THE BOLDEST JOB IN THE WEST(Italian Title, EL MAS FABULOSO GOLFE DEL FAR WEST) is about a bank job. The bank of Sun Valley has a reputation as the safest bank in the west as a result of several robbery attempts, none successful, all of the gang members killed. Security is tight on the bank. Weekdays, the sheriff and four sharpshooters check the bank four times a day. On Saturdays, the bank only gets two visits as it closes at Noon. The rest of the weekend no visits.
A group of men, led by a well dressed gentleman known only as Michigan(Mark Edwards), have a plan that relies on timing. The plan has been in place for a while now. A building across from the bank is supposedly being renovated for a new business. That’s to cover the noise of the tunnel being dug deep under the street directly under the bank. There’s also a warren of tunnels from an old mine they are connecting to their tunnel.
The plan, going into effect that very weekend, is to create a diversion in the saloon, a fight, to draw the sheriff and his deputies, then blow up the school house with dynamite. One minute later, the water tower blows at the same time a charge drops the safe into the tunnel, where two of the gang have a car on a set of hastily built tracks wait. Quickly run through the old mine tunnels to a wagon and team waiting at the entrance. Get the wagon away and to the rendezvous.
But as with all good plans in this type of film, things start to go awry.
Reyes(Fernando Sancho) had been placed in jail while the sheriff sent out telegrams to towns in the area to see if he could sniff anything about the Mexican. He was supposed to be one of the fighters in the saloon. Another of the men, Poldo(Charley Bravo), posing as a prospective buyer of a ranch, has been in town for a while. He’s begun romancing two women, sisters, one a school teacher, Marion(Carmen Sevilla) the other a prostitute, Sophia(Barbara Carrol). Each thinks he’s going to take them away for marriage and he does seem to have feelings for Marion. When the time comes for the job to begin, the two sisters are arguing in the school house, Sophia having found a brooch in Poldo’s bed she knew belonged to her sister. The leader of the job, Michigan, had wanted it all to go off with no lives lost, either theirs or the innocents. He’s even helping put out the fire, bringing the surviving sister out of the flaming wreckage.
A bit about the scenery. It’s late winter and the town is a muddy mess with patches of snow still around. Michigan had picked a rendezvous at a high elevation where snow remains the year round. No traffic goes there. The members of the gang start showing up. The wagon will be the last, because of the weight, unable to take short cuts. However, one of the horses shows up alone, the trail leading directly to the cabin.
The five men begun hunting, finding the wagon crashed off a cliff, the two men shot to death, and the safe gone. Michigan figures it out first. The two dead men had been shot from close range, bits of gunpowder around their wounds. It had to be someone they knew to let them get that close. Ergo, it was one of the five of them. Here, I had a problem. When they show the flashback of what happened, the killer, one of them of course, shoots the first from about twenty feet away and the other from only a few feet closer. Doesn’t seem likely to be gunpowder around the wounds.
Two parts to the film, both nicely staged. The carefully timed holdup in the first, the only thing out of place the love triangle. Didn’t seem to be a need for it. It didn’t affect the plot one way or the other. Maybe it was a chance to have a couple of love scenes for the film, staged so that all we got to see were two naked female backs, darn the luck.
The second half, now that they knew one of them was a killer, was paced well and that’s where most of the gun fights took place(very little in the first half, mostly explosions) as the five men fight it out to learn the killer and where the safe of gold was hidden. One by one they start to go down.
I was amused at the surprise ending which I won’t touch on. Here’a link to the film on Youtube and I urge you, if you can find the time, to watch it.