The Colt is My Law Review

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Two strangers arrive in the border town of San Felipe, a denim rocker looking for work and a prim dandy who’s about to marry the local beauty, Louise O’Brien (a señorita, in spite of her celtic name). San Felipe is plagued by a series of stagecoach robberies; the latest, and most bloody robbery of them all, was executed in the town street, after the sheriff had received a blow on the head and some innocent looking bystanders turned out to be murderous robbers. The robberies continue after the arrival of the two strangers but somebody’s now thwarting the bandits’ work: instead of gold, they end up with bottles of milk or worthless pieces of paper. Is this the work of the denim guy who has infiltrated the gang? Must be. But who is the masked cavalier who pops up every time Louise is in danger?

The colt is my law is a typical spaghetti western title, but with a story about federal agents and a masked cavalier, the script harks back to the time of the Hollywood B-westerns, or even further. The notion of the masked cavalier was established in Baroness Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel (1905) about a foppish nobleman who escapes from the guillotine in the days after the French revolution and transforms into a formidable swordman and escape artist. The pimpernel later became a Zorro, Lone Ranger or Batman, all men who would only reveal their true nature in disguise (note that their real 'disguise’ is the dim-witted, fop they 'play’ in daily life). Only viewers who have never seen a masked avenger movie will be surprised when the identity of the masked avenger in this movie is revealed, but I won’t spoil the fun for these happy few.

Those movies about masked heroes have a certain charm and this one’s no exception. If the identity of the masked cavalier is a bit easy to guess (except for the characters in the movie), the script pulls a rabbit out of the hat in the final minutes that will surprise most viewers. Who would have thought that ... but, I’m not going to spoil that fun either. Luciana Gilla is a lovely lady in distress (who secretly thinks this show-off cavalier is far more tempting than her dandyfied fiancé) and it’s also nice to see a few different faces in a (would-be) spaghetti westen: Del Pozzo and De La Riva appeared in handful of genre entries but usually in supporting roles. Both are well-cast as, respectively, the Snob and the Denim. That said, the movie belongs to the lower echelons of the genre. It looks a bit untidy, as if no one really cared; the town was probably built in a day and the speeding-up of some riding scenes is ridiculous, creating a sort of Bennie Hill effect, but unfortunately without the matching naughtiness.

Director: Alfonso Brescia - Cast: Ángel del Pozo, Luciana Gilli, Miguel de la Riva, Franco D'Este, José Riesgo, Aldo Cecconi, Germano Longo, Livio Lorenzon - Music: Carlos Castellanos Gómez (or Carlo Savina)

Simon Gelten
Simon Gelten is a long time contributor to the SWDb. "I'm not as old as Tom B. but I'm working on it. I hope to catch up with him by the end of the next decade.", he says. Simon saw all movies by Sergio Leone and several by Sergio Corbucci in cinema, most of the time in Eindhoven, the city where he was born. Currently, Simon is living in Turnhout, Belgium. Simon is active within the database as both Scherpschutter and his alter ego Tiratore Scelto.
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