Friday, November 15, 2013

Rosalba Neri Friday # 13 - Arizona Colt 1966

   Michele Lupo's Arizona Colt is one of the better spaghetti westerns that Rosalba appeared in. I gotta admit - I love westerns & Italian cinema, but find many spaghetti westerns an endurance test. The well regarded classic ones are great and even some of the lesser ones have some moments but on the whole I've never really gone crazy over the genre. In addition being a Rosalba fan (and as pointed out to me by my fellow blogger venoms5 ), she always seems to appear at some point in the second reel & dies somewhere in the third reel in these.
  Giuliano Gemma plays the title role, a bounty hunter who escapes from jail thanks to bandit Gordo (Fernando Sancho) who's instigating mass jailbreaks to raise recruits for his gang. Later one of Gordo's men Kay (Nello Pazzafini) shows up in the town of Blackstone Hill casing the bank for a future robbery. There he meets saloon girl Dolores (Rosalba) and after a roll in the hay with her mistakenly spills the beans about the robbery necessitating him killing her. Later Arizona offers to track down Kay for $500.00 and the chance to sleep with (?!) Dolores's sister Jane (Corinne Marchand) which ends up incurring the wrath of Gordo and putting the entire town in danger.

    Made in 1966 the film has several similarities to Sergio Leone's For A Few Dollars More and features some pretty extreme violence which is juxtaposed by comic relief (mostly by Roberto Camardiel playing a character named Whiskey) and the sometimes feel of a Sat. matinee American western . As Arizona Gemma plays one of  the more clean cut characters in spaghetti western history (with his youngish looks, clean face and & toothy smile he looks like he stepped out of an A.I.P beach movie), but he's also a truly amoral western hero. He only looks out for himself, not giving a dam about his consequences or the fate of the town. At the time he was one of the bigger stars in the genre having just come off the successful Ringo films. Sancho is excellent in a larger the life performance as the bandit and although the film does drag a bit at nearly two hours it contains some excellent action set pieces and shoot-outs. It was followed up by a "sequel" titled Arizona Colt Hired Gun in 1970 which starred Anthony Steffen (and once again featured Rosalba - in one of her last western roles).
  As per the norm Rosalba shows up about 15 mins in and dies at about the thirty min mark. As saloon girl Dolores she really doesn't get to do a whole lot but looks great in her cleavage bearing red dress.


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