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Lee Van Cleef,
Arms dealer Yolaf Peterson aims to make a sale to guerilla Mongo, but the money is locked in a bank safe, the combination known only to Professor Xantos, a prisoner of the Americans. Yolaf agrees to free Xantos, accompanied by reluctant guerilla Basco, but a former business partner of Yolaf's- John 'The Wooden Hand', has other ideas. Written by
Tom Seldon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A whimsically breezy surface makes way for a bang-up, ball-breaking and noisy spaghetti western by the talented Sergio Corbucci (the man also behind "The Great Silence" and "The Mercenary"). Actually I might still put those two films ahead of this one. Hell, there was an explosion of excitement ringing from this this highly competent and vivid outing. The cheeky style dripping from the fascinating material was well placed and delivered. Even from the action, the grand state of it feels like something out of a comic strip and how can't you love the flat-out, bloodthirsty machine gun activity towards the finale. What a sensational climax it builds up to!
The trio of Franco Nero, Tomas Milian and Jack Palance were nothing but marvellous, and the chemistry between the former two was a blast. But Palance's sophisticatedly leering menace was the real draw-card. Fernando Rey makes for a solid turn too. Ennio Morricone plucks in with a gleefully passionate and killer music score, which is one of his best and the rugged location was captured by Alejandro Ulloa's free-flowing and expressive cinematography that had plenty of poignant scope and detail. Corbucci stews up some inventive directorial flushes amongst the grit, chaos and exuberance. The atmospheric setting hit's the spot and sets up many potboiler and comedic scenes. It can lull at times, and might feel somewhat overlong.
The hard-boiled story sticks to something rather stable and less than flashy, but can be thoughtful in its wide arrange of antics and tactics. It's gusty political sub-text (on the treatment of the poor and use of violence to get your point across) can get a bit wishy-washy and preachy, however it definitely makes up for it in other areas like the chewy script with its constant wit and surprises.
Over-the-top entertainment equals a totally baroque and enjoyable Corbucci spaghetti western.
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