Western

John Ford – 7 Women (1966)

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Plot
John Ford’s final film is set in China in 1935, where a group of American women, led by Agatha Andrews (Margaret Leighton), work as missionaries. One of the women, Florrie (Betty Field), is pregnant and accompanied by her husband, Charles (Eddie Albert), while the others are single and on their own. The mission has become crowded after a cholera epidemic forced several outsiders to flee a nearby British mission and seek shelter with the American group, while a Mongol warrior, Tunga Khan (Mike Mazurki), has assembled troops who are sacking the area. When a female doctor, Dr. D.L. Cartwright (Anne Bancroft), enters the picture, she attempts to bring humor and civility to the group, but her tough yet compassionate nature clashes with Agatha’s by-the-book approach, and when Cartwright is willing to put her own safety at risk to gain the attentions of Tunga Khan and slow his onslaught, the group is strongly divided — most of the women admire the doctor’s bravery, but Agatha (who seems to have a non-professional interest in Cartwright herself) considers her foolish and reckless. Seven Women was originally planned to star Patricia Neal as Dr. Cartwright, but when she suffered a stroke during filming that put her acting career on hold for several years, Anne Bancroft was recast in the role. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide Read More »

Tinto Brass – Yankee (1966)

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Review from IMDB:

Early in his career, Tinto Brass tried his hands at a variety of genres. In the wake of A Fistful of Dollars the Western was hot in Italy and so even TB had a go at it. The resulting film is definitely watchable, and with interesting cinematography and decent acting it is much better than many of the other low budget atrocities Cinecitta would throw at the unsuspecting cinema-going public in the following years.

Amongst the elements one could criticise is the wiseness of the casting choices. Both Philippe Leroy and Adolfo Celi are fine actors, but they do not blend very well into this setting. Leroy is not enigmatic enough for his role (he also looks uncomfortable in his gear) and Celi is better at playing non-physical villains.

The film has little to add to the genre. The title hero, Yankee, is just a slight variant of the man with no name and throughout I watched this with a sense of deja vu. Brass certainly had a good look at the work of Leone and Corbucci. In turn, Sergio Corbucci seems to have watched this – the final scene appears to be the inspiration for Corbucci’s I Crudeli. Read More »

Sam Peckinpah – The Wild Bunch [+Extras] (1969)

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Synopsis
Outlaws on the Mexican-U.S. frontier face the march of progress, the Mexican army and a gang of bounty hunters led by a former member while they plan a robbery of a U.S. army train. No one is innocent in this gritty tale of of desperation against changing times. Pump shotguns, machine guns and automobiles mix with horses and winchesters in this ultraviolent western. Read More »

Sergio Corbucci – Il grande silenzio AKA The Great Silence [+Extras] (1969)

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SYNOPSIS
A group of greedy bounty hunters led by the brutal Loco/Tigrero (Klaus Kinski) are in pursuit of a band of outlaws who have escaped and are hiding out in the hills of the snowy Utah frontier. After an innocent man is killed with no remorse, a mute gunslinger named Silence (Jean-Louis Trintignant) is called upon by the man’s wife to seek revenge. Standing between the innocents and the corrupted bounty hunters, Silence decides to mete out his own brand of justice, even though the lines between the bad and the good have already been blurred. Famed Italian director Sergio Corbucci helmed this bleak, stylish, and violent spaghetti western, which features a score from Ennio Morricone. (Rotten Tomatoes) Read More »

Elia Kazan – The Sea of Grass (1947)

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This western begins with St. Louis resident Lutie Cameron (Katharine Hepburn) marrying New Mexico cattleman Col. James B. ‘Jim’ Brewton (Spencer Tracy) after a short courtship. When she arrives in “Salt Fork, NM” she finds that her new husband is considered by the locals to be a tyrant who uses force to keep homesteaders off the government owned land he uses for grazing his cattle–the so-called Sea of Grass. Lutie, has difficulty reconciling her husband’s beliefs and passions with her own. Written by kzmckeown Read More »

Fred Niblo – Way Out West [Pre-Code] (1930)

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Plot/Synopsis: from ROVI
A pleasant enough western parody starring one of the victims of sound, William Haines, Way Out West is the story of a carnival huckster forced to work on a western ranch in order to repay a couple of cowboys he once fleeced. There’s a sandstorm, a fist-fight with the ubiquitous crooked foreman (Charles Middleton), a pretty female ranch owner (Leila Hyams), and sundry other western clichés thrown in to prove the star’s manly qualities.The light-weight Haines played many such roles, but reshuffling due to sound (not to mention a quarrel with MGM studio head, Louis B. Mayer), ended his career. Haines later became a fashionable interior decorator. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi Read More »

Burt Kennedy – The Rounders [+Extra] (1965)

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Plot Synopsis from allmovie.com
Two aging bronc-busters (Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda) make their meager money by breaking wild horses. They dream of better days–possibly retiring to some island paradise–but they never put any money in the bank because they spend it all on booze and girls. They think their no-dough days are done until they acquire a wild drunkard horse which they enter in a bucking contest–no one can ride the wild, hiccupping nag. This is a pretty funny ’60s western-style comedy. Read More »