THE TALL WOMEN (Gianfranco Parolini, Sidney W. Pink and Rudolf Zehetgruber, 1966) **
To begin with, this isn't really a Spaghetti Western even if it's listed on websites devoted to the subgenre; while the American title recalls Raoul Walsh's THE TALL MEN (1955), the original Spanish one LAS SIETES MAGNIFICAS would wish to liken the film to THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960), but such comparisons don't do it any favors at all! Incidentally, I have to wonder what was the purpose of employing three separate directors for it (though billed on the print I watched under one idiotic name, Cehett Grooper) when the result is so thoroughly bland; I presume, however, that each director was basically responsible for supervising the end product on its respective home ground!
The plot seven women, traveling to the West for marriage purposes and the sole survivors of a caravan massacre, have to contend with marauding Apaches during their trek to the nearest Army fort is somewhat unusual but, as I said, the uninspired treatment lets it down. Casting is below par, too led by a past-her-prime Anne Baxter, Maria Perschy (initially irritating as she repeatedly breaks into German bemoaning her infant's death) and Gustavo Rojo (belatedly introduced as the would-be hero, since he's incapacitated almost instantly!).
Two of the women are Italian acrobat sisters whose exploits are, at one point, incongruously accompanied by a typical circus fanfare; I say this because, for the most part, the film's tone is relatively sober with a fairly violent opening, a surprisingly gruesome stay at an Indian cemetery, and even having one of the women themselves (who has been abducted by the Apaches) found bloodied and scalped!
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