A master gunfighter teams up with his banjo-playing partner and a Mexican bandit 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
Around the 27-minute mark Lee Van Cleef's character Talby walks through a street with white buildings. This is the exact same set seen in For a Few Dollars More (1964). also starring Van Cleef (and Clint Eastwood). The particular scene in this film is also shot from the exact same perspective and angle as in "For a Few Dollars More" when Eastwood's character has a short stand-off with three Mexican gunslingers. See more »
When Scott gees his horse to go after Talby in the English version, his yells are simply reused from the Italian version (despite their two voice actors sounding very different). See more »
Thrilling spaghetti western with two great performances
Lee Van Cleef has always been an unsung hero. Although an instantly recognisable face with those cat-like eyes and chiselled cheekbones, there will be few casual film-goers who will be able to name many films of his outside of For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966). In Day of Anger, he may not take the lead role, but his Frank Talby, the dangerous yet charismatic gunfighter who wanders into town one day, steals the screen and your attention thanks to Van Cleef's formidable presence, proving that he was one of cinema's greatest character actors.
In the small town of Clifton, bastard-born street sweeper Scott Mary (Euro-western legend Giuliano Gemma) is ridiculed and bullied due to his social status. When Frank Talby strolls into Clifton on the back of his horse, he sides with Scott, and ends up shooting a man in his defence. When Frank leaves, Scott follows in the hope of being taught how to be a great gunfighter. Frank agrees, but has some brutal lessons to teach him. But they find themselves returning to Clifton in the search of money owed to Frank by Wild Jack (Once Upon a Time in the West's (1968) Al Mulock), where Frank hopes to deal some swift justice and make a mark of his own.
A protégé of Sergio Leone, this was director Tonino Valerri's second movie in the chair, and he certainly knows how to shoot a western. It doesn't share the extreme close-up's of Leone's work, but builds it's fair share of tension, climaxing in an inevitable yet thrilling climax between teacher and student. The film is superbly filmed, backed by a ridiculously catchy score by Riz Ortolani from which the title song was used in Django Unchained (2012). But the film's biggest boast is in the performances of Van Cleef and Gemma, the former proving he can play as good an anti-hero as any of his peers, and the latter convincing throughout his massive character shift. Highly recommended.
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