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 »
At around an hour and twenty minutes into the movie there is a scene where a girl is carrying a tray with 6 glasses of which 5 are full and 1 is empty.
In the next shot however there are 7 glasses on the tray of which 3 are full and 4 are empty. See more »
The original Italian cut of the film is approximately 110 minutes (approximately 105 minutes PAL) and was distributed in several European countries theatrically and on video formats. However, upon its US and UK release (and possibly Japanese release), the film was cut down to approximately 90 minutes. While most of these cuts involved trimming down dialogue, some entire scenes were cut, such as Corbett in the Sherrif's office after killing the three criminals in the opening, Cuchillo and Corbett's visit to a Church, and Cuchillo in bed with his wife Rosita. While most of this footage is thought not to have been dubbed in English, a few scenes, such as the church scenes and Cuchillo/Rosita scene were dubbed in English for some markets outside of the US and UK. As of now, only the 90 minute cut has had any official distribution in the US, while a fan made DVD known as the "Franco Cleef Edition" has made the rounds in the US featuring the Italian cut with English language and subtitled Italian for the scenes in which English audio could not be obtained. See more »
This film is often referred to as "the best non-Leone spaghetti western." That may very well be true. For me, it's difficult to decide because there are a couple of others that I like about as much as this one. This movie is brilliant. It has everything that makes the spaghetti western such a great film genre.
The music score is a masterpiece. It is one of Morricone's best. The title song sends shivers up my spine. I love the voice, the melody, and the lyrics. It is absolutely unforgettable. The melody of the theme song keeps on recurring, but in totally different ways, each one unique and wonderful, sometimes haunting, sometimes playful, and sometimes serious. There are parts where the music is choreographed with the action on the screen in a way very reminiscent of the Leone westerns. Cuchillo's run through the cane fields is driven by the corresponding music, making the music and the action inseparable. The musical accompaniments to the gunfights near the end of the film are operatic, suspenseful, and appropriately grandiose. This score is not background music. It is a dominating force in this movie, and could even be considered the most important part of the film. Ennio Morricone may very well be the biggest "star" of the spaghetti western genre, even though he never physically appeared in a single one of the films!
Director Sergio Sollima uses politics and social commentary not only to get a message across, but also to make us relate to and sympathize with some of the characters, and to despise some of the others. He also throws in some great strange, eccentric, and over the top characters (no spaghetti western is complete without em). You just gotta love the lady ranch owner and her lovesick ranch hands, and the nazi-like Baron Von Schulenberg with his monocle and Dracula cape. That baron really gets on Lee Van Cleef's nerves, and Van Cleef has a couple of great smart-ass remarks for him. This is classic stuff all the way.
Lee Van Cleef is perfect for the role of Corbett. This is classic Van Cleef, playing the cool, confident, unflinching bounty hunter type. Sollima definitely picked the best possible actor for the role. The same can be said for his choice of Tomas Milian for the role of Cuchillo. Milian plays the part of a man that is being hunted like an animal. He sometimes has to act and think like an animal would to stay one step ahead of his predators. Milian conveys this very well. I can't imagine anyone else in this role.
See this movie! And if you are a spaghetti western fan, you need to have it, so find it and add it to your collection!
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