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  #191  
Old 4th December 2021, 10:29 PM
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Comanche Station (1960)

Tthe last of Budd Boetticher and Randolph Scott's late 1950s Ranown Cycle. It was filmed completely on location in the Eastern Sierra area of Central California near Lone Pine and thanks to Powerhouse's Blu-ray it looks stunning. Every grain of sand is there for all to see, every ripple of the rivers, every leaf gently blowing in the wind and every desert plain beautifully photographed.

The film itself isn't perhaps as good as other Boetticher / Scott westerns but it rattles along and the action when it comes is well realised culminating in a quietly intense final showdown which is in stark contrast to the Comanche attacks which pepper proceedings.

I love Randolph Scott as an actor. He's no John Wayne when it comes to striding about his films but he is often understated but in a commanding way. In a truly laugh out loud scene Nancy Gates tends to Scott's ;leg wound, produces some sort of ointment or whisky and says "This may sting a little".

Whilst Wayne or Eastwood might have said "Ouch, you weren't kidding" Scott comes out with a kind of owl hoot and runs round rubbing his leg. It's not as silly as i've made it sound but it is amusing and a lovely scene for Scott. There's no wonder the town of Rock Ridge in a certain Mel Brooks film treat Scott as a God among men.
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  #192  
Old 7th January 2022, 10:27 PM
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Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

When you think of the great movie showdowns, Charles Bronson's unnamed gunfighter and Henry Fonda's villainous Frank is up there in a top three position, but in this classic western from Sergio Leone it's not actually the best on offer here.

No. That award goes to Jack Elam and the fly. Part of a fifteen minute opening scene that's a masterclass in acting, directing and sound design.

Sadly what could have been the greatest movie showdown of all time. Full stop. Jason Robards' Cheyenne gunning down a whole train of gunfighter outlaws happens off screen.
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  #193  
Old 7th January 2022, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Demdike@Cult Labs View Post
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

When you think of the great movie showdowns, Charles Bronson's unnamed gunfighter and Henry Fonda's villainous Frank is up there in a top three position, but in this classic western from Sergio Leone it's not actually the best on offer here.

No. That award goes to Jack Elam and the fly. Part of a fifteen minute opening scene that's a masterclass in acting, directing and sound design.

Sadly what could have been the greatest movie showdown of all time. Full stop. Jason Robards' Cheyenne gunning down a whole train of gunfighter outlaws happens off screen.
I've only watched this film once. Despite enjoying it i remember feeling distinctly underwhelmed, even though in some way I knew (nearly 20 years ago) I wasn't really appreciating it.

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  #194  
Old 8th January 2022, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by J Harker View Post
I've only watched this film once. Despite enjoying it i remember feeling distinctly underwhelmed, even though in some way I knew (nearly 20 years ago) I wasn't really appreciating it.

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The UK blu looks stunning. So much depth to the image.
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  #195  
Old 8th January 2022, 02:31 PM
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I have the blu. Just haven't got around to watching it yet.

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  #196  
Old 28th January 2022, 10:31 PM
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Return of the Seven (1966)

Sequel to the classic 1960 film with Yul Brynner reprising his role of Chris from that film and Robert Fuller playing Vin who was originally played by Steve McQueen. Knowing this i couldn't help thinking that the reason Brynner was the only big name this time round was due to McQueen constantly upstaging him in the original. Claude Akins and Warren Oates are the only two other members of the seven i'd heard of.

Strikingly similar in story - the seven defend a backwater Tex-Mex town from bandits - but running a good half hour less, this film has barely any characterization of any person played by anyone i've not already named so two of the seven i couldn't even tell you their character names. As you can probably surmise this isn't a patch on The Magnificent Seven but for it's 90 minutes it does prove reasonably entertaining with some fun action set pieces, Elmer Bernstein's classic theme tune and of course the ever watchable Yul Brynner.
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  #197  
Old 2nd May 2022, 12:05 PM
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The Professionals (1966)

The Professionals is one of those films you just know Quentin Tarantino would kill to have made. Clever dialogue overflows and the influence this film had on Quentin was probably huge. From the men on a mission that doesn't go to plan plot line to choice snippets of chat - 'Let's go to work' says Marvin as he, Burt Lancaster, Woody Strode and Robert Ryan, finalize their plan to break Claudia Cardinale out of a Mexican stronghold. "I bet you're a big Lee Marvin fan" says Michael Madsen to Harvey Keitel following a bust up in Reservoir Dogs. No wonder, because he's excellent in this. Laconic coolness personified, although perhaps not quite at Walker levels in the awesome Point Blank.

Anyway that's almost besides the point. The Professionals is one of the great westerns, closer in style and spirit to an Italian spaghetti western than it is an old school Hollywood production. It's beautifully filmed with a haunting Leoni-esq score from Maurice Jarre, Director Richard Brooks gets the best out of a fantastic ensemble cast, which also includes Jack Palance and Ralph Bellamy, and everything from the sweltering desert to the fantastic action scenes keep the viewer transfixed to the screen making this a genuinely great film for all film fans not just western genre specific.
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  #198  
Old 2nd May 2022, 12:05 PM
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The Professionals Blu-ray looks and sounds terrific but is sadly now out of print so a new copy may take some finding. I know i had to wait months to find one at a reasonable price from Online Music Films and Games via Amazon Marketplace.
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  #199  
Old 2nd May 2022, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demdike@Cult Labs View Post
The Professionals Blu-ray looks and sounds terrific but is sadly now out of print so a new copy may take some finding. I know i had to wait months to find one at a reasonable price from Online Music Films and Games via Amazon Marketplace.
I got mine for the princely sum of Four Squid in CEX a few years back.

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