Frontierado is coming up on Friday August 4th!
In the past Balladeer’s Blog has examined some of the big names among the fictional gunslingers of Spaghetti Westerns. I’ve covered the original Django, Sartana, the Holy Ghost, Dynamite Joe, Harmonica and even Tony Anthony’s character the Stranger. Here are a few of the lesser lights from Eurowesterns.
Film: The Christmas Kid (1966)
The Story: Jeffrey Hunter portrayed this memorable gunslinger, who got his nickname from the date of his birth, December 25th. His nickname was always bitter-sweet, however, since his mother died giving birth to him on Christmas.
The Kid is a pacifist in fictional Jaspen, AZ during a copper rush. Our hero reluctantly takes up a gun and at first seems like he might be corrupted by the faction led by the crooked town boss (Louis Hayward) but eventually his girlfriend Marie dies as the violence escalates. The Christmas Kid redoubles his efforts against Hayward. Good but not a great film.
The Kid deserved more than one screen appearance but the forced Jesus parallels make this movie as UN-intentionally funny as the Holy Ghost Spaghetti Westerns (“Looks like this is your Last Supper.”).
Film: Minnesota Clay (1964)
The Story: Cameron Mitchell played the role of Minnesota Clay, a gunfighter sent to prison for 20 years for a crime he didn’t commit. Realizing that he is slowly going blind and has only so much time left to seek revenge he escapes from prison and heads for his former home in Mesa Encantada.
Clay reunites with his long-lost daughter and seeks to free the town from the corrupt rule of “Fox”, the man who sent him to prison. Mesa Encantada is also having problems with Mexican bandits and it’s all up to Minnesota Clay to right countless wrongs and clear his name before blindness robs him of his gunslinging skill. From the director of Django (1966)!
Film: The Man Called Noon (1973)
The Story: Long before Robert Ludlum’s amnesiac secret agent Jason Bourne came this film. Based on a Louis Lamour story The Man Called Noon featured Richard Crenna as the title character, an amnesiac with incredible abilities with a gun but no knowledge of his past.
Just like Bourne in the later novel, our hero Noon must piece together who he really is, why he has access to some large sums of money and why various dangerous factions want him dead. He also struggles to stay alive while all this chaos closes in on him. At its core the story involves the hero’s quest for revenge over the death of his wife and child … just like in Ludlum’s later novel. I’m not sayin’, Ludlum fans, I’m just sayin’.
Films: Arizona Colt (1965) and Arizona (1970)
The Story: In the first movie Arizona Colt is a gunman for hire who gets busted out of prison by a Mexican bandit named Torrez. The bandit has rounded up some of the most dangerous men in the west to form an outlaw army. Little did he know that Arizona Colt is an honest man who was imprisoned in a frame-up.
Colt rejects Torrez’s offer to join his band and instead stands beside the residents of Blackstone City, the target of the Mexican’s army of gunslingers. The second movie takes place years later. Arizona Colt has made a name for himself as a bounty hunter since the events in the previous film.
He fakes his own death to find some peace but when a man he sent to prison kills his girlfriend Sheena and his sidekick Double Whiskey our hero comes out of retirement to seek revenge.
FOR KLONDIKE KATE, X THE VIGILANTE, DIAMONDFIELD JACK AND SAM SIXKILLER CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/2013/07/29/gunslingers-four-more-neglected-male-and-female-gunfighters/
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10 responses to “OVERLOOKED SPAGHETTI WESTERN HEROES”
Great list of films! Of course, we’re talking about my fave genre!
Glad you liked them!
Minnesota Clay is underrated! Well done sir!
Thank you very much.
Minnesota Clay! I’ll say it all day long.
If that’s your idea of a good time. (I’m kidding.)
BALLADEER’S BLOG AT GLITTERNIGHT.COM IS THE BEST BLOG ON THE WEB!
The Christmas Kid is blasphemous.