CAPTAIN APACHE (THE GUNS OF APRIL MORNING) (DEATHWORK)
(director/writer: Alexander Singer; screenwriters: from the novel by S.E. Whitman; Milton Sperling/Philip Yordan; cinematographer: John Cabrera; editor: Leigh G. Tallas; music: Dolores Claman; cast: Lee Van Cleef (Capt. Apache), Stuart Whitman (Griffin), Carroll Baker (Maude), Percy Herbert (Moon); Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Milton Sperling; Prism; 1971-UK)
“The western is a very violent and preposterous one.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Brit filmmaker Alexander Singer(“Psyche 59″/”Bunco”/”Love Has Many Faces”) directs this low-budget “spaghetti western” starring Lee Van Cleef. Writers Milton Sperling and Philip Yordan base it on the novel by S.E. Whitman. The writers do a fine job spoofing the western genre, espionage pics and racial dramas.
The no-nonsense West Point grad Captain Apache (Lee Van Cleef) is the outsider Indian-born US Army officer investigating a murder of an Indian Commissioner, whose last words were “April morning.” The Indian officer finds anyone with info dies before he can spill the beans. Captain Apache is alive only because he’s handy with the gun and is able to kill those who want him dead before they kill him.
Captain Apache’s investigation leads him to the scheming ‘to get rich quick’ shady businessman Griffin (Stuart Whitman). He was about to start an Indian war as his men dress as Indians. While getting info by roughing up those he questions, Captain Apache also discovers that Griffin is plotting to murder President Grant.
The western is a very violent and preposterous one. It’s produced in Spain by leftist American expatriates. It’s watchable for the stunning views of the landscapes. Otherwise it’s a crappy movie, except for its very good opening sequence, Van Cleef singing the theme song and a chilling cave scene.
Carroll Baker has a ridiculous part of giving speeches about the ‘noble savage.’
REVIEWED ON 3/24/2015 GRADE: C+