Red Sun (1971): Terence Young’s Spaghetti Western, Starring Charles Bronson, Toshirō Mifune, Alain Delon, Ursula Andress, and Capucine

Terence Young directed Red Sun (French: Soleil rouge), a Spaghetti Western starring an international cast, headed by Charles Bronson, Toshirō Mifune, Alain Delon, Ursula Andress, and Capucine.

It was shot in Spain by the British director Young with a screenplay by Denne Bart Petitclerc, William Roberts, and Lawrence Roman, from a story by Laird Koenig.

Link Stuart and Gauche are the ruthless co-leaders of a gang of bandits who rob a train of its $400,000 payload.

On the train is the Japanese ambassador heading to Washington, holding a ceremonial tachi, a gift to the American president. Gauche steals the gold-handled sword and shoots dead one of the ambassador’s samurai guards.

By Gauche’s order, other members of the gang double-cross Link by throwing dynamite into the train, leaving him for dead.

Before the gang departs, the surviving samurai guard Kuroda tells Gauche he intends to track him down and kill him, but Gauche is dismissive of the threat.

Link promises the dying Kuroda that he will return the tachi to the Japanese ambassador, but Kuroda warns him of possible arrest and imprisonment.

After Kuroda dies, Link rejects Cristina’s offer to become lovers and search for the loot together. He tells her he is taking her back to San Lucas.

In the end, Link hangs the sword in front of the train station where the Japanese ambassador is arriving, thus eluding capture and also preserving Kuroda’s honor.

The movie did not make much of an impact when released in the U.S. on June 9, 1972.

Bronson starred in The Magnificent Seven, a remake of Seven Samurai, in which Mifune had appeared. Bronson was extremely popular in Japan at that time, and Red Sun set a record in Tokyo, playing for a record 35 weeks in its first run.

Charles Bronson as Link Stuart
Ursula Andress as Cristina
Toshirō Mifune as Kuroda Jubei
Alain Delon as Gauche
Capucine as Pepita
Barta Barri as Paco
Guido Lollobrigida (as Lee Burton) as Mace
Anthony Dawson as Hyatt
Gianni Medici (as John Hamilton) as Miguel
Georges Lycan (as George W. Lycan) as Sheriff Stone
Luc Merenda as Chato
Tetsu Nakamura as the Japanese Ambassador
Mónica Randall as Maria