Sunday, January 13, 2013


Another outstanding western made by Anthony Mann and I wonder why this man so brilliant in his forte of westerns started making epic films like ‘El Cid’ & ‘The Fall of Roman Empire’. Jimmy Stewart and Mann’s combination is something as sparkling on screen as Ford and John Wayne and Leone and Clint Eastwood. On one hand Stewart kept playing those self doubting Hitchcock heroes and on the other hand he kept playing those angst ridden cowboys in Mann films. Stewart is undoubtedly Hollywood actor to watch in that golden period.

The plot here is bit noirish, setting tone for 70s Michael Caine starrer ‘Get Carter’, as Stewart trailing the man responsible for his brother’s death and while setting his feet on the town, embroiled in King Lear like family struggle of a aging and turning blind cattle baron. His blood son is sadist weakling and the other reliable one turns out as rebel by resentment and involves in dirty deal of selling guns to Apaches. The film is again taut, bit tragic, bit sentimental and memorable for shining performances of the cast. Surely all of them were Mann’s gifted talent including filming of those real landscape and mounting location as ambivalent and dangerous as extreme psychological states of the characters.

Classic western.


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