Western

Vasilis Georgiadis – To homa vaftike kokkino aka Blood on the Land (1966)

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from the back cover:
In 1907, in the parts of Greece that are liberated, not all Greeks feel free and the biggest ranges of the Thessalian valley are owned by a few big landowners. The farmers who are forced to work like slaves find in Marinos, a well educated young man, their ideal
representative. Odysseus, son of one of the big landowners, supports Marinos and conflicts with his father and brother, a conflict with a tragic end. Read More »

Arthur Penn – The Missouri Breaks (1976)

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Synopsis from Timeout.com:
A wonderfully quirky Western, brilliantly scripted by Thomas McGuane, which strips all the cute whimsy away from the Butch Cassidy theme (outlaws on the run from a relentless lawman), replacing it with a kind of pixillated terror. Playing the ‘regulator’ as a camp Buffalo Bill with an Irish accent, Brando makes his entrance playing peekaboo from behind his horse, and at one point even stalks his prey in a dress and poke bonnet. But he is also a legalised killer, expert with a rifle but preferring (as the flail of God) to use a harpoon shaped like a crucifix. And as his gloating sadism shades into hints of bizarre perversion when he dedicates a love song and a kiss to his horse, the tone gradually darkens to a kind of horror. It’s one of the few truly major Westerns of the ’70s, with a very clear vision of the historical role played by fear and violence in the taming of the wilderness. Read More »

Allan Dwan – The Ranchman’s Vengeance (1911)

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Lorenz Pedro, a Mexican half-breed, owns a small sheep ranch, and lives happily with his wife Marie and little daughter Lois. One exceedingly hot afternoon, Tom Flint, riding across the ranch looking for work is overcome by the heat, and Pedro, acting the part of a good Samaritan, takes him to his home, where Marie, through careful nursing, soon has him quite himself again. Pedro is out daily with his flock, leaving Marie and Flint together, offering an opportunity which Flint ungratefully takes advantage of, resulting in his completely winning Marie’s love. Manuelito, Marie’s father, is suspicious and comes upon them while Flint is declaring his love. He goes to Pedro in the field and tells what he has seen and heard. Hastening home he finds his wife in Flint’s embrace, and in his great love for Marie bids Flint take her, but warns him his life shall pay the penalty should he ever find him shamefully abusing both mother and child. Manuelito sends a telegram to Pedro, who is working …

Written by Moving Picture World Read More »

John Ford – My Darling Clementine (1946)

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‘Darling Clementine,’ With Henry Fonda as Marshal of Tombstone, a Stirring Film of West
Let’s be specific about this: The eminent director, John Ford, is a man who has a way with a Western like nobody in the picture trade. Seven years ago his classic “Stagecoach” snuggled very close to fine art in this genre. And now, by George, he’s almost matched it with “My Darling Clementine.”

Not quite, it is true—for this picture, which came to the Rivoli yesterday, is a little too burdened with conventions of Western fiction to place it on a par. Too obvious a definition of heroes and villains is observed, and the standardized aspect of romance is too neatly and respectably entwined. But a dynamic composition of Western legend and scenery is still achieved. And the rich flavor of frontiering wafts in overpowering redolence from the screen. Read More »

Nikita Mikhalkov – Svoy sredi chuzhikh, chuzhoy sredi svoikh AKA At Home Among Strangers, A Stranger Among His Own (1974)

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Quote:
An unenviable lot fell to the Red Army soldier Shilov: he is being suspected of stealing gold. In the hungry 1920s, the young Soviet Republic’s government searches for gold all over the country, to buy for it bread from abroad. And now, the collected valuables disappeared from the armored and well-guarded train car on their way to Moscow. Shilov learns that the valuables have been stolen by the bandits. To restore his good reputation, Shilov has to infiltrate the band. To find out where the stolen gold is kept, he must be at home among the strangers.
A debut of the world-famous director Nikita Mikhalkov, this film is an excellent model of a “western,” having a very ingenious plot, and, most importantly, being a hymn to men’s true friendship. Read More »

Philip Kaufman – The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid (1972)

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The gangs of Jesse James and Cole Younger join forces for a bungled robbery of the bank in Northfield, MN.

Quote:
In 1876, the Missouri legislature issues a pardon and amnesty to the James and Younger gangs despite many people considering them outlaws. The pardon is because they protected the homesteaders of Clay County against the marauding railroaders, who wouldn’t let anyone or anything get in their way of building the railroad where they wanted. However, the railroad companies and banks still consider them outlaws and will take matters into their own hands if they come across the gangs. Prior to the pardon, Cole Younger had contemplated robbing the First National Bank in Northfield, Minnesota – what is considered the largest bank west of the Mississippi – but has now decided against it. Circumstances, including learning that Jesse James and his gang are going ahead with the robbery behind his back, and that the railroaders issuing a war against them which also includes bribing the legislature to revoke the pardon, make Cole change his mind. But right from the start – even during the planning stages – things don’t go quite according to script, which may be an omen for things to come. Written by Huggo @ IMDB
Read More »

Terence Young – Soleil rouge aka Red Sun (1971)

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In what was billed as “The First East-Meets-West Western,” Toshiro Mifune plays Kuroda, a samurai warrior who accompanies a Japanese diplomat to the United States. The diplomat has brought with him a golden, jewel-encrusted sword to present as a token of good will to the president, but as they travel by train through the west, they’re ambushed by a pair of outlaws, Gauche (Alain Delon) and Link (Charles Bronson). Gauche and Link steal the sword, but Link leans the hard way about his partner’s trustworthiness when Gauche double-crosses him and makes off with the booty. Since both Kuroda and Link have a grudge against Gauche, they warily join forces to track him down and return the sword to its rightful owner. Along the way, they have to deal with cultural conflict, Indian attacks, and encounters with beautiful women (played by Capucine and Ursula Andress). Given its cast and theme, Red Sun was predictably enough a major box-office success in Europe and Japan, but it passed through with little notice in the United States. Read More »