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Western films, from silent to today

Massacre Time (1966)

Franco Nero plays Tom Corbett, lured back to Laramie Town by an urgent message from an old friend.

He finds the town under control of the vicious Scott family; he finds his brother (George Hilton as Jeff) drunk, having abandoned their mother’s ranch. Oh, it’s also now owned by the Scotts.

It isn’t until Tom is whipped nearly to death by Junior Scott, and a beloved older woman named Mercedes is savagely gunned down that Jeff sobers up long enough to guide Tom to the Scott ranch.

Jeff also tells Tom a sobering truth. He’d like to see Scott dead, for killing his father.

Tom’s father is none other than Scott. And it turns out that Scott is the one who sent the message that brought Tom home, because his other son, Junior, has gone violently mad.


Film starts off wonderfully and features an excellent score and title tune, “Back Home Someday.” But it loses its edge when Massacre Time arrives in the final third. From then on, it’s basically an exercise in novel ways to gun a man down.

One of the best — or most absurd, depending on your viewpoint — Tom rides a cart into a barricade behind which three of Junior’s men are firing at him. He catapults far into the sky. He lands behind the three men, grabs a gun off the ground and kills all three, coming out unscathed, of course.

As for the scene in which he’s whipped by Junior … well, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more violent one in Spaghetti-dom.

Directed by:
Lucio Fulci

Franco Nero … Tom Corbett
George Hilton … Jeff Corbett
Rina Franchetti … Mercedes
Linda Sini … Brady
Giuseppe Addobbati … Mr. Scott
Nino Castelnuovo … Junior
Tom Felleghy … Murray
Tchang Yu … Undertaker
Aysanoa Runachagua … Sonko

Tempo di massacro
Colt Concert
The Brute and the Beast
Django the Runner

Score: Lallo Gori

Runtime: 90 min.

Memorable lines:

Tom Corbett to bartender: “How is Mr. Scott?”
Bartender: “He’s fine, I think.”
Corbett: “Where can I find him?”
Bartender: “Find who?”
Corbett: “Doesn’t this saloon belong to Mr. Scott?”
Bartender: “What saloon?”

Stable man: “The information costs 20 cents. I don’t work for nothing.”
Tom Corbett: “What if I don’t give it to you?”
Stable man: “Confucious say: ‘If you want to live a long life, try to be ignorant and know nothing. But in this town, you have to know a lot of things to live a long life. Twenty cents.”

Jeff Corbett, after gunning down nine of Scott’s men: “Now if you just keep on going in that there direction, you won’t meet anyone. A few miles, and you’ll find yourself in front of Scott’s ranch.”
Tom Corbett: “And you.”
Jeff: “I’m going back to town. I’ll take the long way. Wouldn’t want to meet up with any trouble.”


Nino Castelnuovo, who turns in a fine performance as the mad, whip-bearing Junior in this film, appeared in one other Spaghetti. He was the acrobatic member of Peter Grave’s “Five Man Army” in that 1969 film.

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