You're jinxed Friend, you've met Sacramento review
You're jinxed Friend, you've met Sacramento (Sei jellato Amico, hai incontrato Sacramento)
The least you can say about the actor Ty Hardin is that he had a great physique. It's said that he always found a good excuse to take off his shirt to flaunt his impressive upper body. He also had great eyes for spaghetti westerns: zooms worked perfectly well in his case. Sergio Leone could've worked wonders with him, but unfortunately Hardin had to settle for less talented directors.
In this movie Hardin is cast as Jack Thompson, nick-named Sacramento (by this time - 1972 - the anti-heroes had become half-saints, no longer called Django, but Trinity, Hallelujah or Cemetery). Thompson is an ex-boxer, always at odds with his former opponent, Tom Murdock, now a bank robber of sorts, who thinks Thompson beat him in a prizefight thanks to a few blows below the waist. When he gets into trouble, Jack sends his horse Ringo (!) home to ask his son Jim and daughter Maggie to come to their father's rescue. After a series of skirmishes Murdock kidnaps Maggie and threatens to gang-rape her; he asks $ 20,000 dollars ransom money, but his real plan is to lure Thompson to the spot where Maggie is held captive, and kill him with bare fists.
The first half is fairly light-hearted, as one might expect from a story about two ex-boxers still having arguments about their encounters in the ring, but every now and then there are minor indications that things might get a bit more serious. They eventually do, after the daughter has been kidnapped. With some assistance of his son and the girl's lover, Jack settles the score with his arch enemy in a violent and protracted finale, set among the ruins of a religious building. Sacramento is one of those spaghettis that cannot decide what it wants to be. It's only half serious, and only occasionally funny; the finale isn't bad, but not that great either, and Hardin has the movie's best joke in a conversation with the sheriff when the local bank is being robbed:
Sacramento: "I'd be careful, you're the father of two children."
Sacramento: "Four? Man, you're quick."
Some have called this movie a good mix, I think it mixes ingredients to a point where little of the original flavor is preserved. It's not all bad, some things are better than others, but few of them are more than just decent. Apart from his great eyes and physique, Hardin has very little to speak for him as an actor. He delivers his lines indifferently and works rather stiff in action scenes, as if he's wearing a corset under those immaculate suits. The actress playing his daughter, Jenny Atkins, was in fact his spouse of the moment (he had eight in his life); she only appeared in two movies, both spaghetti westerns (the other being Drummer of vengeance), both also starring her actual husband. She's worth a look, but not a real actress and the best thing about the movie is no doubt the wonderful score by Franco Micalizzi, who also scored They call me Trinity but is otherwise better known for his scores for poliziotteschi.
Apparently Hardin had entered his evangelical phase by the time this movie was shot, because there's one scene, completely out of synch with the rest of the movie, which offers a gospel choir singing "We all love you, Jesus". If so, it's odd that the movie also offers a scene of Hardin playing peeping Tom on his son, making love to one of the women working on his father's ranch. Not really good Christian behavior, I'd say. In the course of the seventies Hardin got involved in far-right-wing politics as an evangelical preacher, railing against Jews and Catholics ("impure Christians") and the leader of an anti-Semitic, anti-governmental pressure group The Arizona Patriots (1). Sacramento would be his last spaghetti western.
(1) For the Arizona Patriots see: http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/orgs/american/adl/paranoia-as-patriotism/arizona-patriots.html