This was the first Clint Eastwood film I saw as a teenager & from then onwards Eastwood is permanently locked as the ultimate & iconic admirable man of guts. The film was Produced & Directed by Clint Eastwood himself in the time when Westerns were considered as almost forgotten genre. The film was one of the honest attempts of Eastwood to revive the western genre among young generation of that time.
The plot centers on the conflict between miners who owned the land of Carbon Canyon & the most powerful man in the nearby town named LaHood who owns mining outfit & wanted to illegally occupy the land by hired gunslingers. Preacher (Eastwood) in one of the finest & memorable entry scenes of Eastwood proclaims to LaHood’s hired goons-“You shouldn’t play with matches.” He becomes part of simple miners & leading to the final stylish & gripping showdown in the town between LaHood, Dangerous Stockburn & his evil deputies.
It’s quite unimaginable but this time it’s the small thick stick known as hickory which is the weapon of this macho man but that stick rotating action in his entry scene really looks creatively original & stylish.
However the film was shot on low budget & on real snow clad landscape hilly location, but still one can witness finest jump cut camera angles & few brilliantly shot darkness shots by ace of Eastwood camp- Bruce Surtees. Even today he’s universally known as “The Prince of Darkness” for his distinctive cinematography of dark shots in Eastwood’s initial directorial ventures.
I show the climax twice & its real wow of this film, one point is strongly added in ratings due to this.
Recommended to watch once for all Eastwood devotees. See it if you haven’t.