THE BIG GUNDOWN (LA RESA DEI CONTI) | Dir. Sergio Sollima | 1966 | Italy/Spain | 110 min | PG
Jonathan Corbett (Lee van Cleef), a bounty hunter, is assigned to follow Cuchillo (Tomas Milian) who has allegedly committed a rape. A rich landowner encourages Corbett, who hopes to help Corbett stand for senator once he has succeeded in his quest. Corbett embarks on a manhunt through Texas and Mexico, staying on Cuchillo's tail. Corbett catches him, and Cuchillo escapes. During the course of the deadly hunt, Corbett's doubts about the manhunt grow. When the landowner shows up in Mexico to put an end to the business, the landowner confirms Corbett's suspicion. Something is amiss and only a showdown will suffice when everything comes to light.
Between January and March the Calgary Cinematheque presents a six film spotlight on Spaghetti Westerns that expands on the different themes and symbols of the sub-genre. The selections range from the lone wolf (DJANGO) looking for revenge (DEATH RIDES A HORSE) and money (THE BOUNTY KILLER) to political films (COMPANEROS, A BULLET FOR THE GENERAL). The selected films also cover the gambit of characters from bounty hunters (THE BOUNTY KILLER, THE BIG GUNDOWN), a gun-carrying priest (Klaus Kinski in A BULLET FOR THE GENERAL), corrupt generals, double crossing gunmen to crazed machine gun toting characters.