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Taking the identity of a dead postal inspector found on the trail, a stranger rides into a small western town and finds himself in the middle of a stagecoach robbery perpetrated by a gang of twenty ruthless desperados. Finding out the object of the heist was not a strongbox as it seemed but a solid gold stagecoach, he enlists the aid of a down-and-out old preacher and tracks down the dangerous gang and their unsuspected ally. Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This second installment of the Stranger series is significantly better than the first film, and is a pretty average/middling entry to the Spaghetti Western genre. Its an amazing testament to the popularity of the Spaghetti Western that the first bland Stranger film was able to spawn any sequels at all. .As the Stranger appears, riding a black horse under a tattered umbrella, my first thoughts were of El Topo, but this isn't an Existentialist Western. This sequel is much more lighthearted a more easygoing tone than the first film, with some bits of humor (like his horse named `Pussy') and a more upbeat score. This time the Stranger is a bit more like Trinity than the Man with No Name, but the film still suffers from overall clumsiness and Anthony's lack of presence (and bad hair).
Once again the Stranger tangles with a group of bandits after gold, their leader being a good cold-hearted villain, who is known for never missing a shot. The bandits and the Stranger are after not a wagon carrying a load of gold, but one actually made out of it. In this and the first Stranger film (Stranger in Town), they borrow the Fistful of Dollars/Django device where the Stranger is caught by the bad guys and beaten badly only to escape and exact his revenge, but it doesn't work in the same way. When Eastwood or Nero is captured and beaten, its like they have taken down an unstoppable giant, whereas with Anthony's Stranger he just comes off like a luckless weakling. To his credit, Anthony did co-write The Stranger Returns and it is a pretty good Spaghetti story, but why he allowed the pink shirt I'll never know.
The finale is, once again, rather clumsy in its execution, with some badly composed action- for instance, a man follows the Stranger into a room only to quickly give up looking for him and start goofing off in front of a mirror, or the Stranger disguising some water barrels that a villain cant tell are water barrels even though he is only about two inches away, and an awkward face off at a table full of food that is supposed to be humorous. Overall though, it is better in style, story, and characters than the first Stranger film, and gets a 6/10 for the genre. Nothing special but well worth a look for the Spaghetti fan.
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