'Clint Eastwood' plays 'Hogan' he sells his talents with gun and dynamite to the highest bidder, on rout to his next job he comes across three rough-necks who are threatening and taunting 'Sara' 'Hogan' comes to the rescue, however he gets a surprise, when 'Sara' gets her cloths back on, she's dressed as a nun. the two travel together. 'Hogan' is heading for a French Garrison to help Mexican rebels, his price --half of the bounty held at the Garrison. 'Sara' cannot keep up the pretence of being a nun for too long ?? romance so obviously on the menu. although filmed in Mexico the film is very much in the style of the spaghetti westerns. plenty of 'Eastwood' humour on board as always along with explosive action. roles such as this is what helped build the screen legend that is 'Clint Eastwood' well worth revisiting, if you've not seen it before you'll not be disappointed. ( not Blu-ray standard in truth, however the picture quality is better than on 'dvd' )
Shot in Mexico, and directed by Don Siegel with lovingly-detailed attention to the landscape, this 1970 movie is maybe a little slower than it might have been, but it's still enjoyable, even if it is a bit of an odd mixture of the violent and the comic. Most of the violence that might bother some viewers comes late, in a big battle scene, and the comedy, almost predictably, comes from the deadpan interactions of the main characters, Sister Sara (Shirley Maclaine) and the opportunistic gun-for-hire Hogan (Clint Eastwood), neither of whom is quite what he or she appears to be. What lies beneath the constructed personae is something that the audience begins to suspect quite quickly, but there's a pleasure in the leisurely pacing that defers our finding out whether or not we're right about them. I should add that the effective music is by Ennio Morricone, and as it plays over the great opening-credit visuals, it tells us that there are going to be odd things ahead.
The setting is Mexico, close to the American border, right after the Civil War, in which Hogan has fought. The movie doesn't say on which side he fought, but he now sees himself as a "sucker" for having been involved, and one can think of reasons why he might think that no matter what side he was on. Now he's looking for money and has made a deal with the Juarista Mexican rebel Colonel Beltran (Juan Fabregas) to help remove a French garrison from a fort in Chihuahua. Western aficionados will realize that the historical circumstances here are those of the earlier Burt Lancaster/Gary Cooper vehicle "Vera Cruz." The French are trying to maintain a colonial puppet government in Mexico, while the Mexicans are seeking their freedom. Hogan is on the Mexican side for the money - he says, and up to a point believes. Sister Sara, oddly for a nun, is a committed Juarista, and there's a lot of talk between Hogan and Sara about the Lord's granting dispensations to believers who do things that cause damage and even havoc. There's a sexual vibe between them too, kept pretty light, because these are too very cool characters, and you'll have to see the movie to see how that works out.
The only place where I thought the movie dragged was the ride to Beltran's camp. it was scenic, to be sure, but we had a leisurely look at the scenery during the opening credits. One extended scene that worked well, though, was Sara's and Hogan's effort to deal with the arrow that has gone through Hogan's shoulder from the bow of a marauding Indian group. That's a scene that builds up its own suspense and tension very effectively. There's also an effective scene -- part of a long and carefully-developed plot sequence -- involving Mexican children, a pinata, and French Independence Day. The character of Hogan, in his stoicism and laconic quality, clearly owes something to figure that Eastwood cut earlier in the Leone spaghetti westerns and that he would build on to different effect in movies like "Pale Rider." But he gives this iteration of it a welcome humor and a bit of wit (the writing isn't bad at all), and, when it comes to doing what needs to be done with a gun, he's still got it.