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Leon Alastray is an outlaw who has been given sanctuary by Father John, whom he then escorts to the village of San Sebastian. The village is deserted, with its cowardly residents hiding in the hills from Indians, who regularly attack the village and steal all their supplies. When Father John is murdered, the villagers mistakenly think the outlaw is the priest. Alastray at first tells them he is not a priest, but they don't believe it, and an apparent miracle seems to prove they are correct. Eventually, he assists them in regaining their confidence and defending themselves.Written by
Anthony Quinn was on Variety's list of Top Ten Overpriced Stars of 1968. See more »
After the dam is blown up, you can see some of the (Indians) actors holding their breath as they float down the river. e.g. one in particular has puffy cheeks after he holds his breath. See more »
[upon finding the village deserted]
The guns go back! Men, dismount! We leave in the morning!
[later in Leon's room]
Well, goodnight. Happy dreams, my son.
Goodnight. Thank you.
I suppose we are leaving before sunup?
'We'? We leave?
Well, I must face my bishop, and you the governor.... and report OUR failure.
[feigns apathy by thumbing through a Bible]
[goes back to pretending to read a Bible]
[...] See more »
Guns for San Sebastian is directed by Henri Verneuil and adapted to screenplay by James R. Webb from the novel "A Wall for San Sebastian" written by William Barby Faherty. It stars Anthony Quinn, Charles Bronson, Anjanette Comer, Sam Jaffe and Silvia Pinal. Music is by Ennio Morricone and cinematography by Armand Thirard.
An outlaw on the run is mistaken for a priest by peasant villagers who are at the mercy of bandits and Yaqui Indians.
Something of a multi euro Western, Guns for San Sebastian latches onto the Spaghetti Western coat tails whilst attempting to put something new in the wardrobe. Undeniably the critics who said it's pedestrian in pace are absolutely right, the first two thirds of the piece asks for a great deal of your patience, whilst simultaneously demanding you buy into the various themes trundling away.
With a surreal sub-plot at play, a jokey romance and some atrocious dubbing, it's not hard to dismiss it as purely fun cannon fodder. Yet there's some strengths in the piece, literary wise and from a thrilling stand point as the last third brings the thunderous siege - cum battle stations. Quinn throws in a good turn, the Durango locale is superbly photographed, and Morricone offers up one of his tonally astute scores.
It's all very Magnificent 7 et al, but nothing wrong with that, that is on proviso you can get through the labours of the first hour or so. 7/10
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