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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


Sam Cooper's Gold Started The Blood Flowing Across The State Of Nevada! 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

Good and enjoyable Macaroni Western filmed in spectacular scenarios from Almeria , Spain , as usual .
26 February 2013 | by See all my reviews

Fair prospector named Sam Cooper (good lead from Van Heflin) in search of gold in West find treachery , suspicion and greed . Sam is a man who has struck a rich vain of gold. The problem is one man can't get enough out and back, he needs a partner. Circumstances conspire to land him with three. Sam calls his pupil who he raised as his son called Manolo Sanchez (George Hilton) who is accompanied by a rare person , a forth partner named Brent the Blonde (played by Werner Herzog's Best Fiend Klaus Kinski) . Old prospector Sam Cooper meet up with a grizzled gunslinger named Mason (Gilbert Roland), a man who holds a grudge against Sam believing he double crossed him some years earlier and decides to join with them in search of gold in the desert . They form a quartet of unlikely mining pals ; both of whom match wills and wits and fight outlaws , elements and ambition among them . Through enormous difficulties, they eventually succeed in finding gold, but also bandits , elements, and most especially greed threaten to turn their success into disaster . As they struggle among themselves to unearth a fortune in gold from a remote Southwestern mine without falling prey to each other's bullets.

Entertaining Spaghetti Western with shootouts , action ,violence and amusement . The story is similar to previous classic ¨The treasure of the Sierra Madre¨ but realized in Spaghetti style . The film contains action-Western , gun-play , fist-play and is pretty bemusing . Giorgio Capitani's spaghetti western, probably won't be making too many top ten lists, but its an agreeable flick . It's an exciting western that scrutinizes the greed and paranoia that afflicts a misfit group , including breathtaking showdown between protagonists and the enemies that stalk to them . The film blends violence , thrills , high body-count and it's fast moving and exciting . There is plenty of action in the movie , guaranteeing shootouts or stunts every few minutes , including a spectacular final confrontation . Although by many to be director Giorgio Capitani's finest film , this is a tale of fear , greed and murder , as four partners fall out over the gold they have clawed out of the inhospitable and bandit-ridden deserts and mountains . It also has probably the most brutal bar fight ever put on film along with Treasure of the Sierra Madre by John Huston . Overrated by some reviewers , but till interesting to watch . It above all things mostly also remains a real characters movie, in which the four main roles are the essentials. Their dynamic together is also great and is what mostly keeps this movie going. They are three totally different characters, which is the foremost reason why they work out so great together on film. Van Heflin is superbly believable and gives a nice portrait of an increasingly unhinged prospector , Gilbert Roland is very good as a cunning gunfighter and the strange couple formed by George Hilton and Klaus Kinski are pretty well . The musician Carlo Rustichelli composes a vibrant soundtrack and well conducted by Bruno Nicolai ; including a catching leitmotif and considered to be one of the best . Atmospheric scenario with barren outdoors , dirty landscapes under sunny exteriors and a glimmer sun and fine sets with striking cinematography by Sergio D'Offizi . The picture resulted to be shot entirely on location in Almeria , Spain , where in the 60s and 70s had been shot innumerable Ravioli/Paella Westerns .

The motion picture was well directed by Giorgio Capitani . Giorgio is an expert on all of type of genres such as comedy : ¨Lobster for breakfast¨ (1982) , ¨I hate blondes¨ (1983) , ¨Sex Pot¨ (1975) , Musclemen tales : ¨Samson and his mighty challenge¨ or Western like this ¨Sam Cooper's gold¨ also titled ¨Each man for himself¨, Every man for himself¨ or ¨Each one for himself¨ . Rating : above average Spaghetti , superior Western that will appeal to aficionados .

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