People seem to be split on their feelings towards this film, either very much a fan or absolutely hating it. For my tastes, I find it to be one of the better "spaghetti" westerns ever filmed. An easy brickbat often hurled at the movie is that Sergio Leone only produced and that one of his assistants handled primary directorial duties. While it is true Mr. Leone served chiefly as producer and perhaps director of a few scenes, the director Tonino Valerii is established on his own merits. He directed several films including A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die (1972) as well as one of my all time favorite movies Day of Anger (1967) – a standout Euro western.
The basic premise of the film is that Jack Beauregard (Henry Fonda) is a gunslinger of high renowned and skill who feels age catching up with him and wants nothing more than to venture to Europe and retire. The only obstacle facing Jack is young buck of a gunslinger named "Nobody" (Terence Hill) who thinks Jack should cement his reputation with a final last stand/shoot out with the 150 strong "Wild Bunch" of rough riding tough guys. Needless to say, Jack is less than enthused by the proposition.
A number of elements combine to create an incredible movie. Seamlessly meshing a western and comedic score, the Ennio Morricone soundtrack works well at conveying the shifts in tone and scene. The direction is taught and economical, perfectly befitting the action/comedy. Locations are a huge plus in this film. Unlike many other Euro westerns, a great deal of shooting was completed in the United States. Beautiful outdoor locations in New Mexico and Colorado; as well as city locations in New Orleans, Louisiana were all used with colorful results. Filming was also conducted in La Calahorra, Granada, Andalucía, Spain and Italy.