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The Ruthless Four (1968)
"Ognuno per sé" (original title)

M  -  Western  -  November 1969 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 317 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 6 critic

This superior Spaghetti western scrutinizes the greed and paranoia that afflict four men as they struggle among themselves to unearth a fortune in gold from a remote Southwestern mine ...


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Title: The Ruthless Four (1968)

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Cast overview:
Sam Cooper
Brent il Biondo
George Hilton ...
Manolo Sanchez
Sarah Ross ...
Federico Boido ...
Alfred Brady (as Rick Boyd)
Sergio Doria ...
Hal Brady
Giovanni Ivan Scratuglia ...
Telegraphist (as Ivan Scratuglia)
Giorgio Gruden ...
Drugstore owner
Hardy Reichelt
Teodoro Corrà ...
U.S. Marshall (as Doro Corra)


This superior Spaghetti western scrutinizes the greed and paranoia that afflict four men as they struggle among themselves to unearth a fortune in gold from a remote Southwestern mine without falling prey to each other's bullets.

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis


In the Tradition of "Treasure of Sierra Madre" See more »




M | See all certifications »





Release Date:

November 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Ruthless Four  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Italian censorship visa # 50800 delivered on 6-2-1968. See more »


Mason: Another old partner, huh Cooper?
Sam Cooper: It was him or me.
Mason: Dead man tell no tales.
See more »


Referenced in Reservoir Dogs (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

THE RUTHLESS FOUR (Giorgio Capitani, 1968) ***
21 August 2008 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This is another good Spaghetti Western, one that even got a laudable appraisal in the "Leonard Maltin Film Guide"…not to mention the seal of approval of our own Michael Elliott! Actually, it's a character-driven piece – with the action spread neatly throughout yet proficiently executed. Besides, it's exceedingly well cast: ageing American star Van Heflin is excellent in one of his last roles; both Gilbert Roland (himself a Hollywood veteran) and especially George Hilton did their fair share of Spaghettis, but it's safe to assume that they were never better than here; Klaus Kinski, then, has a typically enigmatic role for which he sports numerous eccentric 'costumes' (from preacher's garb to shades to a raincoat over his head and even a makeshift turban!).

Unfortunately, as had been the case with THE SPECIALIST (1969), the copy I acquired (English-dubbed this time around) lapsed occasionally into a different language without the benefit of subtitles – but, whereas I could more or less make out what was being said in French with respect to the Sergio Corbucci film, here it's in German (even the print bears the title DAS GOLD VON SAM COOPER)! In any case, the narrative – bringing an old-fashioned situation up-to-date, stylistically speaking – deals with Heflin's striking gold and his attempt to find suitable partners (his previous one had already tried to double-cross him!) that would help him extract the precious element: what he ends up with is an interesting bunch – Hilton, the miner's former protégé (who's not as clean-cut as Heflin seems to think); the young man's domineering companion, Kinski (who's actually quite subdued here); and Roland, another old-timer (who, bearing Heflin a personal grudge, will no doubt look out for him from being 'jumped' by the others[!] – though he's ultimately revealed to have appointed a cowboy duo to shadow the 'expedition' before they think, erroneously, of cutting in on the deal). Carlo Rustichelli's score is, again, more traditional than most genre efforts but robust nonetheless; that said, it breaks into a semi-lounge piece more suited to a German "Krimi" during the scene in which Kinski drops some gear while ascending a mountain and has to be tied in order to go back down and retrieve it (given that this is one of the scenes presented exclusively in German, could it be that the music was changed in that country?)!

The film was co-scripted by Fernando Di Leo (a Spaghetti Western regular during this time but who never actually contributed to the genre after graduating to director!) and Augusto Caminito (who, as a film-maker in his own right, would make a couple of pictures with Kinski towards the end of the actor's life – including the little-seen GRANDI CACCIATORI [1988], which I have in my "To Watch" pile of obscure "Euro-Cult" titles recorded off Italian TV!). Curiously enough, co-producer Luciano Ercoli would also subsequently get to be a director – proving a notable exponent of the Giallo form.

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