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Alberto De Martino
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
Spaghetti with Paella Western co-produced by Italy and Spain , being starred by ordinary genre actors
This ¨Anche Nel West Céra Una Volta Dio ¨ (1968) by Marino Girolami¨ is based on Treasure island , classic novel by Robert Louis Stevenson , it deals with a stranger (Folco Lulli , similar role Treasure island's Billy Bones) arrives in an inn and hides a treasure map the bandits wish . Being chased by outlaws suffers an accident , then a boy (Jack Hawkins-alike) witnesses where it was hidden and he gains access to a treasure map . The kid retrieves it and passes it on to the local preacher . Later on , he persuades a guide called Juan Chasquisdo (Gilbert Roland , lookalike Long John Silver) and a priest (Richard Harrison) , an innkeeper (Roberto Camardiel) to accompany him in his search to recover it. All of them are pursued by cutthroats (Raf Baldassarre). The priest recognizes that much of the treasure was likely that from a local mission. They set out to get it before the bandits encounter it.
This Paella/Spaghetti Western is filled with action , thrills , horse riding , intrigue , betrayal and crossfire . This Ravioli/Paella Western packs violence , shootouts , high body-count and it's fast moving and some moments genuinely entertaining if you can avoid thinking too much . It contains bits of campy and refreshing events with turns and twists . Nice acting by Gilbert Roland as a rogue thief sporting an iron hand instead of a wooden leg ; he starred some Spaghetti such as Sonora, Goldseekers , Johnny Hamlet and Any Gun Can Play . Richard Harrison's performance in the movie is a bit wooden for the role of such an interesting character , but the fantastic performance by the always great Folco Lulli and sympathetic Roberto Camardiel save the show . Furthermore , a motley group of usual Spanish/Italian secondaries such as Luis Barboo , Xan das Bolas , Jose Sacristan , Ennio Girolami , Raf Baldassarre , among others . Atmospheric cinematography by Pablo Ripoll, though being necessary a correct remastering , and features a sensitive musical score by Carlo Savina , including emotive songs . This is a passable Spaghetti Western with some amusing moments and nice outdoors shot in La Pedriza , Manzanares Del Real , Colmenar Viejo (Madrid) , and interior filmed in Elios studios (Rome) .
Strong and robust Richard Harrison was a magnificent muscle-man . He was one along with Ed Fury, Brad Harris, Kirk Morris, Reg Park, Mark Forest, among others, whom to seek fortune acting absurdly muscle mythological figures, but anybody topped Steve Reeves and Gordon Scott in popularity. Harrison played in Hollywood some minor roles as ¨Kronos ¨ and ¨South Pacific¨ , while shooting another inferior character in ¨Master of world (1961)¨ produced by American International , he met producer James H. Nicholson's daughter and married her within six months. Frustrated at not being able to secure meatier roles in America , Harrison jumped at the chance when offered the first character in 1961 ,¨The Invincible Gladiator¨ , which was filming in Europe along with his greatest success ¨The seven Spartans¨. He wound up settling in Italy for the next two decades. His lead role, of course, immediately typed him as another Herculean type and, to avoid being penned in too much as a muscle man, he sought characters in routine spaghetti westerns as ¨Texas the red¨ , ¨Gringo¨, ¨Reverendo Colt¨ , ¨Joe Dakota¨ ¨ ,even the main role from ¨For a fistful of dollars¨ was offered to Richard Harrison , but he turned down and explaining : Maybe my greatest contribution to cinema was not doing Fistful of Dollars, and recommending Clint Eastwood for the part . He also starred Wartime genre as ¨Leopards of Churchill¨ and ¨36 hours in hell¨ and spy intrigue as ¨Master stroke¨ and ¨077 challenge to the killer's¨ . Once Italy closed down film production after the muscular craze had died down, he, like others, found himself unemployed. He did manage to scrape up work in Hong Kong, but a large portion of them were bottom-of-the-barrel Ninja movies.
The film was professionally directed by Marino Girolami , under pseudonym Fred Wilson or Dario Silvestri , he is father of Enzo G. Castellari and Ennio Girolami who here appears as a nasty bandit and brother of Romolo Guerrieri . He was a craftsman working in all kind of genres as Western such as "Badmen of the West" ,"Two Ringos from Texas", "God Was in the West, Too, at One Time" and specially , Terror and comedies .
Other Spaghetti Westerns freely based on famous novels and plays are the followings : ¨Apocalypse Joe¨ by Leopoldo Savona with Anthony Steffen that takes elements about ¨Hamlet¨and ¨Macbeth¨ of Shakespeare . Other Spaghetti freely based on famous play by Shakespeare is ¨The Fury of Johnny Kid¨ by Gianni Puccini with Peter Lee Lawrence and Cristina Galbo from ¨Romeo and Giuletta¨ along with "Bullets and the Flesh" by Marino Girolami . Other Spaghetti based on known and classic plays and novels are the followings : ¨Johnny Hamlet¨(1968) with Andrea Giordana directed by Enzo G Castellari ; ¨The return of Ringo¨ by Duccio Tessari inspired on the ¨Odyssey¨, and ¨John Il Bastardo¨(1967) based on books from Zorrilla and Moliere ; ¨Long days of vengeance¨ by Florentano Vancini with Giuliano Gemma and Francisco Rabal , being based on classic novel titled ¨The count of Montecristo¨ written by Alexandre Dumas .
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