A Routine Spanish Revenge Oater with a Whodunit Plot
Before he made "The Implacable Three," sometimes called "The Magnificent Three," Joaquín Luis Romero Marchent made two "Zorro" westerns with Frank Latimore. These "Zorro" westerns were forerunners of the Spaghetti western. Marchent went on to helm six more oaters. "The Implacable Three" qualifies as a standard story of revenge. Marchent gets the western outfits right and the western characters tote around Winchester rifle. However, without exception, everybody seems to be wielding English style revolver that break open at the hammer like a Smith & Wesson to be reloaded.
A rancher leaves his wife without protection at their hacienda and rides off to herd his cattle. Seven gunslingers invade his house and are stealing him blind when his wife awakens and confronts them. The leader of the gang strangles her to death, but before she dies, she tears a stick pin off his lapel. When he finds his wife dead, Don César Guzmán (Geoffrey Horne of "Bridge on the River Kwai") set out on the revenge trail and eventually picks up two like-minded individuals. After the mysterious killer strangled his wife, he blew up Guzmán's safe to steal the money. He blasted the safe because he knew the combination and one of his accomplices suggested that he blow the safe so that Don César would not know that the thief knew him. Don César rides into town and promptly finds himself in the middle of a gunfight in a saloon where he kills three of the gunslingers that struck at his hacienda, one of whom is none other than Spaghetti western stalwart Aldo Sambrell.
A gunfighter strings along with Don César and they ride the country for two years searching for the murderer. Eventually, they return to the hacienda and Don César finds that things have changed in town. The mayor is a conniving villain and wants Don César dead. The next big event is the arrival of a two-gun Mexican gunslinger (the indispensable Fernando Sanchez) that plays a good guy for a change. He aligns himself with Don César and his friend.
All European westerns appropriated the theme of the face-to-face duel and created variations on it. In "The Implacable Three," they restrict the chances that an innocent bystander will catch stray lead by having the duelists shoot it out in the dark in the cellar of the saloon. When one of the hero's partners kills the slimy skunk of a mayor Hopkins, Nino McCoy (Robert Hundar) arranges it so that Don César and his friends are trapped in the saloon and McCoy mounts a massive shoot out to wipe them out. Of course, friends of Don César ride to his rescue. Marchent stages a huge gunfight when the ranch hands from a nearby hacienda pour into town to help him. Eventually, Don César learns the identity of his wife's killer and they shoot it out.
"The Implacable Three" is an ordinary western, distinguished by absolutely nothing. Scenarist José Mallorquí specialized in writing Continental westerns and this is just another formula sagebrusher. Since it was made before "Fistful of Dollars," "The Implacable Three" bears a greater resemblance to American horse operas. This western appears to have been lensed on the same town set that Sergio Leone converted for "Fistful of Dollars," but there is no water tank in the center of town and what would become the home of Don Miguel Rojo is the saloon that Don César and his friends hole up in while the villains wait for them to try to escape. Actor Geoffrey Horne who is best known for "The Bridge on the River Kwai" never made another movie to equal David Lean's masterpiece.
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