A master gunfighter teams up with a banjo-playing drifter and a Mexican tramp to foil the town leaders of Daugherty, Texas, who want to steal $100,000 from their own bank to buy land that the approaching railroad will cross.
Lee Van Cleef,
Amiable, unassertive Scott Mary picks up the trash, cleans the toilets, sweeps the floors in the town of Clifton. Then a gunfighter comes to town. He offers advice and guidance to Scott who quickly begins to toughen and mature, thus upsetting the balance of power in the town.Written by
dinky-4 of Minneapolis
I've been trawling through the spaghetti western back catalogue lately, and it seems I've missed quite a few hidden gems. Day of Anger is one of them. Tonino Valleni's western is more American in its approach, although the staples of the spaghetti genre are still here. Close ups, violence (altough not as glorifying as you'd expect from your typical spag), a languid jazzy score by Riz Ortolani (a departure from the typical operatic Morricone scores), and great performances by Lee Van Cleef and Giulliano Gemma.
Giulliano Gemma is Scott, the garbage boy for the quite peaceful town of Clifton, a town where the sheriff wanders about without his gun and residents are surprised to hear the sound of gunshots. Scott is constantly pushed around and ridiculed, until gunslinger extraordinaire Talby strides into town. Van Cleef is typically superb as Talby, who takes Scott under his wing and teaches him the art of gunslinging by laying out the 9 rules of the gunfigher. Talby and Scott will come back into Clifton to get the 50,000$ a crook called Wild Jack owed him. Wild Jack was sold short by Clifton's higher class citizens, so Talby will have to get the money back in his own way.
The story follows both Talby's gradual usurping of the city and Scott's progress from a green boy to a man who stands his ground. The interaction between old experienced gunslinger and enthusiastic apprentice is executed very well. All in all a solid, if a little predictable, spaghetti western, that eschews the conventions of your typical spag for characterization. It's well worth tracking down in its uncut 109 minutes version. It's a shame that quite a few spags were lost amidst the truckloads of similar flicks churned out by the Italian studios in the genre's hayday. This is among the best. And it's one, even the American horse opera fans, will love.
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