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A stranger being chased by bandits dies in an accident, but not before he has had a chance to hide a treasure map the bandits wanted. A boy witnesses where it was hidden, retrieves it and passes it on to the local preacher. The preacher recognizes that much of the treasure was likely that from a local mission. He sets out to get it before the bandits find it. Written by
Released in 1968 and directed by Marino Girolami, "Between God, the Devil and a Winchester" (originally titled "God Was in the West, Too, at One Time") is an Italo oater starring Richard Harrison as a pacifist in the Southwest who obtains a map from a boy that leads to a treasure allegedly stolen from a mission. Several other people want the treasure too, like Juan Chasquisdo (Gilbert Roland), but likely for less noble purposes. The story's (supposedly) based on Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, which I've never read.
"Between God, the Devil and a Winchester" has the limitations of most Spaghetti Westerns, like dubious dubbing, awkward editing, laughable sound effects and caricatures rather than characters. But, if you can look beyond these flaws, it has several attributes, like the noble Harrison as the protagonist, which is in contrast to the amoral characters (caricatures) typical of Italian oaters.
The first act takes place at a Western Inn and is highlighted by the stunning Dominique Boschero as Marta. Dominique is so breathtaking she's almost worth the price of admission; unfortunately, she's removed from the story by the end of the first act. Roland as Chasquisdo is memorable, if for no other reason than the iron gauntlet on one hand.
The next two acts involve searching for and finding the treasure and aren't as good as the opening act. For one, there are a few nighttime sequences that are too dark to tell what's happening. But the ending is decent and satisfying. Too bad they omitted Marta from the last two acts.
The film runs 98 minutes and was shot in Spain.
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