One Damned Day at Dawn (1970) starring Jack Betts, Fabio Testi, Dino Strano, Benito Pacifico, Luciano Conti, Simonetta Vitelli, Attilio Dottesio, Celso Faria directed by Demofilo Fidani Movie Review

One Damned Day at Dawn (1970)   2/52/52/52/52/5

One Damned Day at Dawn (1970) starring Jack Betts

A Bad Day for Django

The town of Black City is in the grip of outlaw Bud Willer (Dino Strano) and his gang that is until young sheriff Jack Ronson (Fabio Testi) arrives in town. Ill equipped to deal with Willer the killer, Ronson finds himself being aided by a mysterious stranger going by the name Django (Jack Betts).

When I stumbled across this movie it was titled "One Damned Day at Dawn" but I also discovered it being called "Django Meets Sartana". Now the idea of a spaghetti western which featured both Django and Sartana is a good one, two of the iconic characters from 70s spaghetti westerns. Unfortunately the end result is simply disappointing especially as we don't have Sartana but Sheriff Ronson.

But the misleading alternative title is not the only thing which is disappointing about "One Damned Day at Dawn" as it lacks so many of the touches you expect from a spaghetti western. The soundtrack is forgettable and weak when it doesn't sound out of place and the camera work lacks the punch and style which is typical of the genre. It makes it an extremely dull movie which at times feels almost Hollywood for being so ordinary as if it had been made by a studio squeezing the last few dollars out of a dying genre with a quickly made movie.

But the characters don't help matter and sadly Jack Betts comes across as anonymous as Django and not the fearless gunman which he had met in earlier movies. Fabio Testi is no better as Ronson and is just as anonymous failing to bring life or mystery to his character. It just adds to what is already dull about the movie.

What this all boils down to is that "One Damned Day at Dawn" is an incredibly weak spaghetti western which lacks pretty much everything you expect from the genre. The worst thing is that if you watched it thinking it was "Django Meets Sartana" you will be even more disappointed by the non-descript characterizations let alone the lack of Sartana.