The Japanese ambassador is traveling through the Wild West by train, when gangsters hold up the train, to rob a gold shipment. They also carry an ancient Japanese sword the ambassador was carrying as a present for the US president. The ambassador's bodyguard (Toshiro Mifune) will go after them, with the aid of one of the gang's leaders betrayed by his pals...Written by
Charles Bronson's character is called Link--'links' is the German word for left. The man who betrays him is "Gauche"--French for 'left'. See more »
This story takes place around 1870. During the train robbery, several calvary soldiers are shown with foreign type bolt action rifles. The US calvary troops were not issued bolt action rifles during this period, but were equipped with either lever-action Spencer carbines or single-shot Sharps carbines, with single-shot "trap-door" Springield carbines being introduced in 1873. See more »
Toshiro Mifune & Charles Bronson in an early 70's Western with Alain Delon as the bad guy & Ursula Andress playing an opportunistic whore?
Sounds irresistible, but it's all a bit of a mess, which is often what happens when there's too much of a good thing. Plenty of talent & personality in the acting department, but too little attention paid to the story itself.
Bronson plays a train robber forced by the Japanese ambassador to help find a priceless sword stolen by Bronson's double-crossing partner Gauche, played by Delon. Accompanying Bronson is Mifune playing, surprise surprise, a powerful samurai.
Mifune, as always, is riveting, & Delon seems to be enjoying himself as the devilish Gauche. Bronson's a bit on the lazy side, but it's fun to watch the sparring between him & Mifune. Ursula Andress' role seems pretty pointless, but she was never hired for her acting abilities anyway.
The film breezes cheerfully along, but the big showdown ends up being confusing & dull, with a tribe of vicious Comanches thrown in at the last minute, as if to provide some excuse not to have Mifune cut Delon's head off straight away. The climax, as such, only comes after being dragged out for too long, & so, falls flat. The subplot involving Cristina (Andress), Gauche's old flame, makes things even messier, & her character's motives are never all that clear.
Still, it's well worth a look if you're a fan of any of the principal actors, or Westerns in general. Just don't expect a masterpiece.
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