- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- kevin sellers
The uneasy combo of Burt Kennedy (hardly ever pretentious) and E.L. Doctorow (hardly anything but) turns out about as you would expect, a tedious exercise in trying to Say Something Important About The Human Condition, within the confines of the western genre. Give it a C minus, which would have been a D, except for some fine acting by Fonda, (as always) John Anderson, Janice Rule (even though this actress seeks out and finds pretension with the unerring skill of a drone) and, of course, Aldo Ray, whose only sound, as the monstrous Man From Bodie, is maniacal laughter.
Sorry, not great!
I rarely give a TCM film I watch a bad review. If it were not for many of the good actors, I would not have wasted my time. The script is awful. There is no character development. The dialogue for the most part is banal. The sound effects are so fake and horrible. The horse whinnies are ridiculous. No one who has ever been around horses ever heard those screeching, ridiculous sounds come out of a horse. I had never seen this film before so I stuck it out even though there were few redeeming qualities. Never again.
- TJ Hostek
This is a film based on the great novelist's first book. It is a remarkably faithful adaptation which was contrary to what American westerns typically portrayed. The wild west was not that romantic place. It is more accurately portrayed here as the bleak indifferent, even hostile place where only the strong and cunning, ruthless and violent survived. It would be more acceptable today than 1965but seems to have influenced any number of movies made by Clint Eastwood.
Typical Ambivalent Film Informed By Camus
- Richard Smith
This film could have been called "Low Noon". The infuriating lack of resolve by the protagonist played by Fonda, and his apparent lack of remorse (shame would entail him skulking off to other parts) is only exceeded by the flaccid characters surrounding him, except for Molly and Jimmy. The criminal negligence of duty demonstrated by Fonda's sheriff is presented as existentialist pap, with a curiously misplaced poke at traditional individualism glorified by prior westerns. I found myself rooting for the "bad guy".