12
Apr
2013
Brief: The Big Gundown
The Big Gundown
Jordan
In a great Spaghetti Western, life may be cheap but death always has a cost. Lee Van Cleef, in his first turn as a hero, following hot on the heels of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, plays Corbett, a man who excels at tracking criminals and bringing them to justice. When a 12 year old girl is raped and murdered, Corbett is put on the trail of the accused, Cuchillo (Tomas Milian), offered an endorsement for the Senate if he can catch the killer before he crosses the Mexican Border. The two cross paths several times, and develop a grudging respect for one another.

While the film has several solid set pieces, its the existential underpinnings that really make it sing, as the film forces viewers to question their loyalties, each man's background, and ultimately, what passes for the law in the West, and in Mexico during the period. Van Cleef is always a pleasure, Milian is very solid, and no one scores a showdown better than Ennio Morricone, who did the music. Fans of the genre should definitely sit down for this one.

Read more of Jordan's Film Criticism here
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