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Western films, from silent to today

Rattler Kid (1968)

Richard Wyler plays Lt. Tony Garnett, an up-and-coming young cavalry officer, until the night bandits sneak steal the Army payroll, killing his superior officer and knocking him out in the process.

What’s more, they frame him for the crime by snatching a button off his uniform and planting it in the dead man’s hand.

Garnett is court martialed and sentenced to death, but the local priest knows he couldn’t have been responsible for the crime. So he swaps cloths with Tony, allowing him to escape with the hope of clearing his name.

Of course, that means tracking down the bandits who were truly responsible.

His search for answers search leads him to the town where he grew up, a town where the school teacher still recognizes him as one of his best former students.

But by now, Tony has changed. He’s known as the Rattler Kid, one of the quickest guns around, a wanted man with a price on his head.

And a new group of bandits, headed by his cousin Riff, wants him to help rob the local bank.

Review:

So-so. After a promising start, film seems to lose it’s focus. And there’s a bizarre final showdown in which Riff and Rattler Kid slap at one another with thorny cactus leaves.

Brad Harris is the sheriff Tony’s supposed to gun down. He goes shirtless in a couple of scenes to show off the muscles that earned him the role of Hercules when he headed to Italy to start appearing in films thre.

Alex Turner is the school teacher, Helen the girl who loves the sheriff, Ennis the bad girl who loves Riff but winds up in bed with Tony, and Jill is the pretty blonde who falls for the much older teacher and winds up staked out on an ant hill.

Director:
Leon Klimovsky

Cast:
Richard Wyler … Tony Garnett
Brad Harris … Bill Manners
Guglielmo Spoletini … Riff
as William Spolt
Jesus Puente .. Alex Turner
Femi Benussi … Helen
Aurora De Alba … Ennis
Conny Caracciolo … Jill Scott
Miguel del Castillo … Sam Scott
Jose Maria Caffarel … Anderson, the banker
Louis Barboo … Silent Wolf
Lucio De Santis … Jeff
Luis Induni … Vic
Frank Brana … Tom
Simon Arriaga … Jim

aka:
L’Uomo Venuto per Uccidere
Un Hombre Vino a Matar

Music:
Francesco De Masi

Memorable lines:

Tony Garnett: “Dreams have a habit of not coming true sometimes. It’s not so bad. If you don’t have too much imagination.”

Alex Turner: “You can’t outdraw him (the sheriff). Nobody can. I know.”
Tony Garnett: “He’s not faster than I am.”
Turner: “Have you ever seen that man shoot.”
Garnett: “Never. But I know he wants to go on living. Where I don’t give a damn.”

Bandit 1, about to tie up a pretty blonde captive: “When they see this little white body tied up near an ant hill and ready to be eaten alive, they’ll rush into our hands.”
Bandit 2: “It’s sure a pitty to waste her on a bunch of bugs.”

Riff to the Kid, after he’s stomped a rattler to death: “You think that’s the only thing you have to do to wipe everythingl you’ve done, Rattler Kid?”

Trivia:

Brad Harris, who plays the quick-on-the-draw sheriff the Rattler Kid is supposed to kill, later had recurring roles on the TV shows “Dallas” and “Falcon Crest.”

The German title: Django — Unversattlich wie der Satan … never mind that the name Django never comes up in the film.

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