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,
Jonathan Corbett is a gunman so brave to have eliminated all the bandits of Texas. For this he is proposed for the candidacy to the Senate of the United States. In exchange he has only to support the construction of one railway line. Only after he accepts does he come to know that the Mexican Cuchillo has raped and killed a 12 year old girl. Corbett leaves on a long manhunt during which he gets to know his adversary better and discovers a variation on the crime for which the accused Cuchillo may not be as guilty as he first thought.Written by
Baldinotto da Pistoia, translated by Philip-12
Despite having played on US television over the years, the film never received a physical US release until 2013. See more »
When Cuchillo is outside the ranch house betraying the ranch hands, and one of them confronts him from behind a rock, the ranch hand has just worked the action on his single action rifle. You can see that because it leaves the trigger in the back/fire position and that is clearly shown. The camera pans to Cuchillo for about three seconds, and when it comes back to the ranch hand, the hammer is down on the rifle. See more »
As a big fan of Spaghetti Westerns, two of my all-time favorite directors are Sergio Leone and Sergio Corbucci. Out of all Spaghetti Westerns directed by neither Leone, nor Corbucci, Segio Sollima's "La Resa Dei Conti" aka. "The Big Gundown" is my personal favorite, and doubtlessly one of the greatest films the genre has ever brought forth. An exciting and extremely stylish film with brilliantly drawn characters, "The Big Gundown" is a masterly Spaghetti Western with a political message.
Jonathan Corbett (Lee Van Cleef), a famous gunman and bounty hunter, is sent to hunt down a Mexican small-time crook named Cuchillo Sanchez (Tomas Milian), who is accused of the rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl. Corbett is an experienced and successful lawman, but Cuchillo is very clever too. On the his long hunt Corbett gets to know Cuchillo, whose guilt he finds more and more doubtful. Although this is a very serious Spaghetti Western in most of its parts, there are some very funny characters, like the almost cartoonish aristocratic Austrian gunman Baron Von Schulenberg (Gérard Herter), a cold-blooded but extremely arrogant and almost Nazi-ish killer wearing a monocle and always looking neat as a pin.
Sergio Sollima's directing is truly outstanding. The acting is also great, especially the brilliant performances of Tomas Milian and Lee Van Cleef, two of my personal favorite actors. The score by Ennio Morricone is one of a kind, outstanding, even compared to most of the other Morricone soundtracks. In one ingenious part of the movie, for example, Morricone mixes Ludwig Van Beethoven's "Für Elise" with a Mexican guitar and his typical dynamic Spaghetti Western drums. The cinematography and settings are overwhelming in a manner that is en par with Leone. In short: "The Big Gundown" is a formidable gem that even Leone would be proud of, and an Italian Western highlight that no lover of the genre could possibly afford to miss! 10/10
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