Spanish-Italian Spaghetti Western with political intrigue and filmed in Almeria , as usual
Cool Spaghetti full of fury , action, portentous shootem'up and interesting screenplay by the usual Ernesto Gastaldi. This clever and successful Spaghetti Western that owes a considerable debt to Leone (it's realized by his disciple Tonino Valeri) deals with an ex-Union soldier named William Willer(Giuliano Gemma) who finds his father (Antonio Casas) has been killed. Then arrives in Dallas an occasional visit by President John Garfield (Van Johnson and wife Maria Cuadra) . The ex-soldier discovers a scheme to assassinate President in 1881 Dallas, Texas, plotted by a powerful group (all-star Spanish cast formed by Fernando Rey , Julio Peña, Angel Del Pozo, and Jose Suarez as the Vice-President). The film, a "political" Spaghetti, is a very overt mirroring of the JFK Assassination in 1963. Meanwhile, Willer befriends two journalists (Manuel Zarzo, Francisco Sanz)and acts as protector of a humiliated African-American (Ray Saunders). The gunfighter teams up with McDonald (Warren Vanders) against the powerful band and then Willer carries out a personal vendetta versus the father's killers .
The film displays psychological characters-in deep, shootouts, action Western, political suspense and being enough entertaining. The movie contains typical particularities Spaghetti, as is full of fury, sadism, bloodbaths, and portentous close-ups of encrusted faces. The film blends violence, blood, tension, high body-count along with politic deeds and it's fast moving and quite entertaining .Gulianno Gemma is good as unfortunate Union soldier, he is very fine, he ravages the screen, he steals the show as gunslinger seeking revenge , in addition investigating the events about the assassination and ultimately takes the law on his own hands. Benito Stefanelli (customary master of arms) as a cruelly baddie role as nasty sheriff is terrific , subsequently the would play similar roles in other oaters . As secondaries appear usual Spanish actors Jose Calvo(Silvanito in ' A fistful of dollars'), Angel Alvarez (Django), Antonio Casas (Once upon a time in the West) , Fernando Rey (Return of Magnificent Seven) Jose Canalejas , Frank Braña , Lorenzo Robledo and Italian players as Ricardo Pizzuti ( ordinary in Terence Hill and Spencer movies ), among others .There are many fine technicians and nice assistant direction and excellent production design by Carlo Leva with a magnificent scenario plenty of barren outdoors, dirty landscapes under a glimmer sun and a fine set filmed in Calahorra (Granada) and Tabernas (Almeria), furthermore interiors shot in Elios studios(Rome) , as usual and correctly photographed by Stelvio Massi .The picture is full of nice sound by Luis Bacalov , he composes a vibrant soundtrack in Morricone style and well conducted , he subsequently won Oscar for ¨The postman and Pablo Neruda¨ .The motion picture is well directed by Tonino Valeri who was Sergio Leone's assistant. Valeri managed to make a fluid, witty and agreeable SW. Tonino Valeri's so-so direction is well crafted, here he's less cynical and humorous and more inclined toward violence and lots of killings . He proved his experience in Western such as ¨The hired gun ¨ , ¨My name is nobody ¨ with Henry Fonda and Terence Hill , ¨The day of anger ¨with Lee van Cleef and ¨ Taste of Killing¨ with Craig Hill and George Martin .
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