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The year is 1877. Johnny Ketchum, son of notorious gunfighter Ace Ketchum, seeks the man who killed his mother. His search brings him into contact with (1) Deputy Mace Fenton, who wants to collect the $10,000 reward on Ace Ketchum's head, (2) wealthy landowner Don Pedro Fortuna and his daughter Pilar; and (3) Juan Morales, a Mexican bandit. Before finishing his quest, Johnny finds love, learns family secrets, and fights in a battle. Written by
dinky-4 of Minneapolis
Spanish/US co-production realized by an American director in Paella Western style
Acceptable Chorizo Western with a prolific American director and two Hollywood B-actors as Russ Tamblyn and James Philbrook . A good example of Latino western genre from Spain . The year is 1877 , Johnny Ketchum is a young gunslinger , then he aware his mother was murdered by his father . Johnny is son of a famous gunfighter , and seeks the man who killed his mother . As Johnny heads South to encounter his mother's assassin . Ace Ketchum ( James Philbrook) is an outlaw , wanted ¨Dead or alive¨ , north and south the border . Johnny goes out to avenge his mother and trespasses Rio Grande frontier and after battling bounty killers finds his father . His search brings him into contact with Deputy Mace Fenton (Kieron Moore) , who wishes to collect the reward on Ace Ketchum's head . Johnny is wounded and is healed in a manor by the daughter (Maria Granada as Pilar) of a wealthy landowner named Don Pedro Fortuna (Fernando Rey) . Later on , Johnny falls in love with Pilar . But then they are besieged by a Mexican bandit named Juan Morales (Aldo Sambrell) until a spectacular final battle that takes place in a defile .
Offbeat Chorizo Western co-produced between Spain and US and doesn't follows the Sergio Leone wake , but it is proceeded in American models . It's an exciting western with breathtaking gunfight between the protagonist Russ Tamblyn against the heartless Aldo Sambrell and his nasty hoodlums , in addition a stirring ending fight into a narrow pass . This movie is a lot of fun to watch. It's an acceptable story with a touch of peculiarity, some great characters, and an amazing music score . The picture is a tale of justice and revenge , as a young man looks for vendetta but his objective results to be his father . The basic plot is typical spaghetti western fare , but what makes this movie stand out is its style . Tamblyn is passable though miscast , he ravages the screen, shoots , hit and run and kills . Russ's performance in the movie is a bit wooden for the role of such an interesting character , but the fantastic performance by the always great Aldo Sambrell as the slimy, menacing outlaw make up for , here in his ordinary role as bandit and in a cruelly baddie character , he is terrific, and bears a hysterical and mocking aspect , subsequently he would play similar characters . There appears as secondaries the habitual in Spanish/Italian Western such as Fernando Rey , Antonio Casas, Fernando Hilbeck and Barta Barri .
The film packs violence , shootouts , high body-count and it's fast moving and quite entertaining . There is plenty of action in the movie , guaranteeing some shoot'em up or stunts every few minutes. There is a very odd implementation of shots in the camera work during some particular scenes as the film approaches its climax , as in the final gunfights full of horse ridding , pursuits and shots . The movie gets the usual Western issues , such as avengers antiheroes , violent facing off , exaggerated baddies and spectacular duels , among them . The sense of pacing is such interesting that his film can be counted on to move quickly and smoothly . Good production design creating an excellent scenario with luminous outdoors , dirty and rocky landscapes under a glimmer sun and fine sets by expert set designer Julio Molina who designed several Westerns as Spanish as international ones . The musician Robert Mellin composes a nice soundtrack and well conducted , this turns out to be one of the most memorable parts of the movie; as it's full of enjoyable sounds and haunting musical background . The opening and ending sounds are two of my favorites, and are of those unforgettable tunes that will play in your mind over and over long after the movie is realized. The soundtrack contributes tremendously to the atmosphere of the film, including an emotive leitmotif, the music score is perhaps the best part of this film . Striking cinematography by Manuel Berenguer , though is necessary a correct remastering . Outdoor sequences with barren and rocky exteriors filmed in Spanish places located on outskirts Madrid , Hoyo De Manzanares and La Pedriza , replacing Almeria . Colmenar Viejo and Hoyo de Manzanares where was built a Western village called 'Golden City' resulted to be the locations in which were shot lots of Western produced and directed by Spanish and Italian and occasionally American people , because Almeria was too far and the landscapes bear remarkable resemblance . This motion picture is well produced by Gregorio Sacristan who as producer and production manager produced the most super-productions realized in Spain during the 60s and 70s as ¨Battle of Bulge¨ , ¨Krakatoa , East of Java¨ , ¨Custer of the West¨ , ¨Bad man's river¨ , ¨A town called Bastard¨ ,and ¨Horror Express¨ . Being professionally directed by Paul Landres . Landres is generally considered to be a prolific director of television episodes as ¨Lone ranger¨ , ¨Cisko Kid¨, ¨Maverick¨ , ¨Life and Legend of Wyattt Earp¨ . He realized his first feature in 1949 , a western , ¨Grand Canyon¨ genre in which he would not only excel but one where he would spent much of the rest of his career. Although Paul Landres couldn't be deemed an "A"-list director, his movies had a professionalism and a verve that many of those made by his fellow B directors lacked . He also filmed detective thrillers , Western as ¨Lone Texas¨, ¨Frontier gun¨ , action motion pictures and even a horror film or two as ¨The vampire¨, ¨The return of Dracula¨. Rating : 5,5 . Acceptable and passable
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