Clint il Solitario
It seems that in the world of Eurowesterns, there are quite a few that seem, well, very American. They may have the violence that was somewhat unique to the European films at the time, but they’re still lacking that edge, the moral ambiguity, and have a bit of the ’squeaky-cleaness’ that typified the American western until the late 1960’s.. Alfonso Balcazar’s “Clint the Stranger” (1968) is one of those films.
George Martin, star of 21 spag westerns, is Clint Harrison, a rancher who killed two people out of self-defense. When he gets out of jail, he can’t find his wife or family. He finally finds them homesteading in the valley, where they are being constantly harassed by the Shannon land baron family to leave their land. Clint’s wife is initially not too thrilled to see him, because she’s not so happy about his former life as a gunslinger. So he hangs up the guns, and helps her out on the ranch, giving him an opportunity to get to know his son (who doesn’t know it’s his dad). Needless to say, the Shannon clan won’t give up, and Clint has to break the guns out again. He leads an effort to fight off the ranchers in town (one of the better scenes in the film… a rather long gun battle with lots of people and explosions), and eventually takes out the Shannons, when he then goes to live with his family, happily ever after. Aww.
This film was okay. Like many in the genre, it was an Italian/Spanish/German joint effort. Quite a bit of the cast looked quite German. I don’t know where this version I watched came from, but every now and then, the language track would switch to German (this is quite common in restorations where parts of a language track are missing or unrestoreable). The English overdubs were fair, sounding like your typical generic overdubs. I’m not a big fan of Martin, he’s kinda stiff. He has that squeaky clean thing going on and doesn’t have much of an edge about him, unlike Lee Van Cleef or Gianni Garko.
The opening song was abominable, some overemotive crooner with a bad accent singing about hanging up guns, and Nora Orolandi’s score was typical, if unremarkable. The one thing that really stood out for me in this film was the scenery. It seemed to have been filmed in the Alps and the scenery is often quite breathtaking at times. Overall, an okay film, although not rough or edgy like the kind of spags I tend to like. It was followed up with a sequel, Return of Clint the Stranger.