Another fine western with Franco Nero, KEOMA came in 1976 at the end of the spaghetti genre. There’s a fine cast with a few familiar faces. Woody Strode is George, an ex-slave who taught Keoma as a boy, William Berger as William Shannon, his father, and Olga Carlatos as Lisa, a pregnant woman.
Keoma is a half breed, having lived with his mother in his early years until his father brought him home at about nine. His three half brothers never liked him, constantly beating him. George was his only friend, schooling him in arts that would sustain him later in life.
He’s coming home after a long absence, having fought for the North in the war, then hunted buffalo. He saves Lisa from a gang of men, having slaughtered everybody else on the wagon before he arrived.
The story he gets is that the town is under the thumb of a man named Caldwell and his gang of ex-rebels. There’s a plague he won’t allow to be treated, shoveling anyone showing signs into a camp in a canyon guarded by his men. No one else is allowed to leave town.
His father welcomes him home, but he’s not the powerful man Keoma remembers. Even his brothers, who hate him even more, work for Caldwell. Everywhere he goes in town or at his father’s ranch, flashbacks show him remembering things they did to him while they were boys.
As usual in this type of story, Keoma takes it upon himself to free the town and get help for the sick. He’s aided by George and his father and there’s an old woman that keeps popping up in the film from the very beginning to the end. We’re never quite sure if she’s another flashback or real(I’m still not).
The movie is quite good and the music, though I read in one place a characterization of it as the worst ever, I thought was fairly decent.
Worth checking out.