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"A Man Called Noon" (1973, dir. Peter Collinson)


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A 'sci-fi', 'espionage', 'noir', 'revisionist', 'buddy-film' western. Also its a 'spaghetti' sci-fi, espionage, noir, revisionist, buddy-film, western ....since its an Italian production; features many Italians in the cast; and the film was released in the Spanish market first.

Original story by Louis L'amour, perhaps making it a French-American Spaghetti western; err that is a French Spaghetti sci-fi..espionage noir..etc etc etc).

Or, maybe it's just a western.

Anyway it is fun. The always-likeable Richard Crenna stars as a mysterious saddle bum who can't remember his past history. Yet, certain "shadowy lurking figures" in the landscape around him, sure do seem to know who he is. They're waiting and watching for him to make a move. 

The plot: amnesia stricken Crenna's "no man" character, seems to match the reputation of the Biblically-named cryptic gunslinger-for-hire Rubal Noon, in terms of his skills, his manner, and his knack for survival. Everyone can see it but him. Crenna's tumbleweed character doesn't want to be a 'paid gun'. He hates that kind of hired coyote!

As the story progresses, Crenna attracts a hanger-on in the form of outlaw Stephen Boyd, a smirking and Puck-like local bandit always on the lookout for an easy score. The two 'strike up an uneasy alliance' while Boyd's character waits for Crenna's character to figure out who he is.

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Their path leads them to sultry Roseanna Schiffriano, a newly-widowed rancher threatened by rakish bearded villain Farley Granger (of all people!).

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Naturally, it turns out that Granger hired Crenna to gun down Schiffriano's husband to help Granger acquire the homestead.

It was at that point that Rubal Noon was struck on the head and lost his memory, right in the middle of completing his contract.

Now, Granger suspects Crenna is double-crossing him and sends his gang to settle the matter. How can Crenna and Boyd fight off a whole army?

It is at this point that Crenna's character discovers he has access to a secret underground hi-tech lair with an Alladin's Cave-style sliding door secreted below a rocky outcrop. There's an armory there and a stable containing a fiery white steed. Headquarters of ...the man called Noon!

 

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