American actor Jack Betts appeared in a couple of soap operas and even hadhunt a part in the very first Spider-man movie with Tobey Maguire. But he really came into his own and had a fine career doing spaghetti westerns under the name Hunt Powers.

As was usual with spaghetti westerns, DEAD MEN DON’T MAKE SHADOWS appeared in America under more than one title. I went with the shorter one as Stranger That Kneels Beside the Shadow of a Corpse seemed a bit long. I believe it was the literal translation of the Italian title.

Powers is Lazar Peacock, a bounty killer. He comes off as something of a vicious personality at times, seeming to like to 190px-I_cadaveri_non_fanno_ombra_database_pagetorture his hunts. Spaghetti vet Gordon Mitchell has a cameo as Roger Murdock, a man with twelve thousand on his head. Lazar drives him away from several water holes in the desert with gunshots before allowing him to drink his fill, then killing him. We also see he holds a crippled old man at an isolated cemetery with no way to get out. No horse, a game leg, and no way to carry water from where he stays, he protests his innocence to Lazar every time he comes. Lazar promises to help him–soon!

The other lead is a mystery man(Franco Borelli, billed as Chet Davis), a young fellow that is following Lazar, always one step behind we see as at each town, wanted posters are missing for Murdock until he arrives at one ahead of the bounty killer and settles down to await his arrival. The English language version I saw gives no name, he being referred to as the Stranger a couple of times(the IMDb post of the film listsd32397 him as the Stranger. The Spaghetti Western Database however has him as Blonde(his hair color) When the bounty man brings in Murdock, the Stranger follows him.

The mining town of Lamazos is where they end up. A man named Barrett(Ettore Manni) owns the town and everything in it. he wears a white suit and the actor uses a small hand fan as a prop in most scenes. He has a mine forman named Medina(Benito Pacifico, billed as Dennis Colt) that wears a scarlet suit with black trim, likes using a whip, and has a thing for a beauty named Maya(Simonetta Vitelli, billed as Simone Blondell), a fortune teller who uses her wiles to get Medina to ease up on the peasants.

imagesThe relationship of all these personalities evolves over the picture at a leisurely pace, which doesn’t hurt the film at all.

All becomes clear at that isolated cemetery as Lazar and the Stranger have their final showdown.

the director was Demofilo Fidani billing himself as Miles Deems, though he use his real name as Executive Producer. A prolific director, he seems to have had a reputation as a, how shall I put it, melodramatic man.

Not a bad movie as these things go.

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