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1866 , New Mexico territory , the Civil war has finished . The General
Lee troops and Union soldiers go back home . Among them a regiment of
¨Sharp shooters¨ of the II brigade of riflemen . But the Infantry
battalion has been disappeared on the road to Alamo Fat and the tracks
lead to Snake Valley . Sugar Colt ( Hunt Powers )is a former government
agent , now retired . He works as professor at ¨ Academy for the
spiritual defense of womens right ¨ . His previous chief Pinkerton
(George Rigaud ) of the famous Pinkerton's detective agency ask him for
help in a dangerous mission. He poses as a doctor named Tom Cooper ,
including glasses and top hat . Tom goes to Snake Valley where is
blackmailed by some nasties and and pay toll 25 cents . After that , at
the Snake saloon he meets a beautiful girl named Josefa ( Soledad
Miranda ) .
This is a good S.W. plenty of action , shootouts, fist-play and some touches of humor in charge of Sugar Colt character . Tom Cooper or Sugar Colt is a type of James Bond of the West , an elegant marksman and resourceful ¨Bon vivant¨ who is stunningly played by Hunt Powers. It's a co-production Spanish-Italian and of course shot on location in Almeria that is well photographed by cameraman Alejandro Ulloa ( Horror Express) . In the movie appears usual support actors as Spanish : Frank Braña , Jose Canalejas, Luis Barboo , Victor Israel as Italian : Erno Crisa , Fortunato Arena, Nazzareno Zamperla and Ricardo Pizzuti ( customary in Terence Hill and Spencer movies ). Special mention to Soledad Miranda (Jess Frank's muse ) as attractive and rogue young and she unfortunately died by car crash little time after . Original musical score by Luis Enriquez Bacalov and Ennio Morricone is one of the best soundtrack of the Spaghetti genre . The motion picture is professionally directed by Franco Giraldi . This Italian writer / filmmaker ( and Sergio Leone 's assistant director ) so consistently mixed the good with the mediocre that it became quite impossible to know what to expect from him next . He directed four Western with abundant touches of humor ( Seven guns for the MacGregor -66- , 7 women for the MacGregor -1967- ) and one serious and violent ( A minute to pray , a second to day -1968- ). Rating : acceptable and passable movie that will appeal to Spaghetti Western buffs .
An army corps has mysteriously disappeared. They are actually hostages near a place called Snake Valley. A gunslinger, Rocco, is visited by a friend who tells him about this. The man's dying wish is for Rocco to find out what happened to the army corps. Rocco goes to the town near where the soldiers are held captive, posed undercover as a doctor. Cult star Soledad Miranda plays Josefa, a flirtatious barmaid at the saloon hotel where he stays. Rocco starts investigating the disappearance of the soldiers in hopes to rescue them. This flick has catchy music and the presence of the beautiful Soledad Miranda, along with star Hunt Powers, makes it an entertaining flick.
The main theme to Sugar Colt reminds me of Ennio Morricone's theme for My Name is Nobody made seven or so years later. Luis Bacalov provides the score and Hunt Powers (aka Jack Betts) provides the charisma for this serio-comic quasi-secret-agent spaghetti western with the renowned Sugar Colt (Powers) going undercover to the town of Snake Valley to investigate the disappearance of a regiment of Union sharpshooters at the end of the Civil War. Most of the humor comes from his posing as Dr. Tom Cooper, mild mannered yet accomplished at boxing and fooling the henchmen of the kidnapper. But the film turns more serious once he reveals himself as Sugar Colt, and the recovery of the regiment takes on a tragic air as supporting characters start to drop. Powers is good in this, as he was in most of his starring efforts in Italy; one wonders why he now acts in small parts under his true name Jack Betts. Perhaps, like Nicholetta Machiavelli and some others, fame did not rest lightly on his shoulders...or perhaps he just hated the name Hunt Powers (it does remind one of Dash Riprock) and having had his minutes of fame in Europe, is content being a journeyman actor. Three stars out of four, and fans of Euro-Westerns will like it better than others. Fans of Soledad Miranda will be delighted by her appearance here.
Sugar Colt" is an excellent movie that belongs in a list of the top 20 Italian westerns for me. Definitely the best role Hunt Powers ever got in Europe and this genre, as he went on to make Django flicks with Fidani, but "Sugar Colt" is memorable also for its unusual script about criminal investigators in the wild west, which makes "Sugar Colt" a comedy in the first half and a serious brutal western in the second half - which is absolutely making sense because the main character is totally changing when he gives up his disguise as doctor Cooper and becomes the gunman Sugar Colt. Composer Luis E Bacalov ("Django") uses two different themes here to illustrate this: the "Sugar Colt" leitmotif, and the soldiers' theme with the trumpet. Spanish photographer Alejandro Ulloa who also shot Corbucci's "Mercenario" and Castellari's "Ammazzali tutti e torna solo" achieves the perfect western look near Almeria, partly at the same locations "For A Few Dollars More" was shot at. Together with the skill of director Giraldi ("Seven Guns for the MacGregors") and the legendary Soledad Miranda in her best western role, this is a must have for a "Western all'italiana" collection even if currently harder to find than many others. I've got an Italian language DVD with French subtitles in well restored picture quality.
Franco Giraldi's "Sugar Colt" of 1966 is an amusing little Spaghetti
Western with a nice theme by Louis Bacalov and Ennio Morricone. Even
though this quite humorous little Western is occasionally a bit too
silly for my tastes, it definitely has its heights too. It was shot on
great locations in the Spanish Almeria, Jack Betts is cool as Sugar
Colt, and beautiful Soledad Miranda makes a lovely female lead. This is
definitely no highlight of the Italian Western genre, but it is an
entertaining little time waster for Spaghetti Western enthusiasts like
Disguised as a doctor, gunslinger Sugar Colt (Jack Betts) goes to the town of Snake Valley, in order to avenge a friend's death and fulfill his last wish. An Army corps has disappeared near the little town after the Civil War, and Sugar Colt is investigating to find out what happened...
The score by Louis Bacalov and Ennio Morricone is overall good, but basically divided in two parts. There is a very cool main theme, and then there is a quite annoying score for the sequences that are meant to be funny, which lowers the value of the entire score. Jack Betts, who is infamous amongst Spaghetti Western fans for usually working with the genre's worst director, Demofilo Fidani, fits in very well here. Beautiful Soledad Miranda, who is best known for films directed by cult director Jess Franco, and who sadly died at the age of only 27, fits in very well in the female lead. The film's major weakness is the illogical plot. There is no real reason for Sugar Colt to disguise as a doctor in the first place (other than some amusing situations), for example. Then again, the film is funny and nicely photographed. The film is entirely shot in Almeria, Spain, without doubt the greatest location for a Eurowestern. Genre freaks might notice that the town of 'Snake Valley' is the exact same town that was called 'El Paso' in Sergio Leone's 1965 masterpiece "For A Few Dollars More".
All said, "Sugar Colt" is certainly no masterpiece, and occasionally quite silly, but it is nevertheless a good time-waster for my fellow Italian Western buffs. Recommended.
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