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  #201  
Old 26th August 2022, 11:55 PM
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Tombstone. 1993.

A law man plans to retire in Tombstone, Arizona, when a band of outlaws called "The Cowboys" disrupt the peaceful town, Wyatt Earp teams with his brothers for a final shootout.

What a better way to start with a voice over narration by screen legend Robert Mitchum, Kurt Russell stars as the lawman Wyatt Earp with Sam Elliott as Virgil Earp, Bill Paxton as Morgan Earp and Val Kilmer gives out a decent role as Doc Holiday. This is one of those films that partially deals on fiction rather than fact at the best of times, but the acting makes it worth while even with Powers Boothe and Michael Biehn as bad guys.

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  #202  
Old 16th September 2022, 08:03 PM
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Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970)

A classic Clint Eastwood western from director Don Siegel which borders on spaghetti western territory thanks to a brilliant and beautifully quirky soundtrack by Ennio Morricone who in my opinion is on another level here.

The story itself is fairly simple and rather typical spaghetti one about a plan to blow up a French garrison in Mexico and steal their gold, however the real treasure in this film is Eastwood's co-star Shirley Maclaine as Sister Sara, a nun he finds out in the desert about to be raped by three scummy types.

Maclaine is brilliant, (and also the sexiest nun i think i've seen in a film) the way she and Eastwood spar off one another really makes the movie thanks to a smart and witty script by Albert Maltz, as do the the scrapes they get into before the garrison attack such as blowing up a wooden bridge which Maclaine has to climb due to Clint's shoulder wound and the sealing of said wound as Sara has to remove an arrow from his shoulder whilst aflame to cauterize the bleeding.

Sara travels the film on the back of a small burro (donkey) which is complemented mischievously by Morricone's music accompaniment. Maclaine's name comes up first in the opening titles and it really is her film but Clint of course is Clint, oozing charisma and laconic cool and his character is not a million miles from The Good, The Bad and the Ugly's 'Blondie'

Don Siegel keeps things moving in a pacy film which culminates in the attack on the French garrison and an explosive climax. Quentin Tarantino called this movie 'Half assed and mediocre'. He's wrong!

The Blu-ray i watched last night, part of the eight film set Clint Eastwood: The Collection, looks really pretty with the desert landscapes of Mexico pictured in exquisite detail.

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  #203  
Old 28th September 2022, 12:43 PM
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A Lawless Street (1955)

A decent if unspectacular western starring Randolph Scott. Filmed more or less entirely on sound stages this never comes close to Scott's work with Budd Boetticher yet it does have it's moments as a disillusioned and wounded sheriff vows to clean up his lawless town.

Randolph Scott is naturally very good and for the most part he's not f*cking about either. When the town barber salutes him with "Fine morning, sheriff" Scott snaps back "They all are until you wake up and get out of bed".

Angela Lansbury makes for interesting support and even performs a musical number, whilst Michael Pate's hired gunman is a fine adversary for Scott.

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  #204  
Old 14th November 2022, 09:04 PM
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The Man from Laramie (1955)

A terrific western from director Anthony Mann in which James Stewart plays the man in question seeking whoever was responsible for supplying rifles to the Apaches that killed his brother.

This is a tough and uncompromising film and one of those Stewart / Mann collaborations that changed the face of the American western during the fifties. The scene in which Stewart is shot through the hand as a form of torture is memorable if not graphic.

There's a nice sub plot of infighting between rancher Donald Crisp and his sons Alex Nicol (natural) and Arthur Kennedy (adopted) which tend to dominate great swathes of the film but they really add to the way the action builds up in a tense finale.

The Man from Laramie was one of the very first westerns to be shot in CinemaScope which really captures beautifully the vast landscape of the American west.
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  #205  
Old 15th November 2022, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demdike@Cult Labs View Post
The Man from Laramie (1955)

The Man from Laramie was one of the very first westerns to be shot in CinemaScope which really captures beautifully the vast landscape of the American west.
Excellent review, Dem.

I've never seen The Man from Laramie so the Masters of Cinema dual format release is now on my wish list and I'll keep watching the price and second-hand market for it.
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  #206  
Old 15th November 2022, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nosferatu@Cult Labs View Post
Excellent review, Dem.

