A writer accepts a bet that he cannot spend the night alone in a haunted castle on All Soul's Eve. Once night falls at the castle, several who had been murdered therein return to life, ... See full summary »
Amiable, unassertive Scott Mary picks up the trash, cleans the toilets, sweeps the floors in the town of Clifton. Then a gunfighter comes to town. He offers advice and guidance to Scott who... See full summary »
Lee Van Cleef,
MINNESOTA CLAY (Sergio Corbucci and, uncredited, Mario Bava, 1964) **1/2
Corbucci's second Spaghetti Western is an improvement on the first MASSACRE AT GRAND CANYON (1965) but still a long way from his best efforts in the genre (namely DJANGO  and THE GREAT SILENCE ). The leading man is Cameron Mitchell, who wisely opted to appear in European films tackling starring roles rather than be stranded in Hollywood playing poor supporting ones; that said, he was also featured in a fine 'B' Western by Monte Hellman RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND (1966) alongside rising star (and screenwriter) Jack Nicholson! The narrative provides many typical Spaghetti Western elements but, as I said, it's an early example yet so that it lacks the baroque touches inherent in later outings (suffice to compare Corbucci's relatively sober treatment here to the tongue-in-cheek approach to the same concept in the self-explanatory BLINDMAN !).
Here, as in his two better-regarded genre classics, Corbucci gives us a hero his name probably derives from Jackie Gleason's character, Minnesota Fats, in the pool-room drama THE HUSTLER (1961)! who has to battle not just the villains but a physical ailment (he's slowly going blind). Besides, he has a daughter who thinks him dead and he's willing to offer her his protection, while remaining silent about his paternity (only at the climax, when the villain callously exploits his condition by putting the girl in Mitchell's line of fire, does he confess to their kinship!).
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