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Bandits target a gold miner and his granddaughter in 19th century South Africa. Robert Gunnar is the bandit with a heart of gold, who is after Price's cache of gold, but falls in love with Diana Ivarson, who has hair of gold (bleach). Written by
Opening narration - During the latter half of the last century, in the rugged hills and ridges of South Africa's Transvaal, gold was discovered. The result was a rushing, roaring tide of wealth seekers from all corners of the globe. First came the prospectors, high of hope, simple of purpose; and in their wake swept the next group: the speculators, the adventurers. Then, as inevitable as nature itself, there came the final ones: the scavengers, the jackals. See more »
Willie intermittently wears eye makeup. See more »
Wholesome South African western, inspired by "Yellow Sky" stars Robert Gunner as Stretch Hawkins, an essentially decent bandit who leads his gang into an all but abandoned mining town where they discover the inhabitants are the peroxide blonde sharp-shooter Ivarson and her elderly grandpa Price. The two have been mining the veins for gold dust and when Hawkins' gang get the scent, they go after the lot, despite Hawkins' making a deal with Price to take only half. Tensions run hot and predictably, the gang implodes on greed.
Aside from mega-star Price, playing a gangly old-timer looking to revive a town on his lucky strike, Gunner stars as the gang's moral compass and equilibrium with his work cut out trying to prevent his men from interfering with Ivarson and fighting amongst themselves. Gunner is something of an enigma in the annals of film history, his brief career resulted in just a handful of movies (notably as stricken astronaut Landon in "The Planet of the Apes") before it abruptly ended. Ivarson looks at times like she's attempting to play a primitive form of woman, raised on gold fever without a maternal role model; to some extent, she achieves the brief. Interestingly like Gunner, Ivarson also failed to nail a film career though she did marry cult-favourite, brawny chrome-domed tough guy Bob Tessier.
Some pleasant scenery of African savanna and the occasional action punctuates what is otherwise a bit of a romantic melodrama. Pretty tame, but not bad all things considered.
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