Western

Cecil B. DeMille – Union Pacific (1939)

One of the last bills signed by President Lincoln authorizes pushing the Union Pacific Railroad across the wilderness to California. But financial opportunist Asa Barrows hopes to profit from obstructing it. Chief troubleshooter Jeff Butler has his hands full fighting Barrows’ agent, gambler Sid Campeau; Campeau’s partner Dick Allen is Jeff’s war buddy and rival suitor for engineer’s daughter Molly Monahan. Who will survive the effort to push the railroad through at any cost? Read More »

Nicholas Ray – Johnny Guitar (Widescreen) (1954)

Quote:
Vienna has built a saloon outside of town, and she hopes to build her own town once the railroad is put through, but the townsfolk want her gone. When four men hold up a stagecoach and kill a man the town officials, led by Emma Small, come to the saloon to grab four of Vienna’s friends, the Dancin’ Kid and his men. Vienna stands strong against them, and is aided by the presence of an old acquaintance of hers, Johnny Guitar, who is not what he seems. Read More »

Robert Aldrich – Ulzana’s Raid (1972)

Synopsis:
Report reaches the US cavalry that the Apache leader Ulzana has left his reservation with a band of followers. A compassionate young officer, Lieutenant DeBuin, is given a small company to find him and bring him back; accompanying the troop is McIntosh, an experienced scout, and Ke-Ni-Tay, an Apache guide. Ulzana massacres, rapes and loots across the countryside; and as DeBuin encounters the remains of his victims, he is compelled to learn from McIntosh and to confront his own naiveté and hidden prejudice. Read More »

Wisit Sasanatieng – Fah talai jone AKA Tears of the Black Tiger [Director’s cut] (2000)

Synopsis:
In the countryside of Thailand, a gang of outlaws makes the region unsafe. Among them is the handsome gun hero Dum, who became unwillingly involved in the bandit life. Handsome Dum made a promise to his upper-crust lover Rumpoey: despite the class difference, they will get married. When the moment of reunion arrives, Dum gets involved in a fire fight and cannot possibly reach Rumpoey in time. She is desperate: her father has married her off to a policeman. The taciturn Dum, called the ‘Black Tiger’ by his co-conspirators, has however not forgotten Rumpoey. Read More »

Giancarlo Santi – Il grande duello AKA The Grand Duel AKA Storm Rider AKA The Big Showdown (1972)

Synopsis:
Philipp Wermeer has been framed for the murder of a powerful figure known as The Patriarch. Wermeer escapes, but the three Saxon brothers, sons of The Patriarch, have arranged for a large bounty on Wermeer’s head. Clayton is a grizzled ex-sheriff stripped of his office in Jefferson after refusing to acknowledge Wermeer’s guilt. During a series of fire-fights, Clayton contrives to help Wermeer escape from attacks of bounty-hunters. Together, the two make their way to Jefferson, where they can confront the three powerful Saxon brothers, and reveal the surprising truth about who killed The Patriarch. Read More »

Roy Rowland – Gun Glory (1957)

Synopsis:
In 1886, the gunman and gambler Tom Early returns to his homeland to settle down, but he is rejected by his community. He rides to his farm, where he finds that his wife Alice has recently died and his son Tom Early Jr., who disagrees with taking up arms, is working alone. The next morning, Tom rides into the town to buy supplies and sees Sam, the grocer, humiliating his employee Jo. At the same time the cattle lord Grimsell arrives in town with two gunfighters, Gunn and Blondie, and tells the Preacher that he will be crossing 20,000 head of cattle through their lands and their town. Although the preacher tries to explain that the people own the land, Grimsell is not interested in their rights. Read More »

Anthony Mann – Bend of the River (1952)

American Cinematheque wrties:
James Stewart stars as a former border raider who narrowly escapes the hangman’s noose (he still smarts from the rope) and is trying to start over again in the wide-open Oregon country. Instead, he winds up involved with the wily and charming Arthur Kennedy in a wagon train that includes the eligible Laurie Baile (Julie Adams) and a load of supplies worth their weight in gold. One of director Anthony Mann’s finest films, combining action, character and landscape in a seamless and wildly satisfying package. Read More »