Cemetery Without Crosses (1969) a Retro Review
Cemetery Without Crosses is a 1969 “spaghetti western” film from director Robert Hossein whom also stars alongside Michele Mercier.
The film opens up with Maria Caine’s (Michele Mercier) husband being lynched in front of her by a rival gang of bandits. Upon this happening she seeks revenge by hiring a mysterious gunslinger known only as Manuel (played by Hossein himself) to hunt down everyone responsible for her husbands death! A little hesitant at first, he eventually agrees and begins his hunt for revenge. He befriends the rival gang, works his way in, eventually kidnaps the leaders daughter as a bartering tool, with it all leading to a final showdown!
It’s evident from the very beginning that this film is clearly inspired by the spaghetti western foundation that Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood built. This is both a blessing and a cruse for Cemetery Without Crosses, as in certain areas this film feels more like a copy of those films instead of a homage.
The main character known only as Manuel is almost identical to the persona made famous by Clint Eastwood. This rings true in how the character is presented throughout the film. He’s mysterious, brooding, and doesn’t ever really say much. Most of his communicating is done through stares and simple gestures. It would’ve been nice to see Hossein make Manuel more of his own character instead of clearly being so heavily influenced by Eastwood’s style.
I will say that if this film hadn’t been so heavily inspired by the Leone/Eastwood, it would be a decent watch on it’s on. It’s got everything a good spaghetti western or even just a plain old western needs, but the fact that it’s almost a carbon copy really holds it backs from really standing out on it’s own.
Overall, despite the film relying so heavily on the Leone/Eastwood style. It’s still a decent watch for those who love the spaghetti western genre.