almost the entire film. Couldn’t help thinking ifd castellari With Connors wanted to create an Eastwood effect, they both got similar careers until they went to Europe to do Westerns.
So did I like it? Yeah not bad, the beginning and the ending deserved a better film, those prison scenes could have been replaced by something better and more believable in the script. But as an action non brainer kind of flick I guess its OK. The exaggeration stuff just spoils the movie, for instance the union army soldiers couldn’t shot an elephant in front of their faces, I wonder how they won the war in Kill them all, and come back alone Universe.
In the end I got bogged cause of the first 15 minutes or so that combine with the title, promised a great flick, which just never happens. The last Castellari I‘ve seen (Tuareg) was indeed better, and it had Mark Harmon as the main star.