Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970)    2 Stars

“CLINT EASTWOOD…the deadliest man alive…takes on a whole army with two guns and a fistful of dynamite!”

Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970)
Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970)


Director: Don Siegel

Cast: Clint Eastwood, Shirley MacLaine, Manolo Fábregas

Synopsis: Nun Sara is on the run in Mexico and is saved from cowboys by Hogan, who is preparing for a future mission to capture a French fort. The pair become good friends, but Sara never does tell him the true reason behind her being outlawed.






An enjoyably quirky Ennio Morricone score over the opening credits of Two Mules for Sister Sara, instantly informs us that we are in for another Hollywood wannabe Spaghetti Western. And that, of course, means we are in for another unsuccessful Hollywood stab at capturing a Spaghetti Western atmosphere. The fact that it stars Man With No Name Clint Eastwood (For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly), and the then A-list star Shirley Maclaine (The Apartment, My Geisha) at least means it will contain good production values.

As it turns out, Two Mules for Sister Sara is pretty reasonable. The storyline wisely avoids SW staples, although it is set exclusively in Mexico (shot on location, it boasts some beautiful photography), and features Eastwood in a similar role to the one he played in Leone’s classics. The tone of this movie is much lighter, however, and benefits from the presence of Maclaine who, at first glance, would seem to be an odd choice as a foil for Eastwood. Nevertheless, the pairing works well, and the fact that Maclaine’s nun is not all that she appears to be (we see her sneaking off to grab a few sly puffs of a cigar early in the picture which suggests that she is no conventional nun) goes some way to explaining why she was given the part. However, one does have to ask whether a refugee from a Mexican brothel would possess the kind of religious knowledge shown by Maclaine’s character.

It’s only the finale of Two Mules for Sister Sara that really disappoints. Suddenly, director Siegel takes us into Wild Bunch country, treating us to at least one extremely unpleasant act of graphic violence that flies in the face of the tone of the movie up to that point. Nothing more than a sop to the ultra-violent 70’s, that one brief scene lets the film down badly.

(Reviewed 7th May 2002)

Rent Home Entertainment, Kitchen Appliances and Technology at Dial-a-TV