Gunman for Ave Maria - Forgotten Pistolero Cover Excuse me. But has anyone seen where I've placed my pistolero? I know I put it down somewhere near the edge of that dangerously steep cliff. But then, when that sudden gust of wind started to blow -- POOF! -- it just vanished into thin air! Oh! Wait a minute. I know what I can do. I can ask the people who made this 83-minute film developed in 1969 where it went. You know. Like its Director: Ferdinando Baldi; or the Actors: Leonard Mann, Luciana Paluzzi, Peter Martell, or Alberto de Mendoza.

Gunman for Ave Maria - Forgotten Pistolero Poster Movie

Thank you very much, Senor Sebastian (Leonard Mann). Two times so far you have been kind enough to save my life. First, when you gave me some water whilst I was dying of dehydration. And secondly, when you shot down those bandits' who were trying to capture me.

Now in appreciation for what you have done, I'm going to tell you a story of how you're Mother Anna's (Luciana Paluzzi) lover, Tomas (Alberto de Mendoza), killed most of your relatives many-many years ago. Before accompanying you in enacting your revenge, whilst saving your lovely sister Isabella (Pilar Velázquez) in the process.

Hey! There is no need for you to thank me too, Sebastian! Don't you realize who I am? I'm your old childhood friend, Rafael (Peter Martell). And I promise you that I'll do everything in my power to aide you in your quest.

Then again, that's most probably why what next transpires all turns sour, when I get kidnapped after you spend the night with a prostitute. As a Mother goes to confession - some bandits have a right session - a sister is saved from some bloke - and at the end of the day, a family revelation goes up in an awful lot of smoke.  

[ German Trailer ]

Now when I first sat down and watched 'Forgotten Pistolero', I was dreading that it was going to be another piss poor Sergio Leone knock off I've recently grown accustomed to. But no. Thank God it wasn't like that at all. In my own most humble opinion, this was one hell of a great Spaghetti Western I just adored following.

Gunman for Ave Maria German Movie Poster
First off, I've got to mention how the story in itself was a very engrossing one by nature. As it complied so beautifully with the simple rules of adventure, by garnishing the general plot-line with a familial link towards all things related to the family and revenge.

Next, I've got to say that the theme tune played throughout this movie was a really melodic and catchy harmony to listen to. Honestly. In many ways it had that ability to enhance whatever was going on, on-screen, by either uplifting 'the merry', or by intensifying 'the sad'.

Also, I would just like to add that the actors involved with this flick did a really nice job at playing there respective parts. Not hamming it up too much. And not playing it down too little. One way or another most of them found a splendid balance between the stoic and the bold.

Having said all that, though, there was one thing about this picture that didn't sit quite right with me. It was how this adventure began in a rather aloof and 'stand-off ish' manner. Not really engaging with its audience or its characters until that flash-back sequence commenced, and Rafael told Sebastian who he really was. Furthermore, I did notice on occasion that the tale drifted off on a tangent too. And only really came back to the fore again when things started to become slightly too myopic.  

Gunman for Ave Maria - Forgotten Pistolero

Gunman for Ave Maria Film Poster
But apart from that slight gripe -- nah -- this was one hell of a great film. The cast were all good. The story was very captivating. The direction was spot on. And in a round about way it kind of reminded me of the following filmic facts. One part intriguing, and one part vibrant. (1) 'Ízaro Films' first released this production in Italy on the 17th of October, 1969, and eventually clawed back 29.4 million pesetas at the Spanish Box Office. (2) Loosely translated, this project was entitled 'Last Bastards' in France; 'Death Rides Again' in Sweden; and 'Gunman for Ave Maria' in its native Italian language. (3) The majority of this movie was shot on location in Almería, Spain, and Rome, Italy. (4) This Spaghetti Western was limply based on the Greek myth of Orestes, most notably the famous three act drama devised by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. (5) Now if you took any notice of my previous fact, you might like to know that it took five different writers to adapt this flick into screenplay form. This includes: Pier Giovani Anchisi, Ferdinando Baldi, Vencenzo Cerami, Ferderico De Urrutia, and Mario Di Nardo. (6) The director of this film, Ferdinando Baldi, is best known for directing such films as the 1960's version of 'David and Goliath'; the 1966 action-adventure, 'Goodbye Texas'; plus of course the one and only Terrance Hill classic, 'Django, Prepare a Coffin'. (7) The music composed for this movie by Roberto Pregadio, can also be heard in a couple of episodes of 'The Ren & Stimpy Show', plus a 1999 episode of 'SpongeBob SquarePants'. (8) After this adventure shot off its load, Leonard Mann starred in the Western, 'The Unholy Four', Luciana Paluzzi starred in the comedy, 'Playgirl 70', and Peter Martell starred in the horror-movie, 'The Bloody Judge'.

Gunman for Ave Maria - Forgotten Pistolero Art

Overall I'd say 'Forgotten Pistolero' was one hell of a cracking film. And I'd highly recommend it to anyone who likes their Westerns spaghetti, their story-lines captivating, and their music with a touch of wonder.

Nuff said.