A fast-paced western with a romantic twist, this was one of the last films pairing director Budd Boetticher and popular cowboy hero Randolph Scott before Scott’s retirement. John Hayes – Scott – left the Civil War behind him when he took on the job of managing the Overland Stage Lines out of a small Colorado town. Clay Putnam has not forgotten that the Confederacy lost and he plans on robbing Hayes Overland Stage of one of its gold shipments from California to the North. He wants the gold to stay in the South to revive the Confederate cause. Meanwhile, his wife Norma -Virginia Mayo – complicates matters since she was Hayes’ old flame, and Putnam’s cronies want the gold for themselves. Read More »
In 1876 Dawson wants to prevent a train from getting to Tomahawk CO on time, to keep it from competing with his stage coach line. Kit, who must get the train to its goal, forces Johnny aboard as the needed passenger. Madame Adelaide’s showgirls (including Marilyn as Clara) ride along and, en route to Tomahawk, join Johnny in Oh, What a Forward Young Man You Are.
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Loner Cody trades with the Comanches to get a white girl released. He is joined on his way back to the girl’s husband by an outlaw and his sidekicks. It turns out there is a large reward for the return of the girl, and with the Indians on the warpath and the outlaw being an old enemy of Cody’s, things are set for several showdowns. Read More »
This unique western centers on an innocent farm boy with a talent for handling guns who decides to make it big. He begins as a bounty hunter. Later he encounters a crazed gunslinger and ends up fatally shot. Before the fateful encounter, the young man is visited by a number of mythical western heroes including Judge Roy Bean, seen as a sentimental drunk, and Jesse James who gives the boy some good advice. Read More »
Peckinpah demonstrated a sense of humor in THE BALLAD OF CABLE HOGUE that had not been seen since his early TV days when he ran one of the best and most overlooked cowboy shows ever, “The Westerner,” starring Brian Keith. CABLE HOGUE is at its best when chronicling how the Old West passed and mercantilism spread across the Great Plains.
Robards is a prospector abandoned in the desert and left to die by Martin and Jones. (They worked together again that same year in THE BROTHERHOOD OF SATAN.) Instead of dying, he finds water in a previously arid spot, opens a rest stop for thirsty travelers, and prospers. Stevens is a whore determined to sleep her way to riches, and after a brief fling with Robards, she decides to move on to greener sheets, fleeing to San Francisco. (This is Stevens’s best role and underlines the terrible waste of her career–she’s terrific.) Warner pops in and out as a preacher who can’t decide whether he should save souls or live a life of dedicated hedonism. Hedonism wins. If you’re expecting blood and guts and slow-motion death forget it. Peckinpah decided to make a different movie here, and different it is. Not a hit at the box office, it remains one of his finest efforts, funny, touching and never mawkishly sentimental. Read More »
Plot Synopsis from Allmovie
Sam Peckinpah eschews his slow-motion bullet ballets for this quiet character study of ex-rodeo cowboy turned drifter Junior Bonner (Steve McQueen), who returns home to Arizona to reconcile with the family he hasn’t seen in years. Bonner is shocked to see that the solid family he was hoping to come back to is breaking apart. His parents, Ace (Robert Preston) and Elvira (Ida Lupino), have separated, and his brother Curley (Joe Don Baker) has turned into a heartless real estate tycoon, parceling off sections of his parent’s land for quick money. With nowhere to turn and nowhere to run, Bonner has to face himself and try to find a way to regain his self-respect. He is given that opportunity at the town’s Fourth of July Rodeo, where he is determined to mount and ride and unrideable bull. Read More »
Laconic cowboy Dave Blasingame wanders the Wild West with his faithful dog Brown and the occasional companionship of pal Burgundy Smith. Read More »