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Inspector Abberline 14th July 2016 06:50 PM

Western Movies.
Discuss ,review or make a list of your favourite westerns,from The Great Train Robbery (1903) to Bone Tomahawk (2015) and everything in-between.

Inspector Abberline 14th July 2016 06:51 PM

Skin Game 1971
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Skin Game 1971

James Garner as Quincy Drew and Louis Gossett, Jr. as Jason O'Rourke are a pair of con men travelling pre civil war USA, they've worked a con where Jason is sold as a slave then Quincy helps him escape and then they split the profits of the sale and move onto another town and do the same thing there again, You don't get that many comedy films that deal with race and slavery ,and before Blazing Saddles (1974) not that many comedies that used the N word either. Compared to Blazing Saddles, The Skin Game is fairly mild in tone and humour , and doesn't come close to its sheer loonesy. But the Skin Game is kind of uncomfortable to watch at times because the whole film revolves around the slave trade and uses it for humour . Louis Gossett, Jr character Jason was born a free man in New Jersey and has to play the part of a slave so he can be sold, In fact if his character even shows any sign of being well spoken or educated he's threatened with violence, Andrew Duggan as Howard Calloway a plantation owner does this in a scene where Jason un wisely tries to talk to Duggan as an equal. So if you can get past the rather unpleasant subject matter what you got is fairly light hearted comedy.James Garner and Louis Gossett, Jr. have a good chemistry together and make a great comedy duo, something they did again in James Garners tv show The Rockford Files a couple of times. If your a fan of films like Support Your Local Sheriff! and Support Your Local Gunfighter and are a big James Garner fan like myself then you'll appreciate his cool laid back likable self. Politically correct it aint, which is why I think it hasn't had a uk release on dvd,then again it may be just another forgotten film.

Inspector Abberline 14th July 2016 07:12 PM

Ulzana's Raid (1972)
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Ulzana's Raid (1972)

Directed by Robert Aldrich written by Alan Sharp,this is a western that tries to address the balance and show that it wasn't just the Apaches who could be brutal ,although by now Soldier Blue and Little Big Man had also covered this ground. That said the Apaches and Joaquín Martínez as Ulzana,and his war party are pretty damn mean bunch,and are portrayed as bloodthirsty savages who not only mutilate there enemies but in some case's cut out parts of there intestines and throw them about like they are playing beach volley ball. In fact any one who get in the way of Ulzana and his raiding party is in for a pretty sticky time,women are raped and the men usually mutilated and staked out on the ground,with one poor fella having his dead dogs tail stuffed in his gob for good measure. But its not all one sided,Aldrich shows us that the cavalry men sent out to capture Ulzana can be just as brutal,and are not adverse to mutilating the dead bodies of any Apache killed or shooting a woman rather than let her be caught by the Indians and raped. Although Aldrich is trying to redress the balance a bit, by showing that both sides can be just as brutal as each other,Westerns when dealing with Native Americans can not help themselves from being racist,and of course its always been in the best interests of American audiences to show that they are not the bad guys. Or is it an allegory for the Vietnam war? MEH At any rate its a interesting and violent tale ,with some great performances from Burt Lancaster as McIntosh the grizzled know it all tracker,Bruce Davison as Lt. Garnett DeBuin a virgin soldier who is given the job of tracking Ulzana and Jorge Luke as Ke-Ni-Tay ,McIntosh loyal scout. Joaquín Martínez as Ulzana has the thankless job of being the head baddie,there is very little in the way of characterisation for the Apache's,and we take it as red that they are just evil. Uk version has noticeable cuts for horse falls,but otherwise uncut for violence to humans.

Inspector Abberline 14th July 2016 10:35 PM

The Paleface 1948 Directed by Norman Z. McLeod
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The Paleface

1948 Directed by Norman Z. McLeod

Jane Russell as Calamity Jane is busted out of prison by the governor and offered a pardon if she will go undercover and find out who is selling illegal guns to the Indians.Unfortunately, the man who was to be her partner in uncovering this is shot in the back.Bob Hope is Painless Potter a rather incompetent dentist who gets chased out of town for pulling the wrong tooth on a cowboy.Before you know it Calamity Jane has shot three outlaws, knocked out Painless Potter and then convinced him to marry her.Surprising for a zany Bob Hope comedy the plot and storyline is pretty good (Carry on Cowboy (1965) used a similar story except Jim Dale was a plumber, not a dentist). This was Bob Hope's first colour movie and probably one of his most famous from his solo career, featuring his hit song "Buttons and Bows" which won an Academy Award for Best Song that year. Bob Hope is at his most likeable in Paleface and Jane Russell, well even wearing a cowboy outfit can still look sexy as hell. Hope's mixture of a cowardly but arrogant wise cracking loser,is not a million miles away from Bruce Campbell ,Ash character from the Evil Dead films.
The Paleface is a colourful and fun comedy western that seemingly crams as many cowboy film cliches into its running time as possible. Its probably not often that I have a Ruggero Deodato flashback while watching a Bob Hope movie,but when the Indians tied Hopes legs to two tree's,I was reminded of poor old John Steiner's death in Cut and Run ( Inferno in diretta ),luckily for Mr Hope he does not suffer the same fate as Mr Steiner does, luckily when the ropes are cut Painless Potter shoots out of his cowboy boots and is slung up a nearby tree.Paleface is good old fashioned family friendly comedy with a great little gag at the end.

