After selling his cattle in town, ranch owner Morgan unexpectedly dies, and his foreman Pike has to deliver the payroll to Sonora, despite the perilous journey during which he's followed by many shady characters who want the money.
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Lee Van Cleef,
Rugged trail boss and reformed criminal Pike promises his honest wealthy employer Morgan that he will venture across the desert to deliver $86,000 dollars in payroll money to a ranch in Sonora, Mexico. Pike makes an uneasy alliance with smooth, yet shifty gambler Tyree in order to successfully complete his dangerous mission. During their perilous trek Pike and Tyree encounter desperate prostitute Catherine and her loyal ace martial artist half-breed companion Kashtok. Meanwhile, ruthless bounty hunter Kiefer and numerous greedy others give dogged chase. Written by
One of the last spaghetti westerns (though really, there was a good amount of American talent in front of and behind the camera), it does definitely have some novelty value - the cast, some good Canary Island scenery, a quick pace, and some good action sequences (best being the gunfight in the canyon). Still, there was clearly a bunch of potential wasted.
Brown is good, Williamson does okay, but the rest of the cast isn't actually given that much to do. Kelly's character could easily be written out, and Van Cleef's bad guy character isn't fully developed (for one thing, the movie doesn't seem to know what to do with him at the end.) And the script really isn't that much - it more or less consists of either the protagonists riding through the desert, or engaged in action.
Die-hard western fans (especially those who like spaghetti westerns) will probably find enough to enjoy about it, but this certainly won't convert anyone who normally avoids this genre.
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