EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|MINNESOTA CLAY (director/writer: Sergio Corbucci; screenwriter: Adriano Bolzoni; cinematographer: Jose Fernandez Aguayo; editor: Franco Fraticelli; music: Piero Piccioni; cast: Cameron Mitchell (Minnesota Clay), Georges Rivière (Fox), Ethel Rojo (Estella), Fernando Sancho (Ortiz), Diana Martin (Nancy), Alberto Cevenini (Andy), Antonio Casas (Jonathan Mulligan), Anthony Ross (The Mute); Runtime: 89; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Danilo Marciani; VCI Entertainment; 1964-France/Italy/Spain-dubbed in English)|
|"A great performance as the
relentless gunslinger by Cameron
Mitchell gets this one through some bumpy
by Dennis Schwartz
early Western from the noted Italian director of
spaghetti westerns, Sergio Corbucci ("Django"/"The Big
Silence"/"Companeros"), whose flawed film nevertheless
shows off his talent for getting the most out of
shoot-outs as he goes on to a very successful career.
It's an action-packed tale about a wrongly imprisoned
convict with failing eyesight escaping to clear his
name. The revenge story is muddled and has too many
holes in it to make sense, but a great performance as
the relentless gunslinger by Cameron Mitchell
gets this one through some bumpy patches.
the Civil War, Minnesota Clay (Cameron
Mitchell) escapes a Union army run forced-labor
prison in New Mexico, noted as the worst on in the
country, and returns to his dusty hometown in New
Mexico to find out that his star witness failed to
testify for him because he was the one who framed him.
Minnesota quickly learns that Fox (Georges
Rivière), his supposed
witness, has taken over the town with his gang and
appointed himself sheriff. All citizens are forced to
pay him protection money for previously running out of
town a ruthless Mexican gang led by General Ortiz (Fernando
Sancho). The Mexicans hide in the
hills in the outskirts of town and still carry out
raids, waiting to overtake Fox.
pays his respects at the local cemetery to his late
wife Elisabeth Mulligan, who died in 1866, and stays
in the humble ranch of the teenage girl Nancy (Diana
Martin) and her impoverished
blacksmith uncle guardian Jonathan (Antonio
Casas) while he plans his next move.
Uncle keeps from Nancy the secret that her father is
Minnesota. The friendly socially awkward neighbor,
Andy (Alberto Cevenini),
tries courting Nancy and is willing to help the family
anyway he can.
When Minnesota is betrayed by Ortiz's mistress, the
unfaithful Estella (Ethel
Rojo), he has to fight off the
attacking Mexican gang at the ranch and then clean-up
the town from Fox's gang while growing increasing
blind. In the final shoot-out, with the evil Fox and
his five goons, the film has its best action sequences
as a battered Minnesota can't see but uses his now
highly sensitized hearing to aid him.
There were two endings shot, a happy one and a
downbeat one. I fortunately saw the latter, and
couldn't think of the film ending any other way.
REVIEWED ON 1/17/2013 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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