The literal translation of the Italian title is WINCHESTER, ONE OF ONE THOUSAND. A special weapon made by the company and central to the mystery in this western. A silver plate affixed to the butt gives that designation and is known to be owned by one man.
The star is Peter Lee Lawrence, but he’s supported by a number of veterans of the spaghetti western genre. Nello Pazzafini, Eduardo Fajardo, and Rosalba Neri are three I recognized immediately.
Jess Vrain(Peter Lee Lawrence) comes home after years away at the instigation of one of the town’s richest men. Bill Bragg(Armando Calvo) wants Jess to take over as Sheriff. Jess’s old friend, Clint Simpson(Luis Induni) was deemed to old for the job any longer, though only fifty-one. Jess is reluctant to take the job as Clint had given him some friendly advice years before when he shot a bank robber to quickly to find out his confederates. “You need to learn to think first!” He ends up taking a deputy’s job for the moment.
He arrives in town in the middle of a fist fight between two men: a young fellow and a big man, one Jack Bradshaw(Nello Pazzafini), stepping in when a Mexican is about to shoot Bradshaw in the back. Bradshaw is not happy, not liking to owe someone. He promises to pay him for the service later and teach him some manners at the same time. Bradshaw works for Bragg’s competition for big man about town: Sam Ringold(Eduardo Fajardo).
It doesn’t take Jess long to learn that his ex-fiance, Fanny Endes(Rosalba Neri. billed as Sara Bay) now sees Bradshaw, who’s in fact crazy jealous over her.
Attempts are made on Jess’s life almost immediately and on the first the rifle mentioned earlier is found on the scene. It keeps turning up, taken into evidence but used to kill the sheriff and three of Bragg’s men, then left behind again. Only Jess sees it for what it is, an obvious attempt to frame the owner of the special Winchester, Jack Bradshaw.
Complicating things is Sheila(Marisa Solinas), Clint Simpson’s daughter, a child when Jess left town years before, but all grown up now, and nicely at that, obviously interested in him and somwething of a pest as she pursues the sharply dressed deputy.
A nice mystery with a number of red herrings along the way. By the time of the reveal though, I had it figured out who the murderer was and why. Not a bad western/mystery though.