After bandits steal his poker winnings this American legend makes his way to the next town in search of them. Seeking out his revenge during a poker game gone bad Doc West finds himself in the local town jail. When his past is exposed and a battle amongst the town breaks out in gunfire he will have to choose sides, between the outlaws or the law-abiding citizens.Written by
A fitting swansong for an incredibly popular western star
I saw this TV movie on a UK TV channel, where it was called DOC WEST'S CHALLENGE and split into two parts over two consecutive nights. The film is of interest to spaghetti westerns for marking the return of popular spaghetti western actor Terence Hill to the genre, some decades since he was last famed around the world for his comedy westerns.
I never really warmed to Hill as an actor, much preferring his sparring partner Bud Spencer, although the sad news is that Spencer doesn't return for whatever reason here. Instead, he's replaced with lookalike Paul Sorvino, who I admit does an excellent job of playing the likable town sheriff. The story is a straightforward and dare I say it rather clichéd one. Hill plays a card sharp who once happened to be a surgeon, until alcoholism caused the death of one of his patients. You can work out the storyline from there, except to say that there are the usual criminal bad guys to be taken care of and a little romance along the way.
The worst thing about DOC WEST'S CHALLENGE is the family-friendly rating and feel, which has much in common with the usual horrid American TV movies. Still, the Italian influence makes this one to watch, and the filming locations - in New Mexico - are spot on. Plus, Hill is a delight to watch. He's aged very well (much like fellow western actor Franco Nero), and his character is warm and charismatic throughout. A fitting swansong for the star, then.
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