Archive for category: Westerns

Videophiled: ‘Day of the Outlaw’

20 May, 2015 (14:44) | by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Sean Axmaker

Day of the Outlaw (Timeless, DVD), a 1959 western set in a snowbound mountain town on the high frontier, is one of the toughest, most tension-filled pictures from Andre de Toth, a studio filmmaker who could be counted on to bring a savage edge to his assignments. The town is already coiled like a spring […]

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A Neglected Western: ‘Colorado Territory’

29 April, 2015 (05:38) | by Peter Hogue, Essays, Film Reviews, Raoul Walsh, Westerns | By: Peter Hogue

[Originally published in Movietone News 45, November 1975] Colorado Territory, a remake of the High Sierra plot, is an early masterpiece of the pessimistic Western. It retains the High Sierra story and works variations on most of that film’s characters. But some significant changes are also made and the result, on the whole, is much […]

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‘He’s from back home': Man and Myth in ‘High Sierra’

27 April, 2015 (05:26) | by Rick Hermann, Essays, Film Reviews, Raoul Walsh, Westerns | By: Rick Hermann

[Originally published in Movietone News 45, November 1975] One of the most memorable scenes in High Sierra takes place when Roy Earle (Humphrey Bogart) is driving towards Camp Shaw high in the mountains of California after being released from prison. The camera sweeps the Sierra peaks and pans down to Earle’s car as he pauses […]

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Videophiled: ‘Day of Anger’ and ‘Massacre Gun’ – Two from Arrow U.S.

18 April, 2015 (08:32) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Sean Axmaker

Day of Anger (Arrow / MVD, Blu-ray, DVD) is another reminder of why Lee Van Cleef became a major spaghetti western star. He doesn’t just dominate Day of Anger (1967), he owns the film as a Frank Talby, a smiling gunman who rides into the thoroughly corrupt town of Clifton, Arizona (which, of course, is […]

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The Salvation: Color of Old Blood

5 March, 2015 (06:22) | by Kathleen Murphy, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Kathleen Murphy

In Dogme director Kristian Levring’s harrowing 2000 film The King Is Alive, a clutch of mismatched folk variously afflicted by modern-day angst are stranded in the great void of an African desert. For distraction, they decide to perform King Lear, Shakespeare’s wrenching tale of despair and madness. For these lost souls, it’s the narrative containment […]

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Film Review: ‘The Salvation’

5 March, 2015 (05:35) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Robert Horton

As a Western shot by a Danish crew in South Africa, The Salvation already has a hodgepodge air about it. The movie never quite overcomes that sense of being assembled from different directions, but—with the help of two charismatic stars—it does conjure up its share of evocative genre moments. The hook is set early, as […]

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Morricone Encomium

2 March, 2015 (06:00) | by Robert C. Cumbow, Essays, Film music, Westerns | By: Robert C. Cumbow

[Originally published in Movietone News 40, April 1975] Foreword I don’t read a note of music, so the language of this article is necessarily interpretive rather than technical. Also, the here-today-gone-tomorrow Duck, You Sucker has thus far eluded my company, so I have recourse only to the first four westerns that Morricone scored for Leone. […]

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Film Review: ‘The Homesman’

26 November, 2014 (05:20) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Robert Horton

Tommy Lee Jones, as actor and director, clearly cares a lot about the Western. Is there an audience that cares with him? The once-dominant genre has declined so steeply since the 1970s that each new one is an event, and Jones has become one of the few people still riding herd on the form. (Though […]

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Film Review: ‘Horrible Bosses 2′

26 November, 2014 (05:16) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Robert Horton

Maybe the bar wasn’t set especially high, but let’s not dampen the rare, humble pleasure of declaring that a sequel is better than the original. Horrible Bosses 2 is looser and funnier than its 2011 predecessor; and if its R-rated comedy misses as often as it hits, at least the timing is there. The first […]

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Film Review: ‘The Homesman’

12 November, 2014 (05:08) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Robert Horton

Frontier spinster Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank) has known the man for about 24 hours, and only now asks his name. Sociability’s got nothing to do with it; she needs his moniker for a financial transaction. He thinks for a moment, and squints at her: “Let’s say George.” “George what?” Another moment for thought. “Briggs.” […]

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Videophiled: Hola ‘Companeros’!

28 October, 2014 (09:23) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Sean Axmaker

Compañeros (Blue Underground, Blu-ray) is an ironic title, but then as a spaghetti western—a genre steeped in mercenaries and con men and double crosses—it would have to be. Swedish gun runner Yodlaf (Franco Nero), in Mexico in the heat of the revolution to sell his weapons to the highest bidder, and hot-headed Mexican peasant turned […]

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Videophiled: John Ford’s ‘My Darling Clementine’ on Criterion

14 October, 2014 (18:06) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, John Ford, Westerns | By: Sean Axmaker

My Darling Clementine (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD), John Ford’s sublime reinterpretation of the Wyatt Earp story and the Gunfight at OK Corral, rewrites history to become a mythic frontier legend and one of the most classically perfect westerns ever made. Henry Fonda plays a hard, serious Wyatt Earp leading a cattle drive west with his brothers […]

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Review: ‘Posse’

15 September, 2014 (10:11) | by Robert C. Cumbow, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Robert C. Cumbow

[Originally published in Movietone News 44, September 1975] All right. Posse is an unusual Western. But not that unusual. And it doesn’t end like nothing I’ve ever seen. In fact, it ends very much like a number of other films I’ve seen (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was only the first of several to […]

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Blu-ray: ‘The Big Gundown’

20 July, 2014 (10:15) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Sean Axmaker

Sergio Leone is unarguably the godfather of spaghetti westerns. He directed its first international smash of the genre, defined the spare, savage style and mercenary sensibility, and made stars of journeymen actors Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef. But he was far from the only director who made his mark in the genre. Among the […]

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Review: Winterhawk

23 June, 2014 (10:28) | by Rick Hermann, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Rick Hermann

[Originally published in Movietone News 46, December 1975] Most of what is at all worthwhile in Winterhawk has little to do with Winterhawk (Michael Dante), a mysterious Blackfoot leader who captures a white woman and boy and asks that he be given smallpox remedies in exchange for their return. No smallpox remedies are ever forthcoming; […]

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