Il Grande duello (1972)

The Grand Duel was directed by Giancarlo Santi, who was Sergio Leone’s second unit director. He only directed two other movies on his own, Quando c’era lui… caro lei! and Con la voce del cuore, although he assistant directed on films like Death Rides a Horse and both of Luigi Cozzi’s Hercules movies. It was written by the man behind so many giallo films, Ernesto Gastaldi.

Philip Wermeer (Alberto Dentice) has been convicted of killing Ebenezer Saxon, the patriarch of Saxon City and also the man who killed his father. He escapes from prison and heads off to Gila Bend, a small town where he’s soon trapped by several bounty hunters all after the reward posted by Saxon’s sons. Sheriff Clayton (Lee Van Cleef) comes to town to take him back to jail, which means battling everyone after the price on Wermeer’s head.

Even after Wermeer’s innocence is shown and the Saxons are shown to be horrible people — massacring an entire silver mine worth of people, including their own men — they still want revenge. They even strip Clayton of his star and disgrace him.

By the end, Clayton must duel all three Saxon brothers and as a gentleman, he refuses to draw first. Like the best of Italian western heroes, he’s putting his life on the line to keep true to his beliefs.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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