The Hills Run Red (1966)

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poster for The Hills Run Red

I watched a good one the other night -The Hills Run Red, directed by Carlo Lizanni.

As the film opens, we see two ex-Confederate Rebels, Jerry Brewster (Thomas Hunter) and Ken Seagull (Nando Gazzolo) riding a wagon full of $600,000 in stolen Union gold. The Army is pursuing them , and the two draw cards to see which one is going to bail out with the gold and the other one ould act as a decoy. Brewster loses, is arrested, and spends five years in an Army prison. When he gets out, he returns to his old home, only to find that his son is missing and his wife died in poverty, and the now-wealthy Seagull refused to help her. He's then ambushed by some of Seagull's men, and is helped out by a mysterious man named Getz who was hiding out in the barn. They concoct a scheme to have Getz infiltrate Sagull's gang (in part by gaining his trust by telling him he killed Brewster, which he 'proves' by showing him the tattoo of Brewster's that Brewster cut off and gave to him. Ick!).

Think Hunter mighta been picked becuse he looks like Clint Eastwood?

Looks a bit like Clint Eastwood, with a better complexion.

On the search for Seagull, Brewster (who at this point is call ing himself "Tom Houston") ends up finding his son, where shortly thereafter, he's accosted by some of Seagull's gang. After beating the living crap out of them with a frying pan, he's taken to Seagull's ranch by his right-hand man, Mendez. Mendez is played by Harry Silva, who you've seen play a bad guy in a billion movies. He looks a bit like Jack Palance.

Henry Silva as Mendez

So now he's woring at Seagull's ranch, is falling in love with Seagull's sister, and is also concerned about the townspeople of Austin, who are being harrassed by Seagull because he wants their land. Eventually, after a few shifty maneuvers, he gets his revenge.

This one was great to watch... ably acted, filmed and directed, there wasn't much to complain about. Hunter looks a lot like Clint Eastwood, no doubt part of the reason he was cast (as my gal said, "sorta like a pretty-boy Clint Eastwood, without the edge). He certainly didn't have the same demeanor as Eastwood, as he's prone to several emotionally unhinged outbursts in the film. There was some great camera work by Antonio Secchi in the film; I particularly liked this shot:

Horses in the valley

There's also a good score by Morricone. The pacing of this film was good. It wasn't slow nor was it relentless, but it had some great action; in particular, the fight scenes were very well choreographed. This one's available in the U.S., and there's a review about the DVD release here at the SWDB. I'm recommending this one.

Thomas Hunter

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