Il Grande Duello
The Grand Duel
Rache unter roter Sonne / Le Grand Duel / Drei Vaterunser für vier Halunken / Hell's Fighers / Storm Rider / The Big Showdown
Italy / West Germany / France 1972
Henryk Chroscicki for Mount Street Film, Terra-Filmkunst, Films Corona, Société Nouvelle de Cinématographie (SNC)
directed by Giancarlo Santi
starring Lee Van Cleef, Alberto Dentice (as Peter O'Brien), Jess Hahn, Horst Frank, Klaus Grünberg, Antonio Casale (as Antony Vernon), Marc Mazza, Dominique Darel, Alessandra Cardini, Gastone Pescucci, Elvira Cortese, Anna Maria Gherardi, Hans Terofal, Salvatore Baccaro, Remo Capitani (as Ray O'Connor), Memè Perlini, Piergiorgio Plebani, Giancarlo Badessi, Luigi Antonio Guerra, Maria Teresa Piaggio, Vittorio Sancisi, Franco Balducci, Giovanni Filidoro, Giovanni Cianfriglia, Michelangelo Mastroni, Angelo Susani, Gianni Di Segni, Clemente Cipriano, Luigi Masironi, Mimmo Rizzo, Giorgio Trestini, Furio Meniconi, Luigi Scavran
written by Ernesto Gastaldi, music by Luis Bacalov, Sergio Bardotti
Available on DVD !
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The Old West: Philip Vermeer (Alberto Dentice) finds himself on the run
from bounty hunters, as he's a convicted murderer in his hometown
Jefferson - but of all people, Clayton (Lee Van Cleef), sheriff of
Jefferson, helps him escape, and while he later makes him his captive, he
also proves he would guard Vermeer with his life should need be. And in
return, Vermeer, who doesn't know what to make of all of this, lets pass
many an opportunity to seriously harm Clayton to escape. Eventually, he
does escape Clayton, but only to return to Jefferson, to find out who
really killed the man he has been convicted to kill. Thing is, the town is
run by that man's three sons (Horst Frank, Klaus Grünberg, Marc Mazza),
who claim to be convinced of his guilt. But while they're powerful men,
they're also dirty rotten scoundrels, and it's not at all impossible that
they have killed their father themselves. Vermeer does his best to stay
out of the brothers' clutches, and again, Clayton, who has since returned
to Jefferson as well, does his best to help - but eventually the brothers
manage to capture Vermeer despite everything and prepare to hang him in
public. But the rope already around Vermeer's head, Clayton once again
interferes and tells everyone who has really killed the brothers' father -
and his testimony is too convincing as to not totally vindicate Vermeer.
And it all leads to a big duel ...
Now I wouldn't go so far as call The Grand Duel a
spaghetti western on par with the films of Sergio Leone, Django,
God Said to Caine, and other agreed upon classics of the genre,
but that said it's very solid genre entertainment, with tons of action,
shoot-outs, genre-immanent nastiness, all carried by a rather intelligent
plotline with more than the usual number of twists, and caught in
beautiful pictures and set to an iconic score. And of course, the cast,
especially kings of cool Lee Van Cleef and Horst Frank, is first rate, not
only within the spaghetti western universe.