Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

December 9, 2020

Guy Madison in VENGEANCE IS A COLT .45 (Italy 1967)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:30 am

I was watching VENGEANCE IS A COLT .45 (aka SON OF DJANGO, aka RETURN OF DJANGO) this afternoon after work, and about 20 minutes into it, I took a break to make a cup of espresso and thought I’d look up the film online, a film I did not remember having seen before.

After the first few reviews on the IMDB (there are 9, presently), I stumbled across one that really impressed me, and I wondered who wrote it (I tend to know the writers who review most Spaghetti Westerns online–there are about 15-20 you tend to see on the IMDB) because it was on-target, seemed to appreciate Madison as an actor, and seemed to have a good knowledge of the respective strengths of the various actors in the Euro-western genre.

Imagine my surprise when I looked at the credit and found that I’D WRITTEN IT MYSELF, BACK IN 2003!

If you are wanting to know about the film, why not read my review, which I’d forgotten I’d written, about a film that I’d forgotten I’d ever seen!

==========================

5/10
average spaghetti western, somewhat redeemed by Guy Madison as a gunslinging priest
django-1, 12 December 2003
With two great titles (SON OF DJANGO and VENGEANCE IS A COLT 45), top-billed Guy Madison, and director Osvaldo Civirani at the helm (a man who has made quirky films in a number of genres–he sometimes misses the mark, but he takes chances), I had high hopes for this film.

The DEATH RIDES A HORSE-style opening sequence was quite exciting too, but the film that followed was a letdown. The pacing is flat, the lead character is neither interesting enough nor mysterious enough to command much attention, and Guy Madison, although top-billed, should really have been given “and with the special participation of” billing in the credits as he is essentially a guest star. Gabriele Tinti is the protagonist, and he basically stumbles from one scene to another, getting the tar knocked out of him, but not showing much of a distinctive character (Richard Harrison would provide wit as he went through such torment, Tomas Milian would spew contempt toward his tormentors, Craig Hill would command fear even after getting beaten temporarily). There are a few nicely composed shots, a few places where the music is haunting and we see Tinti riding alone, and of course Guy Madison is excellent as the gunslinging priest/minister who comes to Tinti’s aid, but isn’t exactly welcomed. This role is a bit different from Madison’s later role in Reverend Colt, a much better film.

The “climax” of the film is quite unsatisfying too–I don’t know if Tinti is to blame. Probably hurried writing and slack directing are responsible. Fortunately, AFTER the lame climax with Tinti, Madison’s is the last face we see, so at least the film left a positive image in my mind.

Although a “revenge for a murdered father” film, SON OF DJANGO features little tension and this viewer at least didn’t really care whether Tinti got his revenge. There are probably a dozen Bob Steele westerns from the 1930s with a similar plot, and nine-tenths of them as I remember pulled me into Steele’s quest for revenge. Not here.

I can recommend the film only to Guy Madison collectors–he’s fine here, although once again dubbed by someone else–and Eurowestern completists. And for the latter, I should say that this is not a BAD film, just an average one. It may well work for you, but didn’t for me.

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If you’d like a taste, here is the credit sequence:

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