Al di là della legge (1968)

Billy Joe Cudlip (Lee Van Cleef) is not a good man. But he’s conflicted. Sure, he’s just robbed a stagecoach of $12,000, but he feels like he owes something to the man his crimes have hurt the most, a Czech immigrant named Ben Novack (Antonio Sabàto) who was supposed to deliver that money to hard working miners.

When another gang attacks the next shipment of money — led by Gordon Mitchell — and the sherrif is killed, things change for Cudlip. He’s offered the job of lawman, which his partners Preacher (an astounding Lionel Stander, trapped in Europe thanks to the blacklist) and freed slave Al (Al Hoosman, an amateur heavyweight boxer who fought in World War II and then settled in Germany, where he became an actor in thirty films) think will be quite helpful when it comes to taking all the town’s silver.

Except that the gangs that come to town are way worse people than Cudlip. He now feels compelled to protect the men, women and children of Silvertown, which goes against everything he believes in. Sooner or later, he’s going to have to choose between Ben and the town or Preacher and Al.

In a genre made up of loners who disappear after they get their bloody revenge or save a town, this is a rare Italian western with a hero who finds that he belongs. As the film closes, with his star cast aside, Ben stops him and says, You are not alone, Cud. You have us — you always did. You are our friend. And our sheriff.”

Director Giorgio Stegani only made nine movies, but he wrote one that made a major impact: Cannibal Holocaust.

This is also worth watching just to see Bud Spencer without his beard.

You can watch this on YouTube.

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