I've never seen The Man from Laramie so the Masters of Cinema dual format release is now on my wish list and I'll keep watching the price and second-hand market for it.
Yeah, i mean to get it soon on Blu. The Eureka release is probably cheaper currently on Amazon 10.55 than Eureka would sell it in a sale.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01M16KE...v_ov_lig_dp_it
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  #207  
Old 15th November 2022, 05:25 PM
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Yeah, i mean to get it soon on Blu. The Eureka release is probably cheaper currently on Amazon 10.55 than Eureka would sell it in a sale.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01M16KE...v_ov_lig_dp_it
I bought a used copy for 8.89 from World of Books on eBay, which is very good for a dual format Masters of Cinema release.
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  #208  
Old 16th November 2022, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demdike@Cult Labs View Post
The Man from Laramie (1955)

A terrific western from director Anthony Mann in which James Stewart plays the man in question seeking whoever was responsible for supplying rifles to the Apaches that killed his brother.

This is a tough and uncompromising film and one of those Stewart / Mann collaborations that changed the face of the American western during the fifties. The scene in which Stewart is shot through the hand as a form of torture is memorable if not graphic.

There's a nice sub plot of infighting between rancher Donald Crisp and his sons Alex Nicol (natural) and Arthur Kennedy (adopted) which tend to dominate great swathes of the film but they really add to the way the action builds up in a tense finale.

The Man from Laramie was one of the very first westerns to be shot in CinemaScope which really captures beautifully the vast landscape of the American west.
I didn't know this was among the first to be shot in cinemascope. I've added it to my list. Thanks!
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  #209  
Old 17th November 2022, 03:31 PM
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The Bounty Killer (1965)

After being on the receiving end of some hard knocks, mild mannered Willie Duggan decides the way to make some quick money and provide for his new love is to become a bounty hunter.

The Bounty Killer is a genuinely surprising film. Dan Duryea is excellent in what is essentially a character study of how a man's personality changes through the terrible business of killing. Duryea isn't someone i'd normally associate with nice roles as Duggan is in the film's first few acts but he carries it off with charm and ease as he falls in love with saloon singer Audrey Dalton. His transformation from character actor to leading man, effortless. His metamorphosis into a sawn off shotgun wielding killing machine is shocking to witness.

The film isn't perfect though. In truth Duryea is, at 55, too old for the role as a lover for Dalton who was 26 years his junior and the final scene is predictable and you'll see it coming (perhaps not who though) a good ten minutes before it happens.

Oh, finally. Look out for Larry 'Buster' Crabbe, from the old Universal Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials.

The Bounty Killer is an excellent western that i really enjoyed once again although it desperately needs a Blu-ray release as the Odeon dvd is shaky at best.

Come on Powerhouse, you've upgraded a lot of Screenbound stuff lately. A nice Western set with this, Passion (1954) and White Comanche (1968) would be amazing.
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  #210  
Old 18th December 2022, 10:47 PM
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Buchanan Rides Alone (1958)

Tom Buchanan (Randolph Scott) is heading back to Texas with a saddle bag of money to purchase land of his own. He stops at the dead water town of Agry and is soon robbed and embroiled in a murder and together with a wealthy Mexican's son is set to be hanged.

Buchanan Rides Alone is a delightful twisty turny western from the ever reliable director Budd Boetticher. It's short at only 80 minutes but the story keeps you glued to the screen with all the double crossing the not so gentle folk of Agry get involved in.

Agry is a bit of an odd place. (I'm sure Clint Eastwood would paint a blood red 'N' onto the towns sign at some point however Randolph Scott is a generally milder type) You see most of the residents in Agry also hold the surname Agry to boot, so all the double crossing and violence - well that's families for you.

For a quickie western it's an accomplished piece. Scott aside, the cast were not known to me but the ingredients worked well together with a tight script and gripping finale.

It goes without saying that the Indicator Blu-ray looked the business and i look forward to watching the three accompanying appreciations of the film by Kim Newman, Christopher Frayling and Taylor Hackford.

Recommended, especially when you'll be able to get it for a fiver in the next Powerhouse sale.
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