Western

John Huston – The Misfits (1961)

Synopsis:
The final film of stars Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe is an elegy for the death of the Old West from writer Arthur Miller and director John Huston. Gable stars as Gay Langland, an aging hand traveling the byways and working at rodeos with his two comrades, Guido (Eli Wallach) and young Perce Howland (Montgomery Clift). The three men come up with a plan to corral some misfit mustangs and sell them for dog food, but Gay’s new girlfriend Roslyn Taber (Marilyn Monroe), a high-minded ex-stripper who has just divorced her husband Ray (Kevin McCarthy) in Reno, is appalled by the plan. Although both Guido and Perce are also in love with Roslyn, she stands by Gay, sure that in the end he will do the right thing, even as he and his pals begin their planned roundup.
— Karl Williams Read More »

John Sturges – The Magnificent Seven [+commentary] (1960)

Synopsis:
A remake of “The Seven Samurai.” Seven men are picked to defend a Mexican village from banditos that come every now and then to take whatever the town has grown since their last visit. When they are hired, they go to the town and teach the villagers how to defend themselves. When the leader of the bandits comes, they fight him and his men off. The second time he comes, the villagers give the seven to them, due to a heated argument. The leader of the bandits takes their guns and throws them out of town. He gives them horses and gives their guns back to them when they are far out of town. The seven decide that they aren’t going to run, and head back to the village for a final showdown. Read More »

Frank Perry – ‘Doc’ (1971)

New Beverly Cinema writes:
Director Frank Perry deconstructs the legends of Doc Holliday (Stacey Keach) and Wyatt Earp (Harris Yulin) with a vengeance in this superb revisionist take on what went down in Tombstone at the OK Corral. Alcoholic former dentist and gunslinging gambler Holliday settles in Arizona to help treat his tuberculosis, wins one of the Clanton gang’s wives, Kate (Faye Dunaway) in a game of poker and runs into old friend, Wyatt (Harris Yulin). Keach hits just the right tone with his portrayal of the dissolute idealist who is alternately at odds with those closest to him but also a loyal friend. Yulin’s Earp is a conflicted, ambitious man, believing in the rule of law, but also a calculating politician campaigning for sheriff, ready to go up against the most powerful interests in town – which just happen to be the Clantons. Read More »

Don Siegel – Flaming Star (1960)

Synopsis:
West Texas in the years after the Civil War is an uneasy meeting ground of two cultures, one white. The other native American. Elvis portrays Pacer Burton. The son of a white rancher (John McIntire) and his beautiful Kiowa Indian wife (Dolores DelRio). When fighting breaks out between the settlers and natives, Pacer tries to act as a peace maker, but the “flaming star of death” pulls him irrevocably into the deadly violence. Read More »

Arnold Laven – Geronimo (1962)

In the saga of Hollywood’s slow, slow maturation in the depiction of Native Americans, Geronimo highlights an early ’60s turning point — his character is drawn with sympathy — but no more than that. Chuck Connors, an obviously Caucasian actor, plays the great chief, and there is not a single Native American actor in the cast. The story centers on Geronimo’s escape from oppressive conditions on his reservation, and his garnering of forces in Mexico to wage war against the U.S. Several misconceptions are still scattered throughout the tale, especially the indication at the end that Geronimo was successful in obtaining fair treatment for all Native Americans at the hands of the U.S. government.

~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide Read More »

Raoul Walsh – Pursued (1947)

Synopsis:
After his family is murdered in the 1880s, orphan Jeb Rand is raised by the Callum family on their nearby horse ranch. He remains haunted by this childhood trauma in a recurring nightmare of flashing spurs and confinement inside a trap door as his family is slaughtered. Widow Callum does her best to make Jeb feel loved as he is growing up, but the young man stubbornly maintains a sense of his own identity. While he has great affection for his foster-sister Thor, his relationship with her brother Adam is tenuous at best, especially when Jeb blames him for shooting a colt that he was riding. Read More »

Joseph H. Lewis – Terror in a Texas Town (1958) (HD)

A Swedish whaler is out for revenge when he finds out that a greedy oil man murdered his father for their land. Read More »