A master gunfighter teams up with a banjo-playing drifter and a Mexican tramp to foil the town leaders of Daugherty, Texas, who want to steal $100,000 from their own bank to buy land that the approaching railroad will cross.
Lee Van Cleef,
Amiable, unassertive Scott Mary picks up the trash, cleans the toilets, sweeps the floors in the town of Clifton. Then a gunfighter comes to town. He offers advice and guidance to Scott who quickly begins to toughen and mature, thus upsetting the balance of power in the town.Written by
dinky-4 of Minneapolis
"Day of Anger" is an incredible western. Not only is it one of the 3 or 4 best non-Leone spaghetti westerns, It also has just about the best non-Morricone music score I have heard.
Lee Van Cleef is at his very best in this movie as Talby, the slick, intelligent, and ruthless gunfighter. As is the case with many spaghetti westerns, this movie draws a very thin line between "good" and "evil." Talby is a killing machine who is out for his own personal gain, yet he is also very likable in many ways. When he takes Scott under his wing and teaches him not to put up with being treated with disrespect from the "good" citizens of Clifton, Talby actually becomes the only person who represents any real sort of "justice" in the whole town. Then we find out that the pillars of the community have something to hide, and Talby delivers his own brand of justice to them also.
Giuliano Gemma always delivers a great spaghetti western performance, and he is at the top of his game here as well. In the role of Scott Mary he has to play a character who goes through a lot of different emotions, and a couple of life-changing events. When Scott becomes a gunfighter like Talby, we relate to him and like him even more as he demands and gets respect from the people who used to spit on him. Talby's comment to the townsfolk of Clifton sums up why: "He was born a wolf, but you made him rabid." What a great line! The final showdown at the end is one of the classics. It is wonderfully choreographed with the film's music, and has that artistic, operatic quality that the very best spaghetti westerns possess. There's lots of emotion going on in this one, as it is plain to see that the two men squaring off still have respect and admiration for each other. On some level, it even still seems like they are friends, but this moment was inevitable, like an uncontrollable force of nature. As Talby says, "once you start killing, you can't stop." Talby's killing finally draws that thin line, Scott ends up on the other side of it, and the final showdown begins. I will say no more.
Riz Ortolani's score is awesome. I love the opening theme, and the pictures and movements on the screen that accompany it. It pulls you right into this film before the story even begins. Not only is the music great, it is very original as well. It is not a Morricone rip-off at all. Ortolani's style here is all his own. It is much more of a swinging 60's sound that retains just enough western flavor to make it appropriate for this type of film. This is a soundtrack I would like to have on CD.
This is one of those movies that I just can't say enough about. I would recommend it to anyone, and if you like spaghetti westerns you really need to own it.
21 of 30 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this