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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Monday, November 6, 2023

4 Dollars of Revenge (1966)

Bandits ambush a shipment of captured Confederate silver that is headed to Washington to be turned over to the government. This is during the Civil War, and it is a big deal. The escort is lead by Captain Dexter who ends up being the only survivor after being left for dead by the thieves. This was his last assignment as he was about to resign his commission to run for governor. After being nursed back to health he is eventually charged with planning the robbery and causing the death of the men under his command.

Convicted he is sent to prison and after what I believe is supposed to be a couple of years is almost killed. Knowing that someone is trying to murder him he makes his escape and goes looking for the men trying to kill him as well as those who framed him! The rest of the movie is Dexter backtracking from one suspect to the other until all those responsible for the crime and framing him.

I liked 4 Dollars of Revenge. While not one of the “A” list Spaghetti Westerns it does check enough boxes that it was a fun watch. I loved the mechanic of him having four silver dollars from the supposed crime being given to him by the court so that he will never forget his crime. This leads him to leaving one with each of the bodies after he exacts his revenge along the way. That is a neat plot device and obviously inspired the title. Yeah, it might seem improbable that he would have been allowed to hang onto the valuable coins while in prison, but this is a movie and I’m willing to suspend my disbelief.

The movie is paced decently and quickly establishes that Dexter is a good man surrounded by snakes who are out to get him. We are given plenty of suspects who have motive to get him out of the way. He has a political rival, a relative who is always hitting him up for money, and even a rival for the love of a beautiful woman. So many folks would like him gone. Without giving anything away I will say that I enjoyed how the story plays out. The who and why of the setup gives way to plenty of revenge and action. That is what I want in a western and I got plenty of it.

That said the shootouts and many fistfights are staged well and exciting. People are flying all over the screen and much blood is spilled. We even get a nifty saber fight that you don’t normally get is a flick like this. There is some fancy gunplay, and I was amused by how many shots Dexter can manage before reloading. Yeah, it is one of those magic gun westerns. But again, when I’m enjoying a movie, I don’t have time to get picky about the details.

I don’t want to oversell 4 Dollars of Revenge. It isn’t top notch but sometimes you can have a by the numbers genre flick that is worth a watch. If you are looking for something familiar but don’t want to pop in the same Eastwood or Van Cleef flick, then this one might be for you. If you are new to the Spaghetti Western, then there are much better places to start than here. That said as a fan of these flicks I got some enjoyment out of this one.


© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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