Once again sponsored by Phil’s kindness I had the chance to watch this pré Leone SW.
I still have to see a few more to decide which pre Leone spag would became my favourite, this one is watchable (there not the Fidani Crea feeling in this films, made undoubtedly with more resources), but like I read in Chris resume of the film is of some important only in historical terms.
The Zorro/Coyote films were a genre by itself, and had s very strong Latin and Spanish feeling, Zorro was Mexican but of Blue Blood Spanish ancestry with the advantage of defending the poor and the oppress (something not so usual for the Iberian and others blue blooded people), in the end was an idealization of all that was good in the Latin hero.
Here we don’t have a Zorro /Coyote but instead we have a Don Guzman, also a Mexican bandit that it’s a not a bandit imagine that, and even a Portuguese as a gunfighter to go full circle in the Iberia Peninsula, I also notice that the bad guys have all have non Spanish names, its clearly a regime thing and a continuity on the Zorro/Coyote tradition (they even wanted to elect Don Guzman as the Mayor in he film), of course it would be easier for Stanton to buy The Last Hard Men DVD than to find a something as Portuguese gunfighter, a fisherman more likely, most of this country immigration to the US was to the East Coat and later on to a specific place of California and Hawaii (always near the sea), I’m saying a regime thing cause it came with film tradition and also with censorship (stronger in the fifties) and keeping of values, of course later on this was obviously all abandoned, and more modern time were indeed arriving, starting in the beginning of the sixties in films like this one, with foreign stars and all that.
Like’s been said the film looks and it is very traditional, with a soundtrack not much different from those Iberian films of the fifties 8with the main song only different cause it was singed in English) even the beginning looked a lot like those films, only after a while things to get started to look like a real western, also notice the newspaper was written in Spanish, I specially liked the cellar duel thing, the revolvers did looked kind of small almost like toy things, but apart from the revenge story being regular filmed, there isn’t much to say, the characters the situations are all straightforward. Merchant used some inspiration from The Searchers and Rio Bravo in certain parts of the film.
In the acting department there’s also nothing to say Undari in training mode for future films, Sancho as a good guy, and Horne now pretty anonymous actor, back then he still might be living on The Bridge on the River Kwai fame (or maybe not, considering he was in such film).
I should really see a few more films before I make this type of statements, but to me Romero Marchent was probably the better SW Spanish director, Condenados a vivir still one my favourites.
In the end a curiosity announcing the future I guess, the town set was the same used in A Fistful of Dollars.