Clanton (Horst Frank) rides into a small Mexican town to meet his
younger brother George. George is itching to join his outlaw brother in
action and has obtained information that in their hometown of River Town, the Sheriff
is getting married - a perfect time to rob the bank and make over the
nearby border back into lawless Mexico. The robbery does not go to
plan, and Billy has to execute the bankers, bringing the Sheriff, Pat
Garrett (Rod Cameron) after them. Seeing them cross the border, he is
determined to follow, fearful that the Southern states could become
outlaw territory if bandits could escape freely into Mexico. With his
horse shot out near the border, Garrett meets a young American lad and
his sister who help him into town where he captures the Clanton
brothers - but south of the border he is acting illegally, and to avoid
capture, Garrett has to lead his prisoners through a tough desert
region, and a local bandit leader has heard that they are carrying the
$30,000 from the bank...
Shot at the same time as Sergio Leone was preparing Fistful of Dollars
(1964), this production is a very different affair to that stylised and
action packed film - very much in the style of an American Western,
there is a lot more focus on characterisation and storyline here and
this helps to make the film very tense as we actually care who lives
and dies. Interestingly
it makes a point of including two famous historical figures, the
Sheriff Pat Garrett and outlaw Billy Clanton (one of the men killed at
the O.K. Corrall - not to be confused with Billy the Kid), although rather like the heros in a sword-and-sandal peplum, they are put into a completely fictional situation.
works in three distinct chapters and the punishing trek through the
desert is clearly the film's highpoint, with George badly ill and Bill
sniping at Pat throughout, seemingly trying to kill them all; not to
mention the group of Mexican bandits after their money. There is enough
material here to fill an entire film, although by keeping it limited to
about 30 minutes the writers stop this sequence from growing repetitive
and slowing the story down. There are a few unexpected twists and turns,
and thanks to the strong pacing and characterisation, the film builds to
a solid climax. There do seem to be a few missed tricks - the
injured George develops a high fever at one point and begins to
hallucinate, but we only hear about what he sees - another Euro-cult
director might well have shown these to give the film a surreal touch,
although in 1964 the Euro-Western was still very rigidly ahereing to
the rules of the American Western and it would be a few more years
before writers and directors were confident enough to twist and turn
this usually straight-forward genre.
(credited as Mike Perkins) does a solid job here and the action scenes
are very well shot, although it is clear
to see how the impending Leone film would completely alter the way that
Westerns were filmed. Shot in a 1.85:1 format, rather than Leone's
scope ratio it certainly resembles the traditional American Westerns in
every regard. The soundtrack by Dan Savio (none other than Ennio
Morricone) includes a rather good opening song and some effective
incidental tracks that would re-appear in several later films.
Cameron takes the lead role here, a relatively little known American
actor he seems to be cast mostly because he has a noticably John Wayne
style presence and had recently appeared in the American Western The Gun Hawk (1963).
Lots of imported actors were cast in the early days of the Spaghetti
Western to help them pass as American made films, although good
performances were generally lacking from these actors, often rather
shocked by the low budget approach to film making, fortunately Cameron
stands out above this and gives a strong performance. The German
character actor Horst Frank had previously appeared in German
Western The River Pirates of the Mississippi
(1964) and makes his first Spaghetti Western appearance here, in a
genre he would revisit several times down the years - although often
very stony-faced (as per his character), he gives a typically strong
performance throughout. There are no other big names on the cast, but a
variety of familiar faces abound and there are good performances all
round, even from child actor Luis Durán.
Intentionally written and filmed in the style of a traditional American Western, Pistolo Non Discutono will
disappoint anyone looking for a distinctly European film, however with
a strong storyline and solid production it makes for a very enjoyable
Western and comes recommended to fans of both the American and European
Anyone famous in it?
Rod Cameron - an American film star in the 1940/50s he made several films in Europe in the 1960s. Horst Frank - the German character actor who also appeared in the exciting Preparati la Bara (1968)
Directed by anyone interesting?
Caiano - the Roman director behind a variety of Pepla and Spaghetti
Westerns as well as the Barbara Steele horror film Nightmare Castle (1965).
A little blood.
Who is it for?
Recommended to Spaghetti and American Western fans.
1.85:1 Orginal Aspect Ratio. Anamorphically Enhanced. Colour. The
picture quality is very good with only mild grain and a little
print damage. There is some slight artifacting in the day-for-night
Italian and English original mono. The English track is well dubbed and sounds good. The Italian track has one line in English.
Italian - translates the one line in English on the Italian track.
The disc features:
An interview with director Mario
Caiano. Detailed and full of interesting information, with clips from
the film. In Italian with optional English subtitles. 23 minutes.
A very spoiler filled Original Italian theatrical trailer.
The disc box includes an insert containing a complete cast listing for the film and a little trivia (in Italian).