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Thursday, 4 January 2018

On DVD - John Snadden finds a copy of the spaghetti western DEATH RIDES A HORSE (Giulio Petroni, Italy, 1967)

Australian daybill, Death Rides a Horse
Last night I watched the spaghetti Western DEATH RIDES A HORSE (1967) which, believe it or not, I've never seen before but have always heard good things about. And no wonder, what a top-notch film it is and a standout entry in this Euro genre. 
Lee Van Cleef and John Phillip Law star in this revenge Western as gunmen with dovetailing story lines revolving around their hunt for a Wild Bunch of murderers and robbers led by a wily and dangerous egotist. It is many cuts above the standard spaghetti Western of the time with a quite clever screenplay and very nice photography with an emphasis on deep colors and harsh sunlight in the desert locales. 
'references to earlier Leone, Lee Van Cleef
Death Rides a Horse
It pays more than a few references to earlier Leone Westerns and boasts an action-packed finale with more than a passing resemblance to THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. 
I picked up this DVD as a cheap bare bones local edition which does have a nice widescreen picture. I'm more than thinking about purchasing the Kino-Lorber Blu-ray Special Edition of this title. As a film, DEATH RIDES A HORSE is well worth watching on any format. 
There was some pretty good artwork for this release in various international markets (see below).


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