Ruthless Four, The / Ognuno per sé (1968)

3.5 out of 5

Gold fever provides a pretext to set four prospectors against one another in this enjoyable, Giorgio Capitani helmed, Fernando Di Leo penned Euro oater. A West German and Italian co-production, this study in white-hat eschewing, greed inspired, amorality is provided with additional layers of meaning through a thinly veiled gay subtext that defines the relationship between two of the protagonists. One portrayed by a scheming, cowardly, submissive George Hilton, and the other being Klaus Kinski as The Blonde; a fascistic, faux priest in sunglasses.

They, in turn, are countered by an alliance of convenience between two, seasoned, former comrades; portrayed by Van Heflin and Gilbert Roland.

Oriented more toward character study and Machiavellian calculation than reliance on action set pieces, the highlight of the film is, by far, a gun battle at a windswept abandoned mission. It features a quirky little decoy. One involving a Reservoir Dogs-esque dance!

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics