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"Dynamite Joe" is a fairly obscure spaghetti western, rarely seen in the U.S., probably because there are no American actors in it. It's a lot more light-hearted than a lot of Italian westerns, but it doesn't work too well as either a comedy or a western. Rick Von Nutter stars as "special agent" Joe Ford, better known as Dynamite Joe. The character (and the film) seem to be influenced by both the James Bond phenomena, heavy in the 60's, and the TV show "Wild Wild West."
Joe's hired by the government to get a gold shipment safely through dangerous territory and past a group of "comancheros." He manages to do this when a wagon is made from the gold. (Yeah . . . that's believable!) Along the way we're told Joe has "an obsession with the letter G: gold, girls, and gunpowder!" The audience is also treated to (or tortured by) a couple of songs by a saloon girl (who looks a lot like Annette Funicello).
There is the usual -- for spaghetti westerns -- backstabbing and corruption of supposedly noble characters, and a number of mostly predictable twists in the plot. And then there's director Margheriti's famous work with miniatures during a sensational flood sequence. And as usual, the special effects in the sequence alternate from spectacular to dreadful, often within seconds.
In short, "Dynamite Joe" is watchable, but is far from the apex of Italian westerns. And Rick Von Nutter just walks through the title role on what I presume is supposed to be his charm. (Note to Rick: It ain't happenin', dude!)
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