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The Ruthless Four (1968)

Ognuno per sé (original title)
M | | Western | November 1969 (USA)
Four men embark on a mission to unearth a fortune in gold from a mine.


(as George Holloway)


(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Credited cast:
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 Lancaster
Hardy Reichelt ...
Teodoro Corrà ...
U.S. Marshall (as Doro Corra)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tunet Vila


In Nevada, prospector Sam Cooper and his partner strike gold. But Sam's greedy partner starts shooting at Sam who takes refuge inside the gold mine. His partner follows him inside the mine but is blown-up by a dynamite charge set-up by Sam on purpose. Now alone, Sam takes a load of dust gold and heads toward the nearest town. On the way, Sam meets a group of starving desperadoes who steal his horses and his food, ignoring the gold dust in the canvas sacks. Sam dumps the gold dust in the river and goes on foot, passing the Sierras, the desert and the abandoned Spanish Catholic Mission before arriving in town. Once in town, Sam sends a wire to his adoptive son, Manolo Sanchez, whom he trusts, to come meet him. Manolo arrives in town and meets with Sam who asks for Manolo's help in working his secret gold mine. Unfortunatelly, Manolo also runs into an old friend, a ruthless killer named Brent, who wants his share of the gold. Sam is angry but has no choice but to take both Manolo and ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | 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  »

Filming Locations:

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

A worthy Treasure of the Sierra Madre descendant - gritty and violent
4 November 2008 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

Weather-tattered but hearty and belligerent gold-digger Sam Cooper hits the motherlode after twenty tired years of pickaxing the hills only to find his gold-digging partner gunning for his ass. Having taken care of his treacherous partner by means of exploding his own gold-mine, he returns to town through the desert, parched and terrible-looking, with plans of getting back to the goldmine and mining the gold with a partner he can trust, a hard enough prospect in a town full of greedy, backstabbing sons of bitches. For that purpose he sends word for a child he once took care of back in Denver, who arrives promptly in the slick and suave shape of George Hilton. Along the way and before they have even left town, two become four (the titular ruthless), and none has any more trust for the other three than he has for his own self getting out of this alive.

Thus begins a tale of greed and betrayal not unlike John Huston's gold-digging landmark TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE, the impeccable characterization somewhat toned down in favor of gunfighting. Director George Holloway doesn't miss the occasional false note, such as the terribly ill-conceived oriental 'epic music' that accompanies the gaunt and exhausted quartette as they travel back from the goldmine through the deathly desert, music that would have been at home in a sword and sandal epic or a religious movie but not a gritty western; these guys aren't Moses crossing the Red Sea. For the most part however he retains a constant level of intensity and intrigue, the four protagonists characterized in broad strokes yet enough for them to have something to play on.

Giallo casanova George Hilton is the weak link in the cast, his overacting bound to elicit a smile or two, but Klaus Kinski fans will be pleased to know the eccentric German and his half-mad stare have plenty of screen time. Unlike the myriad walk-through cameos he's done in other spaghetti westerns, he's one of the main guys here – always a sneaky villain of course, here as the Blonde, a cut-throat, milk-drinking thug dressing like a reverend. The German print I saw was called The Gold of Sam Cooper and was not terribly pristine but overall this one's a must-see for spaghetti western fans.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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