The Stranger Returns / Un uomo, un cavallo, una pistola (Luigi Vanzi, 1967)


(Half Soldier) #1

This weeks viewing was…

THE STRANGER RETURNS
(Uomo, un cavallo, una pistola, Un)

Spaghetti Western Database entryhttp://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Uomo%2C_un_cavallo%2C_una_pistola%2C_Un

Tony Anthony returns in his “Stranger” guise, in a film that totally eclipses the qualities of its predecessor, “A Stranger in Town”.

To the sound of Cipriani’s superb score, the Stranger rides horseback (astride the interestingly named “Pussy”) through the desert, protecting himself from the sun’s rays with a pink parasol, and greeting a passing traveller. The sound of gunfire alerts him to a nearby ranch, where he finds the traveller lying dead. A great gunfight scene ensues, and three dead bodies later he learns of a bandit gang’s gold heist plot.

The gang, led by En Plein (Dan Vadis) are known as the Treasure of the Border, on account of the size of the bounties that rest on their heads (although quite how some of his goofy comrades manage to generate such a vast reward is beyond me). They successfully ambush a stagecoach, which is soon revealed to be made of solid gold. The Stranger tracks down the gang, in an effort to claim the bounty, assisted by a deranged local preacher with a pocketful of fireworks.

The story itself is very simple, but delivered in a great style. Like the other films in the Stranger series (well, those that I have seen), it combines the feel of the Leone films (in its poncho clad protagonist and its morricone-mimic soundtrack) but injects an extra dosage of humour. This humorous side is particularly well crafted (such as the enjoyable scene at the beginning of the movie, when the Stranger is forced at gunpoint to dig a grave both for the dead traveller and himself). “Returns” does not borrow so heavily from the Dollars trilogy as “A Stranger in Town”, but still its clear where its influences lie. And why not - it does it very successfully and makes for great viewing.

Anthony is never going to exude the same level of cool as Eastwood’s Man With No Name, and therefore deliberately plays the role in a more clumsy comical fashion. But there is still no denying his character’s appeal - or his fast-draw and accurate gun-play. The supporting characters also really add to the enjoyment, with Vadis particularly well suited to the role of the merciless gang leader.

Perhaps the highlight of the film though is Cipriani’s score which, as mentioned earlier, owes more than a passing nod to Ennio, but aptly captures the mood and feeling as the action unfurls. It’s one of those soundtracks that could make even a bad film worth watching.

Anthony’s Stranger series eventually collapsed into the medieval farce that is “Get Mean”. But this particular episode of the Stranger’s adventures is a truly enjoyable and highly watchable western. And one that nearly reaches the highlights of Anthony’s finest hour - Blindman. “Returns” is the best of the Stranger films that I have seen, and one that I would definitely recommend.


(Mats) #2

Also know as SHOOT FIRST, LAUGH LAST.

Here´s the swedish videocover:


(Phil H) #3

Well, after all our discussion on A Stranger in Town it seemed only right to give the sequel a viewing to compare the two up close.
An excellent score and Anthony delivers just like in the first but somehow, on reflection I didn’t rate this one quite as highly. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it thoroughly but it wasn’t up to the same standard in some areas for me. It has some great little scenes and sequences but, overall, I prefered Frank Wolff as the bad guy over dan Vadis and I liked the women characters in the first one. (Oh dear, do I sound like SD?)
I also thought Raf Baldasarre, although always good value, was a bit over the top in this one with his tongue hanging out cackling and his performance in the first was better.
So, to sum up, good value on the whole and certainly worth a watch but not quite up to Stranger in Town or Blindman for me.


(ENNIOO) #4

I like the second film more than the first one as; prefer the story and score, Anthony seems to be really getting into the character and production values seem higher to me.
I preffered Dan Vadis over Frank Wolff, as Wolff irritates me in the first one and I don’t like his hair style :D.


(Phil H) #5

[quote=“ENNIOO, post:4, topic:118”]I like the second film more than the first one as; prefer the story and score, Anthony seems to be really getting into the character and production values seem higher to me.
I preffered Dan Vadis over Frank Wolff, as Wolff irritates me in the first one and I don’t like his hair style :D.[/quote]

Ha Ha. So we pretty much disagree on every possible aspect then. Nice to know the North / South divide goes further than just what we call crisps. :wink:


(ENNIOO) #6

I reckon so :).

Well I have not viewed The Silent Stranger yet and do not know whether you have seen and/or have yet Phil…but you never know we may agree on this one.


(Phil H) #7

[quote=“ENNIOO, post:6, topic:118”]I reckon so :).

Well I have not viewed The Silent Stranger yet and do not know whether you have seen and/or have yet Phil…but you never know we may agree on this one.[/quote]

No, I haven’t seen that one yet either. Maybe we should both seek it out and see where we stand. :smiley:


(Silver Wolf) #8

Is Get Mean really considered a part of “Stranger” series? I thought the ones directed by Luigi Vanzi make a trilogy, the rest (Get Mean & Comin’ At Ya!) just have similar lead characters.

I agree with everything ENNIOO said, especially about higher production values. A Stranger In Town was good but looked quite cheap and it was very slow-moving compared to The Stranger Returns, which has all good sides of the first one + much more. 4 stars.


