Return of Clint the Stranger (1971)

il Ritorno di Clint il Solitario / There's a Noose Waiting for You, Trinity

poster for Return of Clint the Stranger

This 1971 outing, directed by and starring George Martin, is a sequel to 1968's Clint the Stranger, also starring Martin. Actually, it's really more of a remake than a sequel, as I'll soon point out.

Martin stars as a guy named Trinity (not Clint) who is wanted for killing the man who killed his brother. He disappears for 6 years, leaving behind a wife and two kids. The wife is feeling pressure from the local rancher family to sell the land. Trinity returns, posing as a ranch hand. His son has a lot of resentment for him leaving, and his daughter doesn't know he's her dad. Trinity has sworn off guns, and things reach a fever pitch with the ranchers, as they are ratcheting up the pressure, even going so far as to frame one of the landowners for murder to blackmail the rest of the families into selling their land. Also, there's a bounty hunter after Trinity (played by Klaus Kinski), which complicates matters further. Needless to say, Trinity puts his reservations about guns aside for the moment, and wipes out the ranchers. He also gets captured by Kinski, who has a soft spot and lets him go, after seeing him reunited with his family.

George Martin stars and directs The Return of Clint the Stranger

Martin as a decidedly unfunny Trinity

Plotwise, with very few differences, the above is almost the same plot as the first film, plus Kinski and a mustache on Martin. Truth be told, there wasn't a heck of a lot to like about this film, nor is ther really much to say about it, as it didn't leave much of an impression on me. It was more or less your average C-grade spag - so-so acting, rather banal dialog. Even though there is one flashback from the first movie involving Martin and his boy, the character is different, the setting is different, so it's really hard to see it as a sequel. The original wasn't a fantastic film, either. Perhaps Martin felt that and felt the need for a remake. He shouldn't have bothered, because this one isn't really much of an improvement over the original.

Now, as you probably know, I love Kinski. He seems to have two kinds of overacting styles in these films... the over-the-top psycho guy (like in Price of Death) and the overacted too-cool-to-be-here kinda guy, like in this film. He spends lots of time looking immersed in thought with his ever-present, large cigar. He's not as ruthless a bastard in this as we've come to expect, and his presence in the film is definitely a plus. What I didn't like about the original film is that it had that squeaky-clean American western feel to it. This one is a bit more rough, maybe it's Martin's mustache, I don't know. And I did find one of those bloopers I love to look out for. When Kinski's counting some money, we see that the prop department must have been short on 1800's prop money, some of the bills look like modern day currency:

The Wild East release, paired with the original film, looks and sounds pretty decent. All in all, not horrible by any means, but hardly must-see, either.

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