Shaw stars as a mysterious Padre of a small fortified town affectionately called Bastard, initially ruled by bandit Don Carlos (Savalas) until he's deposed in a mutiny by his right hand man (Lettieri). Widow (Stevens) and her minder (Sutton) are searching for the man who killed Stevens' husband, a notorious but elusive revolutionary named Aguila. Army colonel (Landau) rides into town with his outfit also in search of Aguila and the townspeople are made scapegoats until Aguila's true identity is revealed.
Confusing plot twists, erratic narrative continuity, cropped cinematography and banal dialogue are elements of director Parrish's film that are evidently lacking. Stevens is cute but fails to carry-off the 'black widow' portrayal, Savalas is fun to watch but not nearly nasty enough to warrant the knee-trembling reputation he has amongst his posse, while Landau's crazy eyes and expression get a good work-out. Michael Craig also appears sans his own voice as a double-crossing freedom fighter in a very strange flashback. Other recognisable faces include Fernando Rey in a key supporting role as the man who can identify Aguila and subsequently save his townsfolk from the hangman.
There's a number of quirks that make this film memorable, notably Shaw's cherub-cradling preoccupation with mending everything that's broken and his final soliloquy of Shakespeare esque proportions that has no place in a western let alone a film of such dubious quality. There's a couple of laughs, some reasonable action sequences and a few deep insights to ponder and if perchance you discover Aguila's identity then that's a bonus that will make it all the more worthwhile viewing.
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