Always had a soft spot for some of the melancholic, whimsical westerns that came out of the 70s, films like The Hired Hand and The Valdez Horses, and this did not disappoint. A spaghetti western with Monte Hellman in charge was never going to be about the gunfights, instead we have a gentle romance, touching but doomed. The outlook throughout is fatalistic, with all the characters accepting that nothing ever goes as you want it to. When the violence does come, it feels authentic and raw, without overblown stylistic flourishes, as matter-of-fact as the rest of the film.
Beautifully shot, with another great score from Pino Donaggio, and such an interesting cast. Agutter is so charming, and Oates is always perfect. Unlike most films from Italy, there’s minimal dubbing so we get to hear Testi’s own voice in English.