Cast & Crew
A conniving postal inspector tells a gang of Mexican bandits about an expected stagecoach shipment of gold and is immediately shot to death by the gang. The Stranger, a sarape-draped wanderer who carries a pink parasol, finds the man's body, takes his identification card, kills several of the bandits, and rides into Moon Village. En Plein, the gang leader, seizes the designated stagecoach, killing the driver and passengers, but discovers that it is a decoy. The Stranger, masquerading as the dead postal inspector, attempts to gain entrance to En Plein's hideout but is ambushed and captured. He learns that Good Jim, a local official, is in league with En Plein to steal the real stagecoach, whose solid gold framework is concealed by wooden panels painted red. The Stranger is tortured by the gang but manages to free himself by cutting his bonds with a piece of broken glass. Good Jim tries to double-cross En Plein by switching coaches, but his ruse is discovered, and he is murdered after revealing that the real coach is hidden in a cemetery. The Stranger arrives on the scene in time to prevent the rape of Good Jim's daughter, Caroline. Then, aided by a preacher known as The Prophet who sets off fireworks at opportune moments, The Stranger guns down the gang members with a sawed-off shotgun. The Stranger and The Prophet take the bandits' corpses into town and collect a $10,000 reward. Since The Stranger plans to keep the disguised gold coach for himself, he magnanimously gives The Prophet the entire reward. As The Stranger drives out of town, however, fireworks left inside the coach explode and expose the gold framework. Relinquishing the coach to the U. S. Cavalry, The Stranger seeks out The Prophet and reclaims his share of the reward.
Bob Ensescalle Jr.
Allen V. Klein
Allen V. Klein
The Stranger Returns
Let's backtrack a bit. As the movie opens, The Stranger (Tony Anthony) finds a postal inspector dead in the desert. Apparently having little else to do, The Stranger adopts the inspector's identity and heads to the local town. In short order he discovers that a gang of quite ruthless outlaws is planning an elaborate stagecoach robbery. The Stranger decides to foil the robbery or at least grab some loot for himself while enlisting a priest for assistance. But even The Stranger doesn't expect what happens next.
The Stranger Returns is more or less a sequel to A Stranger In Town (1966) though you certainly don't need to have seen the other film for this one to work. (Incidentally, the Italian title Un Uomo, un Cavallo, una Pistola translates as A Man, a Horse, a Gun though it was also released under the title Shoot First, Laugh Last.) There were a total of three Stranger films (the third was 1968's The Silent Stranger), all directed by Luigi Vanzi (or Vance Lewis as he's credited in an early version of the film that tried to hide its Italian origins). Though Vance did second-unit work on Antonioni's classic Il Grido (1957), his career was fairly brief with only a handful of credits.
Faring a little better was star Tony Anthony (yes, his real name as far as we can tell). A West Virginia native, Anthony appeared in several Italian films during this period besides the three Stranger films such as the cult favorite, Blindman (1971) with Ringo Starr. He also starred in the 3-D Comin' at Ya (1981) during the brief spurt of 3-D activity in the early 80s that also produced such never-to-be classics as Parasite (1982), Demi Moore's second film. Anthony provided the story for The Stranger Returns, though he would later write a couple of full screenplays.
Producer: Massimo Gualdi, Roberto Infascelli
Director: Luigi Vanzi
Screenplay: Tony Anthony (story), Bob Enescelle Jr., Giuseppe Mangione
Cinematography: Marcello Masciocchi
Film Editing: Renzo Lucidi
Original Music: Stelvio Cipriani
Cast: Tony Anthony (The Stranger), Daniele Vargas (Good Jim), Marco Guglielmi (The Preacher), Dan Vadis (En Plein), Jill Banner (Caroline), Ettore Manni (Stafford), Marina Berti (Ethel).
By Lang Thompson
The Stranger Returns
Rome opening: 1968 as Un uomo, un cavallo, una pistola. The following are pseudonyms: Vance Lewis (Luigi Vanzi), Jone Mang (Giuseppe Mangione), Anthony Freeman (Mario Novelli).