Western

William D. Russell – Best of the Badmen (1951)

Plot:
After the Civil War, Union Major Clanton captures survivors of Quantrill’s Raiders, and gets them clemency at the cost of shooting a mob member. Convicted of murder by a kangaroo court, Clanton escapes and joins the former raiders in a gang devoted to robbing everything protected by the corrupt detective agency of his enemy Fowler; culminating in a personal showdown. Written by Rod Crawford Read More »

Edward D. Wood Jr. – Crossroads of Laredo (1995)

Plot Synopsis
Definitely not to be confused with the 1949 Paramount release starring William Holden or the Larry McMurtry 1995 television mini-series, this 20 minute unfinished “western” marked the first helpless Hollywood effort of legendary bad filmmaker Edward J. Wood, Jr. Together with a friend, 18-year-old John Crawford Thomas, the 23-year-old Wood produced his little epic in 16 mm on a one-day shooting schedule at the Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth, California, apparently blowing Thomas’ inheritance in the process. A few other scenes ere filmed several weeks later in Griffith Park, but then Wood ran out of funds or acquaintances with ready cash (a recurring problem for the young auteur). Read More »

Kelly Reichardt – Meek’s Cutoff (2010)

Quote:
On the Oregon Trail in 1845, three couples travel in covered wagons with slippery guide Stephen Meek (an unrecognizable Bruce Greenwood), but days pass, and water remains elusive. Emily (Michelle Williams, who anchored Reichardt’s Wendy and Lucy) laments that “he’s gotten in over his head.” Meek insists that relief lies around the next ridge, but that’s never the case, until an alkaline lake appears. Unfortunately, it’s unsuitable for drinking, so they push on. Always attuned to the rhythms of nature, Reichardt has produced a meditative take on the genre that feels more enigmatic than most–with the possible exception of Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man–even if the period details always look right. With her focus on faded calico dresses and vast aquamarine skies, Meek’s Cutoff offers a beautiful vision of harsh times. Read More »

Anthony Mann – Man of the West (1958)

Western auteur Anthony Mann and aging Western icon Gary Cooper team up in this stark tale of a trio of train passengers stranded in the middle of the desert after a railway holdup. Taking responsibility for his helpless compatriots (Julie London as a sad-eyed prostitute and Arthur O’Connell as a garrulous but cowardly banker), craggy-faced Link Jones (Cooper) takes them into a veritable viper’s nest in a desperate gamble. It turns out the respected town elder is a former member of the outlaw gang that robbed them, and he’s welcomed back by patriarchal gang leader Dock Tobin (Lee J. Cobb) like the prodigal son. Read More »

Nisan Hançer – Zagor Kara Korsanin Hazineleri AKA Zagor The Black Pirate’s Treasure (1971)

Quote:
Zagor is an Italian fumetto hero created by editor and writer Sergio Bonelli (pseudonym Guido Nolitta) and artist Gallieno Ferri. Zagor was first published In Italy by Sergio Bonelli Editore in 1961. It’s the most popular comic book since 1960’s in Turkey. There are two unofficial Turkish Zagor adaptations. In this one Zagor with his sidekick Chico fand Digging Bill fights againist the evil Black Pirate. This movie was lost so many years until the last October. This’s a remastered version by Horizon films. Read More »

Andrew Marton – The Wild North (1952)

Synopsis:

In 1952, many “outdoors” adventure films would be shot on the studio back-lot, with fake-looking backgrounds and interior sets masquerading as exteriors. The Wild North benefits greatly from the fact that much of it was shot on authentic locations (the American state of Idaho standing in for northern Canada). The film also benefits from a clutch of strong leading performances from Stewart Granger and Wendell Corey, plus the ravishing Cyd Charisse (cast – some might say miscast – as a native Indian). The whole film is smartly presented by Andrew Marton, whose last film prior to this was another outdoor adventure with Stewart Granger, the 1950 version of King Solomon’s Mines. Read More »

Sam Peckinpah – The Deadly Companions (1961)


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Quote:
With its small cast, character-driven story, and modest production values, Sam Peckinpah’s first feature film seems very like another of his TV Western dramas–just one that happened to get shot in Panavision. The director’s favorite TV actor, Brian Keith, plays a surly loner named Yellowleg who ventures into Indian country with a dance-hall girl (Maureen O’Hara), the corpse of her little boy, and a pair of marginally human specimens (Steve Cochran and Chill Wills) who more than justify the title. Everybody has, or seems to have, a guilty or shameful secret: Why does Yellowleg keep his hat on? Was Kit (O’Hara) a widow, or a whore? Action, menace, and ethical dialogues come and go pretty much according to TV rhythms, and the visuals and editing are conventional. But there’s enough quirky character work and offbeat mood-making to hint at the singular filmmaker soon to arrive big-time. –Richard T. Jameson Read More »