worthwhile Eurowestern caper with Mark Damon and Rosalba Neri
My review is of the English-dubbed, fullscreen VHS video, released in the US in the 1980s, entitled THE GREAT TREASURE HUNT. Lovable rogue Dean Madison (played by the charming Mark Damon, always good as a lovable rogue!) enlists a French munitions expert and his "niece" (played by the luscious Rosalba Neri--she and Damon would be reunited the next year in DEVIL'S WEDDING NIGHT) to help save his brother Sam, who has just been caught while robbing a bank. After that incident is resolved, about one-third of the way into the film, a blind man named Felipe is waiting for the quartet, and explains that he was kept prisoner and tortured by a mad Mexican general who has appointed himself as "El Supremo" and has built an impregnable fortress which is filled with gold. He suggests the quartet work with him to get that gold, so they head toward Mexico and thus begins the Great Treasure Hunt of the title. This is not a nihilistic, bleak Italian western--it's an entertaining caper film (really not unlike OCEAN'S ELEVEN or GRAND SLAM, but in western garb), nicely shot (except for too many unconvincing day-for-night shots), and well-acted by all the principals, especially Damon and Neri. Most of the music sounds unlike typical Italian western music (except in a few scenes), sounding more like a typical USA adventure film score. There's nothing profound or incredibly original here (although the surprise ending comes off well!), but it's an entertaining Eurowestern adventure, and those who must see as many Eurowesterns as they can will want to track down this one. As it was released on video in the USA, used rental copies can probably be found. A pleasant surprise! Damon appeared in many other excellent Eurowesterns, and of course went on to great success as a producer and film executive, capacities in which he still works as of this writing (check his producer filmography to see the many hits he's been involved with!). However, he's still a star as an actor in my house, and much of his European output is still in need of rediscovery. I hope to find more in the coming years...
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