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Guns For San Sebastian Blu-ray Review

“Guns For San Sebastian” is a different sort of spaghetti western.

1968’s “Guns For San Sebastian” is an action movie/spaghetti western hybrid that revolves around a wanted deserter (Leon Alastray) who is being chased by the Spanish army in Mexico in the year 1746. He seeks sanctuary in a church and is saved by a Priest. To make a long story short, both the Priest and Leon wind up in San Sebastian. It is here where Leon finds a new path as he is mistaken for a Priest and is seen as someone who can help the villagers stand up to the Indian tribe the Yaqui (who have been attacking them). A man named Teclo (who clashes with Leon) claims to have the villagers back, but he’s clearly hiding something.

Based on the novel “A Wall For San Sebastian,” the Henri Verneuil directed ‘Guns’ is a bit of a strange multi-genre film. For an action movie and a western, it’s rather slow paced. Only in the end with the well orchestrated big climactic battle does the movie spring to life. The story itself was clearly inspired by the likes of “The Magnificent Seven” and one might even call it a knockoff. However, there’s a little more going on here with the religious overtones, focus on warriors/heroes, and a dash of comedic irony with Leon’s character arc.

Perhaps the most noteworthy aspects here are the cinematography and score. Visually, the movie is dazzling to look at thanks to DP Armand Thirard. The exteriors/location shooting is particularly scenic. the score is done by the legendary Ennio Morricone so you know it’s good. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s arguably one of his most underrated scores.

For the most part, this is Anthony Quinn and Charles Bronson’s movie although Anjanette Comer (Kinita), Sam Jaffe (The Priest) and Jaime Fernandez (Golden Lance) have sizable parts and are all memorable in their roles. Bronson is mostly wasted here sadly but Quinn carries the movie on his back. He has such a big screen presence and makes even the slowest parts of the movie watchable.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.35:1 1080p. How does it look? A great transfer in which the cinematography really shines.

Audio track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? From the score to the action, this 2.0 track delivers.

Extras include a theatrical trailer for “Guns For San Sebastian” and a vintage featurette titled “San Sebastian 1746 In 1968.”

June 22, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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