Friday, April 3, 2009

Spaghetti Western Review

All'Ombra di una Colt (1965) aka SHADOW OF THE COLT
This 1965 Italian western has many familiar faces among the cast; all do a good job, particularly Conrado San Martin as the elder pistolero, Duke, who forbids his friend Steve Blane (Stephen Forsythe) from courting his daughter. Complications ensue, and eventually Duke and Steve are face to face on the main street of Providence (the same town Clint Eastwood cleaned up in A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS). Most of the fun in this one is recognizing the locations and identifying stock performers like Franco Ressel, Sancho Gracia, and Jose Calvo. Aldo Sanbrell shows up early as a bandido, and Tito Garcia is cast as a barkeep with a full head of hair for a change. The action is good, with the stuntmen earning their keep by crashing off of roofs and through remadas, and Blane's horse gives probably the best performance in the history of equine acting. Nico Fidenco's score is outstanding, although the vocal over the titles are a bit off-putting. The titles themselves are particularly flamboyant for a spaghetti, luridly painted cartoons that flirt with a fine art look. Overall I liked this one, I think seeing it in a nice widescreen print helped a lot.

1 comment:

  1. IN A COLT'S SHADOW became a favorite of mine when I was a teenager seeing it in Italian with Japanese subtitles on the Okinawan theater circuit. The imagery and music were wonderful even if the plot wasn't entirely clear to me. Finally seeing it in English on the SPO DVD from Japan thankfully didn't disappoint. The plot does make sense, and the DVD wonderfully preserved the sights and sounds.