It sometimes seems like every Henry Silva movie has a shot like this.
If they don't, they should.
Jerry's now ideally placed to stage a large-scale robbery of Seagull's horses and to send the town intelligence on Seagull's plans. When Seagull orders a reprisal against the town, and Mendez expects him to ride with the other hands, Jerry entrusts a warning message to the kid, only to find that it never reached the saloon keeper. No longer able to rely on the town's support, Jerry finds the odds growing against him when the singer, having nabbed the kid, rats him out to Mendez. Our hero will need Winny's help if he hopes to get his revenge on Seagull.
Dan Duryea (below) is our hero by default just for getting Thomas Hunter (above) to shut up.
Thomas Hunter didn't do many spaghetti westerns, though he did return home to do a Gunsmoke episode and play Ike Clanton in a TV movie before making his most substantial contribution to cinema as author of The Final Countdown. His approach is all wrong, though director Lizzani, making his first western, probably should share the blame. Lizzani at least learned his lesson and followed up with Requiescant (aka Kill and Pray), a more highly regarded effort. Showing your emotions shouldn't be forbidden in spaghettis or any western, but Hunter's emoting goes way over the top. It would be over the top in any genre, and it's not a good idea for a western hero to sound like a whiner. Worse, Hunter's histrionics encourage the worst hammy impulses in Silva, with little apparent effort from Lizzani to check either actor. By default, Dan Duryea, a great villain in Hollywood westerns, comes off best, despite his age and apparent illness, as a comparatively laconic, enigmatic figure. Duryea doesn't really have much to work with but it's still cool to see him play a hero -- and ride off into the sunset -- in one of his last roles.
Lizzani -- still working at age 90, with a film out last year -- doesn't have the same pictorial genius as Sergio Leone or Sergio Corbucci, but he stages two impressive large-scale action scenes: the horse-rustling scene, complete with flaming logs reminiscent of Spartacus, and a gunfight in the deserted town pitting Hunter and Duryea against Silva's goon squad. Hunter's more personal showdowns with Silva and Gazzolo are anticlimactic by comparison. Ennio Morricone contributes a score that's characteristic but not much more than that. He's credited as "Leo Nichols," and you could believe that "Nichols" was just a Morricone imitator. The music still sounds good, but it's really just another day at the office for the maestro. At least he got a respectable pseudonym. Lizzani was stuck with "Lee W. Beaver." Hills Run Red isn't a top-flight spaghetti western; whether that's the fault of the star subverting the story or the story subverting the star is hard to say. But it has its moments and you definitely can do worse.