La Bataille de San Sebastian
title: Guns for San Sebastian
) is a 1968 spaghetti western
directed by Frenchman Henri Verneuil
. In a rare instance this film was actually shot in Mexico
instead of substituting Spain
or some similar location.
The score is by Ennio Morricone
A womanizing outlaw, Leon Alastray (Anthony Quinn
), who is also an atheist, is pursued by the Mexican military. Given sanctuary by an altruistic priest (Sam Jaffe
), he is taken to a village terrorized by marauding Indians. When the priest is killed, however, Alastray is mistaken for a priest himself. This he at first denies but, finding the love of a village woman, and encouraged by the persuasive power of a fake miracle, decides to take on the role and thereby organize the villagers against the predatory raids of the Yaqui Indians. Charles Bronson
co-stars as Teclo, a half breed leader of marauders who pretends to side with the villagers but is really in league with the Yaqui. When Alastray attempts to make peace with the Yaqui, Teclo intervenes and foments a conflict. Then, just before the central battle of the film, the villagers ask Alastray to hold a mass. At this point he confesses to the villagers that he isn't a priest. They nonetheless accept him and together they defeat the Yaqui. The film ends with Alastray fleeing the military again, this time accompanied by the woman he loves.
The story is somewhat reminiscent of the 1955 Humphrey Bogart
film The Left Hand of God
. However, Guns for San......