Gatling Gun (1968)

Quel caldo maledetto giorno di fuoco

Robert Woods and John Ireland star in this great Civil War-era western (one of Quentin Tarantino's favorites) about the kidnapping of Dr. Richard J. Gatling and his famous rapid-fire gun. Woods plays Chris Tanner, an undercover Union agent sent to recover the weapon. Ireland is Tarpas, a half-breed outlaw who partners with corrupt businessman Ryckert (George Rigaud) to ransom Gatling to the north for a cool million dollars, and to sell his gun to the Confederacy for the same amount. Woods is coolly charismatic as the almost Bond-like agent, but Ireland nearly steals the film with as Tarpas. He's a mean SOB, but also elicits sympathy for the abuse he receives over his mixed-race heritage. (Plus, he can throw a knife with deadly accuracy with his bare foot!) Great acting, a compelling storyline, nonstop action and Piero Piccioni's unique psych-jazz soundtrack lift this film far above the usual spaghetti western pack.

Director: Paolo Bianchini

Actors:

Captain Chris TannerRobert Woods

TarpasJohn Ireland

Belinda BoydIda Galli

Martha SimpsonClaudie Lange

PinkertonTom Felleghy

Richard GatlingEnnio Balbo