Directed By: Jaime Jesús Balcázar
Starring: Robert Woods, Dana Ghia, Angelo Infanti
Trivia: In Denmark, the film was released as Blood Stained U.S. Dollars
Roy Dexter (Robert Woods), a Captain with the U.S. Cavalry, has just resigned from the military so that he can pursue a career in politics. But before his resignation takes effect, he’s given the task of delivering a shipment of Confederate gold to Washington, and shortly after setting out, he and his men are ambushed, with Dexter the only survivor of the incident. After making his way back to town, Dexter’s accused of staging the massacre in order to steal the gold for himself. Tried for treason, he’s sentenced to life in prison, from where he eventually escapes, determined to take revenge on those who wronged him.
Written by Bruno Corbucci, the creative mind behind the classic Django, 4 Dollars of Revenge is a Spaghetti Western with enough high points to keep fans of the genre entertained. The cinematography is, at times, gorgeous; the opening shots of Dexter leading his Cavalry across the plains are stunning, especially one silhouetted against the setting sun. And the shoot-outs are fairly exciting; the slaughter of Dexter’s men is a grueling scene, as is his attempt to escape the bandits who attacked them. But it isn’t until Dexter starts settling the score with his accusers that 4 Dollars of Revenge really picks up steam, resulting in a number of tense showdowns.
That said, 4 Dollars of Revenge is nothing new, and doesn’t stand apart from the average Italian Western. The plot, concerning an innocent man framed for a crime he didn’t commit, only to exact vengeance later on, is far from unique, and there’s even a trite, predictable love story, with Dexter romancing a girl (played by Dana Ghia) who his best friend, Barry (Angelo Infanti), also loves. There was enough going on in 4 Dollars of Revenge to keep me watching, hoping it would somehow distinguish itself from other genre entries. Unfortunately, it never did.
4 Dollars of Revenge is a good movie, and you won’t be disappointed with it. Unless, of course, you’re looking for something original, in which case your time would be better spent elsewhere.