As can be deduced from the title, the leading character is an American – albeit played by a Frenchman, Philippe Leroy (who proves a satisfactory figure under the circumstances, bringing out the lone gunman’s charisma, slyness and agility); he’s identified simply by that epithet, which is a clear nod to Clint Eastwood’s iconic “Man With No Name” from Sergio Leone’s seminal “Dollars” trilogy. In fact, just as in A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (1964), the Yankee here forms an uneasy partnership with the villainous boss (flamboyantly played by an Adolfo Celi sporting a highly atypical dyed black hair-do!) and is eventually punished in memorable fashion – tied to a wheel and encircled by fire – when his ruse is discovered; like Eastwood in the earlier film, too, Leroy finds an unlikely yet convenient ally in the meek local mortician (who performs the duties of barber on the side!). Incidentally, the chief baddie himself is flanked by a person who can best be described as his direct opposite – in this case, “philosopher” Jacques Herlin; of course, there’s a woman involved as well – a shapely fortune-teller who’s subsequently abducted by Leroy and ends up killed by her own boss/lover when she tries to stand up for the American!
Though slightly marred by insufficient plotting (the narrative essentially resolves itself into one long battle-of-wills) and long drawn-out footage of horsemen on the move (it seems that Brass found these outdoor transitions the perfect vessel for Nini Rosso’s wonderfully jaunty score), the film certainly delivers in the action stakes – with plenty of gunfights, brawling, a fiery reprisal on the innocent Mexican villagers, and an elaborate climax (capped by the inevitable showdown between hero and villain) involving an ambush by the bandits on a cache' of gold being transported down river by the U.S. Cavalry.