Western

Robert N. Bradbury – Westward Ho (1935)

Westward Ho begins as hero John Wyatt (John Wayne) vows to avenge the death of his parents at the hands of cattle rustlers. Years later, Wyatt is put in charge of a band of vigilantes, bent on rounding up a gang of outlaws. He discovers to his chagrin that one of the bandits is his own long-lost brother (Frank McGlynn Jr.) This revelation eventually leads our hero to the men responsible for the slaughter of his family. Gorgeous location photography by Archie J. Stout is the film’s main asset. Though released by Republic, Westward Ho is closer in spirit to John Wayne’s previous “Lone Star” series for Monogram — and small wonder, since it was originally intended to be part of that series. Read More »

Ray Enright – Kansas Raiders (1950)

Having previously played Billy the Kid, Audie Murphy assumes the role of Jesse James in Kansas Raiders. The plot finds Jesse and his brother Frank, together with the Younger Brothers joining Quantrell’s Raiders. Idolizing Quantrell, Jesse believes that his hero’s mission — to save the Confederacy by sacking Kansas — is just. Only when it is too late does Jesse discover that Quantrell is little more than a bloodthirsty mercenary. The James and Younger Brothers are depicted as innocent dupes of a madman, which isn’t surprising considering how often Hollywood has whitewashed Jesse and Frank in other films.

~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Read More »

Anthony Mann – The Furies (1950)

Synopsis:
The 1870s, New Mexico territory: T.C. Jeffords is a cattle baron who built his ranch, the Furies, from scratch. He borrows from banks, pays hired hands with his own script (“T.C.’s”), and carries on low-level warfare with the Mexicans who settled the land but are now considered squatters. He has enemies, including Rip Darrow, a saloon owner who’s father T.C. took land from. His headstrong daughter, Vance, has a life-long friend in one of the Mexicans, her heart set on Rip, and dad’s promise she’ll run the Furies someday. Her hopes are smashed by Rip’s revenge, a gold-digger who turns T.C.’s head, and T.C.’s own murderous imperialism. Is Vance to be cursed by fury and hatred? Read More »

Sergio Leone – Per un pugno di dollari AKA Fistful of Dollars (1964)

Quote:
An anonymous, but deadly man rides into a town torn by war between two factions, the Baxters and the Rojo’s. Instead of fleeing or dying, as most other would do, the man schemes to play the two sides off each other, getting rich in the bargain. Read More »

Glauber Rocha – O Dragão da Maldade contra o Santo Guerreiro AKA Antonio das Mortes (1969)

Period piece about a Brazil that is no more. This movie is the sequel to “God and the Devil in the Land of the Sun” (Deus e o diabo na terra do sol), and takes place 29 years after Antonio das Mortes killed Corisco (the “Blond Devil”), last of the Cangaceiros. In “the old days”, Antonio’s function in life was exterminate these bandits, on account of his personal grudges against them. His life had been meaningless for the last 29 years, but now, a new challenge awaits him. When a Cangaceiro appears in Jardim Das Piranhas, the local Land Baron (Jofre Soares), an old man, does what seems obvious to him: he calls Antonio das Mortes, killer of Cangaceiros. At first, Antonio is ecstatic. His life has gained new meaning. But soon it becomes obvious that this new Cangaceiro (named Coirana) is no Corisco, but an idealist. An idealist of the sixties in the garb of the forties. A leader to the hopeless and the hungry. Antonio das Mortes begins to reconsider his feelings towards Coirana and his followers… Read More »

Sergio Corbucci – Gli specialisti AKA The Specialists (1969)

Johnny Hallyday plays Hud, a dressed all-in-black gunman extraordinaire who returns to the town of Blackstone to seek out the men responsible for the lynching of his brother.
Seems someone robbed the bank in Blackstone of every penny. His brother got the blame. The money is still missing.
But lots of people are looking for it, including a Mexican bandit named El Diablo (Mario Adorf), the businessmen of Blackstone who lost all of their savings, and Virginia Pollywood (Francoise Fabian), the lady bank owner who tells Hud no one trusts her anymore. Read More »

Sergio Corbucci – Navajo Joe (1966)

Joe (Burt Reynolds), is the sole survivor after Duncan (Aldo Sambrell), and his gang of bandits slaughtered everyone of his tribe including his wife. Duncan’s gang collects all their scalps and tries to sell them at a near by town. The sheriff and his deputy try to arrest Duncan’s gang, but Duncan has other plans and has them killed. In the Salon watching the shoot out is Dr. Chester Lynne who offers Duncan the chance to become rich. There is a train coming into to town with a lot of gold and if Duncan’s gang helps Dr. Lynne by holding up the train he will split the gold with them. Joe has been tracking Duncan and his boys since the murdered his wife and he will spoil there plan by stealing the train with the gold and returning it to the town’s people. Dr. Lynne offers to get help we the town hears Duncan’s boys are there way to take back the gold and kill everyone in town. Joe Knows that Dr. Lynne has a side deal with Duncan’s gang so Joe offers to protect the town if every one of them pay him one dollar each per head for each man he kills. Read More »