A bounty hunter arrives in a mining town and is hired to track down the missing daughter of the town's crippled mayor and learns she has been kidnapped by the mayor's corrupt right-hand-man and a band of outlaws he is secretly working for.
Mann is a gunman informed by a childhood friend that his father was murdered years earlier by his mother and her lover. To make matters worse, Mann's sister, who is in love with his friend,... See full summary »
In the rough years of the revolution in Mexico, the hardened bandit chief, El Chucho, is in need of arms, ammunition, and a much-sought-after machine gun to support the leader of the revolution, the rebel General, Elías. With this in mind, Chucho attacks a government supply train and gets an unforeseen assistance from Bill Tate--the American gringo in the impeccable suit--with whom will soon become friends. Now, Bill is truly indispensable to the gang, however, could he be hiding his true objective behind a boyish and calm face?Written by
Damiano Damiani: A (possibly American) journalist who shakes hands with General Elias shortly after Chuncho and Tate's arrival. He is present in the Italian and "International" versions, but is cut from AVCO Embassy's American version. See more »
Well regarded spaghetti western lives up to its reputation
In revolutionary Mexico American John Tate hooks up with a band of outlaws lead by Chuncho. They are "collecting" guns for the revolution. Tate, called Nino by his new friends, tags along as they get guns, free the poor and attempt to get paid for their efforts.
Thats wildly simplified and doesn't do the complexity of this film justice. What is going on in the film is often not apparent until you get to the very end of the movie. No one is who they seem to be and everyone has some sort of other motive for what they are doing. Its a complex film that you have to stay with since you can never be certain what is going on.
For a long stretch of the film I wasn't certain what I thought of it. As I said, this is a story that is ever changing and evolving as it goes, and which you can't say whether you like or not until you get to the very end. It seems like an enjoyable mean but slightly confused western for most of its running time. Our nominal hero, Nino, rapidly evolves into something else. He is always up to something and rarely is it any good. He's hard to root for, or even to like. You instead you have to root for Chuncho, which is a bit odd at first since he's a "bandit" and the "bad guy". By the end you're rooting for Chuncho, while you're still not sure about Nino. In the end though it all comes together, and it reveals itself to be a quite special movie.
This is a movie to see if you like westerns, or even good movies for that matter. Its a film that engages you and moves you and your emotions. Its nice that an entertaining film such as this can also have other things on its mind yet not get lost on those other things or lose the enjoyment factor (there's a good deal of political satire woven into the story).
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