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Lorella De Luca
Early Spaghetti revenge tale from a pre:Django Corbucci
Now Minnesota Clay is one fast guy with a gun. Possibly the fastest in the world. Unfortunately he is also slowly losing his eyesight, with his vision now so impaired that one more punch could cause complete loss of sight.
The movie begins with Clay (Cameron Mitchell) escaping from imprisonment, and intent on getting revenge on the man who set him up. The man in question is Fox (George Riviere), who has appointed himself as the Sheriff of Clay's hometown and abuses this power, with the townsfolk living in terror of his gang. They had initially paid Fox to protect them from bandit Ortiz (played by the ever excellent Fernando Sancho), who himself terrorises the town. In the middle of these two waring parties is Clay's daughter, Nancy, who believes her father is dead, and thinks Clay is merely a local hero. They are reunited, but caught in the crossfire between the two gangs, co-ordinated mischievously by Estella (Ethel Rojo) who is as devious as she is beautiful (and my is she beautiful!).
Minnesota Clay is one of the earliest Spaghetti Westerns, directed by a pre-Django Sergio Corbucci. Whilst it is not as captivating or as dark as the films he directed during the Spaghetti boom of 1966-1970, it is still a very enjoyable movie, with the usual sprinkling of injustice that we have come to expect within his films.
Mitchell, Sancho and Riviere are captivating throughout, and Rojo could win the heart of any man with her portrayal of Estella (no wonder her character is so able to use those around her so ably). My only complaint would be the vocal overdub on the English soundtrack for the characters of Nancy (drippy) and Andy (who comes over as a Frank Spencer type character - apologies to any non-English readers that may not understand this comparison!). Once you get used to these minor grumbles about the overdub (which, honestly, does not take too long), you can really start to enjoy Minnesota Clay for the highly watchable film that it is.
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