I really like this one a lot. Each viewing it moves higher on my list. Now, I ain't sayin' it's perfect or that everybody ought to like it. In parts it is really uneven and I don't think a lot of Van Johnson's performance.
I DO like Gemma a lot so that, no doubt, colors my opinion.
But I like this one for how bizarre it is. Dillinger, amigo, I don't think this is like an American western at all. It has all the peculiar elements of a classic Sapghetti to me.
For instance, the death of Jack, Gemma's black friend. is over the top and very visually powerful. That is something you would not see in an American western of that time.
Valerii does try to say something about the Kennedy assasination and that alone elevates it IMO.
I love the music. I can still hear it.
Has anybody read the American 19th century writer Ambrose Bierce? When Gemma is talking to Van Johnson (who as a army officer during the war courtmartialed Gemma), Gemma describes a situation taken from one of Bierce's Civil War stories, A Horseman In The Sky.
Bierce was incredibly misanthropic and his stories were always macabe and sometimes shocking. He often has twists at the story's end much like the British writer Saki (Hector Hugh Munro) did.
Anybody read Horseman In The Sky? It is one of his best.