Reviewed by JONATHAN LEWIS:         

MINNESOTA CLAY. Ultra Film, Italy/France/Spain, 1964. Orinally released as Le Justicier du Minnesota. Cameron Mitchell, Georges Riviere, Ethel Rojo, Diana Martín, Antonio Roso, Fernando Sancho. Director: Sergio Corbucci.

   Sergio Corbucci’s Minnesota Clay has all of the great elements of a Spaghetti Western: a man wrongly imprisoned, a town held hostage, an outlaw who becomes a lawman, a corrupt Mexican general, beautiful women, and a hero with whom the audience can identify. Most importantly, it has Cameron Mitchell, an actor whose work I’ve increasingly grown to appreciate. (My earlier reviews of his The Unstoppable Man and The Last of the Vikings can be found here and here).

   Mitchell portrays the eponymous title character, a man who has been wrongfully imprisoned in a U.S. Army labor prison camp. After making his escape, he seeks out the man responsible for his confinement. As it turns out, Minnesota Clay’s problem is neither his willingness to seek vengeance, nor an inability to locale his nemesis. It’s that he’s gradually losing his eyesight, a unique twist on the gunfighter-seeks-villain theme.

   While Minnesota Clay may not have much in the way of memorable dialogue or the breathtaking cinematography of John Ford’s or Sergio Leone’s westerns, it nevertheless has its moments. The final fight sequence, in which our bloodied and battered hero uses his hearing, rather than his sight, to identify and kill his antagonist, is one for the ages.