6.7/10
547
17 user 11 critic

The Ruthless Four (1968)

Ognuno per sé (original title)
M/PG | | Western | November 1969 (USA)
Four men embark on a mission to unearth a fortune in gold from a mine.

Director:

Giorgio Capitani (as George Holloway)

Writers:

Fernando Di Leo (screenplay), Augusto Caminito (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Van Heflin ... Sam Cooper
Gilbert Roland ... Mason
Klaus Kinski ... Brent the Blondie
George Hilton ... Manolo Sanchez
Sarah Ross Sarah Ross ... Annie
Federico Boido ... Alfred Brady (as Rick Boyd)
Sergio Doria ... Hal Brady
Giovanni Ivan Scratuglia Giovanni Ivan Scratuglia ... Telegraphist (as Ivan Scratuglia)
Giorgio Gruden Giorgio Gruden ... Drugstore Owner Lancaster
Hardy Reichelt Hardy Reichelt ... Slim
Teodoro Corrà Teodoro Corrà ... U.S. Marshall (as Doro Corra)
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Storyline

In Nevada, prospector Sam Cooper and his partner strike gold. But Sam's greedy partner starts shooting at Sam who takes refuge inside the gold mine. His partner follows him inside the mine but is blown-up by a dynamite charge set-up by Sam on purpose. Now alone, Sam takes a load of dust gold and heads toward the nearest town. On the way, Sam meets a group of starving desperadoes who steal his horses and his food, ignoring the gold dust in the canvas sacks. Sam dumps the gold dust in the river and goes on foot, passing the Sierras, the desert and the abandoned Spanish Catholic Mission before arriving in town. Once in town, Sam sends a wire to his adoptive son, Manolo Sanchez, whom he trusts, to come meet him. Manolo arrives in town and meets with Sam who asks for Manolo's help in working his secret gold mine. Unfortunatelly, Manolo also runs into an old friend, a ruthless killer named Brent, who wants his share of the gold. Sam is angry but has no choice but to take both Manolo and ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Gold... many a man's dream... many a man's death. See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

M/PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | West Germany

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

November 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ruthless Four See more »

Filming Locations:

Almeria, Andalusia, Spain

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Italian censorship visa # 50800 delivered on 6-2-1968. See more »

Quotes

Mason: Another old partner, huh Cooper?
Sam Cooper: It was him or me.
Mason: Dead man tell no tales.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Reservoir Dogs (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE RUTHLESS FOUR (Giorgio Capitani, 1968) ***
21 August 2008 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

This is another good Spaghetti Western, one that even got a laudable appraisal in the "Leonard Maltin Film Guide"…not to mention the seal of approval of our own Michael Elliott! Actually, it's a character-driven piece – with the action spread neatly throughout yet proficiently executed. Besides, it's exceedingly well cast: ageing American star Van Heflin is excellent in one of his last roles; both Gilbert Roland (himself a Hollywood veteran) and especially George Hilton did their fair share of Spaghettis, but it's safe to assume that they were never better than here; Klaus Kinski, then, has a typically enigmatic role for which he sports numerous eccentric 'costumes' (from preacher's garb to shades to a raincoat over his head and even a makeshift turban!).

Unfortunately, as had been the case with THE SPECIALIST (1969), the copy I acquired (English-dubbed this time around) lapsed occasionally into a different language without the benefit of subtitles – but, whereas I could more or less make out what was being said in French with respect to the Sergio Corbucci film, here it's in German (even the print bears the title DAS GOLD VON SAM COOPER)! In any case, the narrative – bringing an old-fashioned situation up-to-date, stylistically speaking – deals with Heflin's striking gold and his attempt to find suitable partners (his previous one had already tried to double-cross him!) that would help him extract the precious element: what he ends up with is an interesting bunch – Hilton, the miner's former protégé (who's not as clean-cut as Heflin seems to think); the young man's domineering companion, Kinski (who's actually quite subdued here); and Roland, another old-timer (who, bearing Heflin a personal grudge, will no doubt look out for him from being 'jumped' by the others[!] – though he's ultimately revealed to have appointed a cowboy duo to shadow the 'expedition' before they think, erroneously, of cutting in on the deal). Carlo Rustichelli's score is, again, more traditional than most genre efforts but robust nonetheless; that said, it breaks into a semi-lounge piece more suited to a German "Krimi" during the scene in which Kinski drops some gear while ascending a mountain and has to be tied in order to go back down and retrieve it (given that this is one of the scenes presented exclusively in German, could it be that the music was changed in that country?)!

The film was co-scripted by Fernando Di Leo (a Spaghetti Western regular during this time but who never actually contributed to the genre after graduating to director!) and Augusto Caminito (who, as a film-maker in his own right, would make a couple of pictures with Kinski towards the end of the actor's life – including the little-seen GRANDI CACCIATORI [1988], which I have in my "To Watch" pile of obscure "Euro-Cult" titles recorded off Italian TV!). Curiously enough, co-producer Luciano Ercoli would also subsequently get to be a director – proving a notable exponent of the Giallo form.


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