(Chris_Casey) #9

[quote=“Phil H, post:3, topic:118”]Well, after all our discussion on A Stranger in Town it seemed only right to give the sequel a viewing to compare the two up close.
An excellent score and Anthony delivers just like in the first but somehow, on reflection I didn’t rate this one quite as highly. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it thoroughly but it wasn’t up to the same standard in some areas for me. It has some great little scenes and sequences but, overall, I prefered Frank Wolff as the bad guy over dan Vadis and I liked the women characters in the first one. (Oh dear, do I sound like SD?)
I also thought Raf Baldasarre, although always good value, was a bit over the top in this one with his tongue hanging out cackling and his performance in the first was better.
So, to sum up, good value on the whole and certainly worth a watch but not quite up to Stranger in Town or Blindman for me.[/quote]

I’m with you all the way on this one, Phil!
A long time ago, say about twenty years back…I used to say that A STRANGER IN TOWN and THE STRANGER RETURNS were equally great. But, as I get older and the more I watch them…the first one just seems to hold up better in my opinion.

But, I do like THE STRANGER RETURNS a great deal—it is just I, like you, prefer A STRANGER IN TOWN and BLINDMAN.


(Garko Forever) #10

I like both of THE STRANGER movies quite a bit. Each has its own qualities. In the first, the simplicity of the story and the fun of seeing this guy who really does NOT seem to be a SW hero (anti or otherwise) eventually do in the villains after some brutal beatings is really satisfying. However, the bigger budget and a more straightforward “in control” outing for the Stranger makes the sequel a fun ride on its own.

I’d really love to get a copy of SILENT STRANGER to compare.


(dead-by-dawn) #11

stranger in town and stranger retutns

i find the em boring till the last half hour where the action starts but he never uses the special shotgun so much he had to use it more he got some good onliners

we gonna raise some hell to night old man


(davidf) #12

in my opinon this is equal with the first film " a stranger in town"both are easily watchable.tony anthony is fine in both films and even better in “blindman”. " the stranger returns" has a better storyline and is slightly better made but both films are entertaining and have their share of compentley done action scenes.there is more dialogue than in the first film although that’s not difficult and more humour but it’s all likeable. one thing where the sequel does far surpass the original is the very catchy theme. both films make a solid and entertaining double bill.


(MunchhausenPL) #13

Good and enjoyable movie, but not my Top 15. I don’t like Stranger character. He’s lucky chap. He always gets catched, but then he founds piece of glass or gun and release himself. It’s irritating how many stupid mistakes his enemies make. In the first part we got two guys who had to kill Stranger silently. So what they do? They cut his throat? No! One of them throws a machete into Stranger and of course hits the second guy. Or a women who firstly beats Stranger and then wants to make love with him. Or laughing bandit who is eating instead of searching… O.o


(AceHigh) #14

Thought The Stranger Returns was the better of the first two “Stranger” movies but I enjoyed both. Tony Anthony has his own place in the heirarchy of filmdom, just don’t know where that place is…I like Vadis as the bad guy, the story was decent, and the stranger’s weapon was pretty cool but I’m still trying to figure out the ‘horse named Pussy’ thing. Why is that? Guess its part of the greatness(strangeness) of Tony Anthony.


(alk0) #15

I like the first Stranger film a little bit more - it’s in my top 20 and the second one misses my top 20, but not by much. It’s less minimalistic than the first one. Cipriani provides a great score, Anthony gives us more of his tongue in cheek approach to his character, Dan Vadis makes a fine villain and we get some nice shootouts and action. 9/10


(MunchhausenPL) #16

Well, mayby Stranger have creepy sexual perversion? :smiley:


(Reverend Danite) #17

It’s just so he can say that (first) immortal line - “Come on Pussy”.
He’s havin’ a larf! ;D


(Squonkamatic) #18

I think this is the film where the Tony Anthony Effect finally started to come into focus: STRANGER IN TOWN is more of a cookie cutter type paste-up job that lacks his usual flair for the absurd, which comes through nice and clear in this movie. After this one all of his films have a sort of schtick to them that is quite unique.

I do however agree that STRANGER IN TOWN is probably the more “important” or pioneering of the two films in that it showed how to make a Spaghetti for little or no money and the edginess of having such a low budget to work with makes it a somewhat more simplistic and stronger story. But this one is still grand fun, I love it when he shoots the bad guys from upside down and between his legs.


(Garko Forever) #19

[quote=“Squonkamatic, post:18, topic:118”]I think this is the film where the Tony Anthony Effect finally started to come into focus: STRANGER IN TOWN is more of a cookie cutter type paste-up job that lacks his usual flair for the absurd, which comes through nice and clear in this movie. After this one all of his films have a sort of schtick to them that is quite unique.

I do however agree that STRANGER IN TOWN is probably the more “important” or pioneering of the two films in that it showed how to make a Spaghetti for little or no money and the edginess of having such a low budget to work with makes it a somewhat more simplistic and stronger story. But this one is still grand fun, I love it when he shoots the bad guys from upside down and between his legs.[/quote]

I agree with everything you say Squonkamatic!

As someone who was unsold on Anthony for the first half of STRANGER IN TOWN, it almost shocks me that I have become a full-fledged, over the top fan of his movies. I only wish he’d kept making them with the frequency that others in the genre did.


(Stanton) #20

Yep, he should have made a few more in the genre’s heydays.

Lazy guy