Demdike@Cult Labs 14th July 2016 10:45 PM

Great thread, Inspector.

Permission to join in with some reviews?

Inspector Abberline 14th July 2016 10:47 PM


Originally Posted by Demdike@Cult Labs (Post 497209)
Great thread, Inspector.

Permission to join in with some reviews?

Please do, I can't keep reposting my old reviews :happy:

Demdike@Cult Labs 14th July 2016 10:49 PM


Originally Posted by Inspector Abberline (Post 497210)
Please do, I can't keep reposting my old reviews :happy:

I seem to remember the line in Ulzana's Raid where you said 'Uncut for violence to humans'.

Demdike@Cult Labs 14th July 2016 10:53 PM

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Bone Tomahawk (2015)

Kurt Russell plays the sheriff of a small western town who together with three other men form a posse to go after the Indians who raided the town the previous night and kidnapped three of the townsfolk.

What follows is an often slow burning western which should appeal to lovers of the genre. It's easy to forget in this age of building throwing superheroes and Empire battling space operas how thrilling it can be watching men on horseback galloping along the plains, but this first time venture from director S. Craig Zahler (surely a name to look out for in the future) proves the classic western is still not dead. Because that's what Bone Tomahawk is, it's a classic western albeit with a twist, but at it's heart this tale of love and revenge is a lot closer to True Grit and The Searchers than it is to Django Unchained.

As the four are eventually captured by their savage foes who turn out not to be Indians but something else entirely, the film gets extremely violent and graphic. Yet for some reason it's the beautifully choreographed and languid build up, the first 90 minutes that linger in my memory. The realization that four men - Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox and Richard Jenkins - all excellent - telling camp fire tales and generally being tall in the saddle against the odds, when well scripted, is still as relevant today as it was in the fifties and the golden age of the Hollywood western.

Highly recommended, but definitely not for the squeamish.

Demdike@Cult Labs 14th July 2016 11:41 PM

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The Quick and the Dead (1995)

Demdike@Cult Labs 15th July 2016 02:34 PM

The Last Hard Men (1976)

A band of desperado's led by James Coburn escape their captors whilst working on the railroad. Now fugitives, Coburn decides to go after Sam Burgade (Charlton Heston) the now retired lawman who captured Coburn and who he holds responsible for the death of his wife. The gang kidnap Burgade's daughter (Barbara Hershey) prompting Heston to strap on his guns and saddle up one last time.

The Last Hard Men came at the time when the classic western was on it's way out of fashion. 1976 was the year John Wayne hit our screens for the final time with The Shootist and only revisionary westerns remained popular after the genre had become stale. Even Spaghetti Westerns had become tired. The film was the very last western from stalwart director Andrew V. McLaglen, a man with a fine output in the genre with films such as Cahill U.S. Marshal (1973), Chisum (1970), The Undefeated (1969) - With John Wayne, and Shenandoah (1965), The Rare Breed (1966) and Bandolero! (1968) - with James Stewart. (McLaglen would go onto direct some classic action / war films following his westerns - often starring Roger Moore). Clearly influenced by the films that breathed new life into the western genre in the 60's such as Leone's Dollars trilogy and Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (1969), McLaglen gave us a typical revenge western the likes had been around since the forties but with an added sadistical menace in the form of strong blood thirsty violence and a lengthy bloody rape sequence, every bit as controversial as Straw Dogs - probably the reason the film has never seen the light of day on dvd in the UK. (My copy is Dutch)

The story line is a tried and tested formula which has been done countless times before and indeed afterwards. Bone Tomahawk (2016) for the most part travels the same familiar road, however it is a road that works. It allows for characterization as we get to know how Heston's Burgade thinks as well as his sidekick Chris Mitchum who plays Hershey's soon to be husband, and also the other side of the coin, Coburn's band of convicts, who are all nasty pieces of work and deserve what's coming to them. The exception to the rule being Larry Wilcox (C.H.I.P.S.) who tries his best to look after Hershey whilst in their clutches, but to no avail. Coburn playing against type is excellent. Just when you think he might have a shred of decency he lets two of his dogs have their way with Hershey. (One of them is John Quade who you might recall as the Hells Angels leader in Clint Eastwood's 'Which Way' films) whilst Coburn sits in the background laughing in the hope Heston will show his face so he can blow it off.

Shot totally on location, McLaglen's direction is both leisurely and frenetic. Characterization is to the fore but it's the frequent sequences of sadism which prove most memorable.The blood spills frequently, every bullet and knife woud is savage, with the final shoot out especially gory. Who wins? Well anyone who knows Heston's genre output at the time will know his fate...Or will they? It is called The Last Hard Men after all.

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