Hands of a Gunfighter - A reformed gunman returns to his earlier life seeking justice when the Castle brothers shoot his friends.
Hands of a Gunfighter (1965)
Director: Rafael Romero Marchent (as Rafael R. Marchent)
Writer: Joaquín Romero Hernández (screenplay) (as Joaquin Luis Romero Hernandez)
Stars: Craig Hill, Gloria Milland, Conchita Núñez
Runtime: 1h 16min
Country: Spain | Italy
Also Known As: Ocaso de un pistolero (original title), Blei ist sein Lohn
A reformed gunman returns to his earlier life seeking justice when the Castle brothers shoot his friends.
Not only did "Hands of a Gunfighter" constitute Rafael Romero Marchent debut as a film director, but also the Spaghetti western marked the first time that American actor Craig Hill made his initial movie in Europe after he had spent more than a decade searching for stardom. After a couple of roles in American movies and television, Hill returned to Europe and spent a little over 30 years starring in a variety of westerns, horror epics, and crime movies. Marchent's "Hands of a Gunfighter" doesn't qualify as a run-of-the-mill horse opera about a pistolero who has hung up his six-guns and settled down with a wife and a son. Dan Murphy (Craig Hill of "Siege at Red River") and his wife Miriam (Gloria Milland of "Hercules Against the Barbarians") are riding through a town in a covered wagon when the town lawman, Sheriff Rogers (Jesús Puente of "A Bullet for Rommel") takes a shot at Murphy with a rifle and kills Murphy's son. At this point, the narrative becomes muddled. Years elapse, and we learn that Murphy and Miriam are living the quiet life of a rancher with a son, Andy (Francisco José Huetos), but Andy isn't their son. Actually, Andy belongs to Sheriff Rogers, and one of Rogers' deputies come to get him and return him to his biological father. Andy has been living with Dan and Miriam long enough that he believes that they are his parents. Meantime, trouble brews between Murphy and the Castle brothers who own a ranch and cast a giant shadow in the community. The Castles are ruffians, and they pick on Dan and his friends, a young couple who have moved into a nearby ranch. The Castles have been trying to bait Dan into a fight, but he hasn't accommodated them. Eventually, after they murder and burn out the young couple, a reluctant Dan buckles on his six-shooter, and he gives them the opportunity that they have eagerly awaited. The problem is that they aren't prepared for the showdown, and they pay the consequences of years that they harassed Dan. One of the Castles, Davy (Piero Lulli of "My Name is Nobody"), discovers that he should never have bullied Murphy. The showdown between these two hombres is singular in the annuals of Spaghetti westerns. Dan brandishes two revolvers, and he loads one bullet into one of them. Afterward, he hands the shooting irons to a bystander and instructs him to shift them around so that nobody can possibly know which one contains a bullet. Murphy has him pitch the guns into the dust, and he gives Davy first go at choosing the loaded firearm. Predictably, Davy selects the wrong six-gun, and the hammer clicks six-times on each empty cylinder. Conversely, Dan takes the other revolver and shoots Davy dead on the spot. Meantime, Miriam has gone to visit Andy who believes that he will have a chance to see his father. When Dan arrives at Rogers' ranch to take Andy home, Rogers' ranch hands blast Murphy to pieces in a hail of gunfire. "Hands of a Gunfighter" isn't your average reformed gunslinger western, but it is an interesting variation on the theme. Composer Angelo Francesco Lavagnino provides another memorable orchestral soundtrack for this striking Euro-western. written by zardoz-13
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