Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
Original title: Soleil Rouge
France/Italy/Spain, 1971. Les Films Corona, Oceania Produzioni Internazionali Cinematografiche, Producciones Balcázar S.A.. Story by Laird Koenig, Dialogue by Gerald Devries, adaptation by Denne Bart Petitclerc, William Roberts, Lawrence Roman. Cinematography by Henri Alekan. Produced by Robert Dorfmann. Music by Maurice Jarre. Production Design by Enrique Alarcon. Costume Design by Tony Pueo. Film Editing by Johnny Dwyre.
East meets west in this fun western that combines the star power of Charles Bronson with the brooding genius of Toshirô Mifune. Bronson and his merry men of outlaws, including sadistic gunman Alain Delon, hold up a train travelling from San Francisco to Washington with the ambassador of Japan as one of its passengers. The brigands rob the visiting statesman of his gold, then Delon goes rogue and kills one of the Japanese bodyguards and leaves Bronson for dead. The surviving bodyguard (Mifune) teams up with our maligned hero to go after the bad guy for a little revenge (and remuneration), along the way picking up his prostitute lady love (a stunning Ursula Andress) and adding her to the wagon train. Light as a feather and completely devoid of substance or sense, the film is diverting and worthy for its cast, which also includes Capucine and a host of Spanish extras (it’s a French production shot in Spain) painted up to look like Comanches.