Western

Wisit Sasanatieng – Fah talai jone aka Tears of the Black Tiger (2000)

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This is the uncut 110 minute version.
Quote:
Imagine John Ford (The Searchers), Jean-Luc Godard (Weekend), and John Waters (Pink Flamingos) collaborating on an insane 1950s melodrama, drenched in succulent Technicolor–rose-petal reds, turquoise blues, saffron yellows, and Pepto-Bismol pinks–and you’re just barely encompassing the cinematic delirium of Tears of the Black Tiger. This fever dream of a movie features rival gunslingers, a poor farmboy and the daughter of a wealthy landowner, a murdered father, bloody revenge, a forced marriage, and a half-dozen other cliches stitched into a preposterous yet weirdly engaging story. But the story isn’t the point; director Wisit Sasanatieng takes every opportunity to dive into a different style or device, ranging from delicate shots of a lovely girl in a mint-green gazebo to spewing gore and full-on battle with machine guns and grenade-launchers. The sets are often blatantly theatrical, the lighting exaggerated, and the acting ranges from wooden to maniacal. In short, this Thai movie is like nothing you’ve ever seen, born of a deep moviemania and unbridled chutzpah, and you owe it to yourself to watch it. Read More »

Burt Kennedy – Dirty Dingus Magee (1970)


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Plot:
Dingus Magee wants to flag a ride. “Hold up!” he yells to a rolling stagecoach. “It’s a holdup!” shouts the coach driver’s panicked sidekick, who tosses a jewel-packed strongbox over the side. Magee, who began his criminal escapades with a $10 price on his head, is suddenly wanted for much, much more. The ways of the West are outrageously unsaddled in this rowdy comedy deftly directed by Burt Kennedy (Support Your Local Sheriff!, The Rounders). Frank Sinatra – always on the grift and always in red-flannel longjohns when it’s time for boudoir activity – plays ring-a-ding Dingus. George Kennedy is the addled sheriff on his trail. With double entendres, goofy slapstick and unbridled glee in its rapid-fire carbine, Dirty Dingus Magee has laugh ammo to spare. From Warner Brothers! Read More »

Sam Peckinpah – Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1988 Turner Library version) (1973)


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An aging Pat Garrett is hired as a lawman on behalf of a group of wealthy New Mexico cattle barons–his sole purpose being to bring down his old friend Billy the Kid. (IMDB) Read More »

Sam Peckinpah – Ride the High Country (1962)

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Amazon.com essential video
Ride the High Country is the one Sam Peckinpah movie about which there has never been controversy–save at MGM in 1962, when a new studio regime opted to dump this beautiful, heartbreakingly elegiac Western into the bottom half of a double-bill. Westerns rarely even got reviewed back then, so it’s wellnigh miraculous that critics discovered the movie and raved about it. Newsweek called it the best American picture of the year.
Veteran cowboy stars Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea portray aging gunslingers in the twilight of the Old West. McCrea’s character, Steve Judd, signs on to transport a shipment of gold from a remote mining camp. Gil Westrum (Scott), an old crony now trick-shooting in a carnival, agrees to help but really aims to seduce Judd into stealing the treasure. The slow-building tension between longtime friends–one still true to the code he’s lived by, the other having drifted away from it–anticipates the tortuous personal dilemmas played out to the death by Peckinpah’s Wild Bunch, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, and Benny and Elita in Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. Read More »

Luther Reed – Rio Rita (1929)


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Plot: Capt. James Stewart pursues the bandit “The Kinkajou” over the Mexican border and falls in love with Rita. He suspects, that her brother is the bandit. Written by Stephan Eichenberg Read More »

Richard Brooks – Bite the Bullet (1975)

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Description
A great mid-1970s cast holds fort in this Western tale of a test of endurance in a 1900s wasteland. A railroad company sponsors a unique competition: a grueling Denver-to-Kansas City horse race that tests the motivation and determination of a motley collection of competitors. The rivals come to respect each other as they endure one beautifully photographed hardship after another. The film features riveting performances by Gene Hackman, James Coburn, and Candice Bergen, among others. Read More »

John Ford – The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance [+Extras] (1962)


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synopsis
Like Pontius Pilate, director John Ford asks “What is truth?” in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance–but unlike Pilate, Ford waits for an answer. The film opens in 1910, with distinguished and influential U.S. senator Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart) and his wife Hallie (Vera Miles) returning to the dusty little frontier town where they met and married twenty-five years earlier. They have come back to attend the funeral of impoverished “nobody” Tom Doniphon (John Wayne). When a reporter asks why, Stoddard relates a film-long flashback. He recalls how, as a greenhorn lawyer, he had run afoul of notorious gunman Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin), who worked for a powerful cartel which had the territory in its clutches. Time and again, “pilgrim” Stoddard had his hide saved by the much-feared but essentially decent Doniphon. Read More »