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Noon is a gunfighter who has become amnesiac. Helped by Rimes, an outlaw who has befriended him, he tries to figure out who he is actually. It gradually appears that his wife and kid have been murdered. As time goes by, Noon also recalls a fortune hidden somewhere. Niland, a scheming judge, and Peg Cullane, a greedy will do everything to prevent Noon and Rimes from achieving their end while Fan Davidge, a woman living in a ghost town, will support them. Written by
Stephen Boyd pairs up with amnesiac Richard Crenna who seeks his identity
Most of this memorable spaghetti western is well above average for the genre. Only when it reaches the concluding sequence involving a big gun and fire battle does it lose its distinction. The pictorial quality is very satisfying with many classically composed shots. Director Peter Collinson again and again uses wood of all kinds as frames and reference points that provide perspective. The story is mysterious from the outset, as an assassin climbs to a rooftop in order to kill Richard Crenna. Luckily, Crenna's head is only creased but he loses his memory. Stephen Boyd becomes a partner as Crenna follows various instincts, including a horse that knows and walks an unknown path, in order to discover who he is. The evidence mounts that he's known for being a gunman and that he was on a job when the murder attempt was made. The story maintains suspense and a sense of real mystery for almost its entire length. Farley Granger comes in later as a judge in El Paso, but his character is not properly developed and the story starts to lose its aura. Gold makes its appearance, as if often the case in these stories. There is a large underground cavern and a cabin built into a mountain and atop this cave that provides a fascinating setting too.
Finally there comes a big shootout, with Crenna, Boyd and Rosanna Schiaffino very greatly outnumbered. It is at this point that the story becomes more routine.
This is overall a more than satisfying spaghetti western. Crenna and Boyd are both fine as their characters, and their parts are well-written. Add in the very adept cinematography and you have a good picture.
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