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Western films, from silent to today

One by One Without Pity (1968)

One by One Without Pity (1968) posterPeter Lee Lawrence is Bill Grayson, a young man who heads west after the Civil War to locate his father, a disgraced Confederate colonel.

During the war, Col. Grayson and four other men headed out with $500,000 in Rebel funds. The four other men returned. Grayson and the money went missing.

Young Bill soon encounters “El Chato,” a Mexican who was serving as a scout for the small patrol. Left for dead — buried, actually — he clawed his way out of the ground only to wind up in prison for another misdeed.

He tells Bill what really happened: His father was killed for being an honest man; the other four men in the party stole the $500,000.

So Bill and El Chato set out to avenge Col. Grayson and clear his name. Their targets include a banker named Latour, saloon partners Avery and Bennington and the former Capt. Jack Hawkins.

Before long, just Hawkins remains. But the journey also becomes more difficult because Bill is wounded and a lawman named Lyman and his posse are on their trail.

Fortunately for Bill, he winds up in the caring arms of Dolly Stuart (Dianik Zurakowska), who’s waiting for her father to return home.

Review:

Don’t let the opening fool you, because it could lead you to believe this is yet another silly spoof Spaghetti.

Before long, “El Chatto” and young Bill Grayson form their alliance and the film takes on a more serious tone as the duo use their wits and their guns to get revenge.

Of course, there’s a little friction between the two as well, mostly because Bill’s focused on clearing his father while “El Chatto” seems more determined to end up with a bag full of loot.

Guglielmo Spoletini (William Bogart) turns in a spirited perforrmance as the rascal of the piece. And there’s a twist after the “ending.” But there isn’t much to distinguish this film from dozens of other Spaghettis with the same general theme.

If you’re hoping for lots of lovely Dyanik Zurakowska, you’re likely to be disappointed. She doesn’t show up until the final 20 minutes of the film. But her kisses must have magical healing power. Bill, seemingly seriously wounded, shows no signs of discomfort when the time arrives for a final showdown.

Most prints of the film check in at 81 minutes, when the full runtime was apparently closer to 90. That might help explain the quick recovery and why Bill and Dolly seem to fall for one another in a heartbeat.

Directed by:
Rafael Romero Marchent

Cast:
Peter Lee Lawrence … Bill “Chico” Grayson
Guglielmo Spoletini … Joe “El Chato” Charro
as William Bogart
Dyanik Zurakowska … Dolly
Eduardo Fajardo … Sheriff Lyman
Manuel Tejada … Sheriff Blackie
Alfonso Rojas … Capt. Jack Hawkins
Angel Menendez … Avery
Sidney Chaplin … Jacques Latour
Monica Millesi … Jenny
as Monica Mills
Miguel del Castillo … Priest
Aurora Bautista … Dolly’s maid
Francisco Sanz … Zebulon
Cris Huerta … Drunk in saloon

Runtime: 82 min. (90 min.)

aka:
One Against One … No Mercy
One by One
Uno a uno, sin piedad

Memorable lines:

Charro: “When one man is disarmed and the other has a Colt, the second man asks the questions.”

Charro: “Beware, gringo, if you stick your neck out for a woman, you could end up losing your head. But every man must take his chances.”

Jenny: “I know you.”
Bill: “It’s impossible. I would have remembered your kiss.”

Latour: “I fought as best as I could for the Confederacy, but now that it’s over, we all ought to forget it.”
Bill: “But good southerners aren’t forgetful.”

Priest: “The Lord watches over us.”
Charro: “I only hope, right now, he isn’t looking this way.”

Charro, spotting Dolly lovingly caring for Bill: “You’ve got to help me save my brother, senorita.”
Dolly, glancing suspiciously at blonde-haired Bill, then back to Charro: “He’s your brother?”
Charro, thinking fast: “We were raised together.”

Trivia:

Often cast as one in a band of henchmen, especially early in his career. Guglielmo Spoletini wound up appearing in about 20 Spaghetti Westerns, often under the American alias William Bogart. One of his final rolls was as an Italian taxi driver in 1976’s “The Omen.”

Peter Lee Lawrence gets to romance two lovely ladies over the course of the film. The first is Monica Millesi (appearing as Monica Mills) after he rescues her from a stagecoach under attack. According to imdb, she appeared in just two other films.

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