DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

THE RUTHLESS FOUR (OGNUNO PER SE) (director: Giorgio Capitani; screenwriters: Augusto Caminito/Fernando Di Leo; cinematographer: Sergio D'Offizi ; editor: Renato Cinquini; music:  Carlo Rustichelli ; cast: Van Heflin (Sam Cooper), Gilbert Roland (Mason), Klaus Kinski (Brent, TheBlonde), George Hilton (Manolo Sanchez), Sarah Ross (Anna), Rick Boyd (Alfred Brady), Sergio Doria (Hal Brady), Ivan Scratuglia (Telegraphist); Runtime: 96; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Alberto Pugliese /Luciano Ercoli; Paragon; 1968-Italy/W.Germany-in English)

"A good spaghetti western about the evils of greed."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A good spaghetti western about the evils of greed, set during the Nevada gold rush days. It's finely directed by Italian filmmaker Giorgio Capitani ("I Hate Blondes"/"Lobsters For Breakfast"/"The Archangel"). The screenplay by Augusto Caminito and Fernando Di Leo resembles John Huston's Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

When the old-time, craggy-skinned,  prospector Sam Cooper (Van Heflin), discovers gold in the hills of Nevada, he asks the young Manolo (George Hilton), whom he raised when the lad was growing up as an orphan in Denver and is the only one he trusts to help him dig out the vein. But Manolo brings along the ruthless killer Blonde (Klaus Kinski), his gay partner, and this frightens Sam. So for support, Sam pays his old army buddy, Mason (Gilbert Roland), to join the group for his protection. On the way to the gold mine, the foursome must eliminate a gang that attacks them. In another killing, Blonde kills a lost wanderer in the hills, who turns out to be the marshal. When Sam for safety reasons collects all the guns, Mason beats the dangerous Blonde to death when he resists. Sam in turn kills Manolo, who was going after Mason.

It's a character-driven B-western, with lots of action.

REVIEWED ON 6/30/2015       GRADE: B

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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