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Day of the Outlaw

Day of the Outlaw(1959)

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  • day of the outlaw

    • kevin sellers
    • 10/20/17

    I have little to add to the previous reviews. Good, hard bitten, psychological Western with a nice laconic screenplay by Philip Yordan, wonderful dead of winter cinematography by Russell Harlan, and a powerful tone of harshness by director Andre De Toth that sometimes slips into perversion, as in the wonderful "Saturday Night Social" scene featuring lecherous bad guys, impotent good guys and terrified women and also featuring my favorite line in the film, when Burl Ives advises a disgusted Tina Louise that "there are worse things than dancing with lonely men."(Yeah, Burl. Dancing with lonely, psychotic men!)The acting's a mixed bag, with Robert Ryan and Ives solid. In fact, Ives is so good at playing bad that I wish the film makers hadn't killed him off with 20% of the film still to go. On the debit side you have a monotonal David Nelson who looks like he wandered in from the set of "Sugarfoot," if not "Ozzie And Harriet," as well as the eternally wooden and melodramatic Tina Louise as the "love interest." Her scenes of passion with Ryan were excuses for me to check up on how the Dodgers were doing against the Cubbies. (Answer: Just Fine.) So let's give it a B plus 'stead of an A for the ingenue contingent. P.S. Here's a shout out to Jack Lambert, one of the finest interpreters of despicablity in both Westerns and gangster genres. Could anyone pack more pure evil into a sneer than Jack Lambert? And no he was not related to that meanest of football players of the same name.

  • adequate

    • Habitat 67
    • 10/9/17

    I'd never seen this film before and it was entertaining but that's about it. It was good to see David Nelson. Burl Ives is a beast. I agree with Larry that Ives knew how to play truly despicable characters. My thought about the horses: There was one scene where one of the bad guys supposedly shot his horse after it broke a leg or something. When that gun shot went off, that animal was flailing on its side on the snow with absolute terror on its face. That scene really bothered me.

  • Like "Key Largo"

    • Jeff Boston
    • 10/8/17

    Outlaws instead of gangsters, with redeeming anti-hero Ryan whisking them away by horse instead of redeeming anti-hero Bogart doing it with a boat in dramatic B & W. The previous reviewer mentioned this being like "Bad Day at Black Rock" (also w/ the always solid Ryan) and I concur. Like those 2 films, this is good stuff, but unlike them, "Day of the Outlaw" has been underplayed by TCM (no reviews until today?). Burl Ives was part of several good films, and including this in last night's tribute to him is appreciated. "Jeremiah Johnson" must have borrowed from this film in what happens to one of the evildoers, Tina Louise looks great (and much better here than as gilded Ginger on TV), and it is persuasively masculine, something films have sorely lacked for far too long now. No need to worry about the horses walking in the high snow for about 5 minutes, with it maybe taking a take or two to get the relatively simple (yet profound) scenes done as desired. Just as most people in real life typically worked (and work) harder than the actors did here, most horses in real life worked (and work) harder than the horses did here.

  • strange film

    • Larry
    • 10/8/17

    Several basic observations: Robert Ryan certainly knew how to play tormented and conflicted characters. He is good in this film as such. Secondly, Burl Ives knew how to play one bad ass character and he does it in Day of the Outlaw, Wind Across the Everglades and The Big Country. It's difficult to reconcile the evil he pours into his characters in each of these movies with the gentle, grandfatherly soul who sang Holly Jolly Christmas in Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer. You wouldn't ever want to cross any of the characters played by Ives. Finally, this is one stark movie. The "town" is no more than a few weather beaten shacks in a desolate Rocky Mountain winter scene and there are only four women. It is a bit like Bad Day at Black Rock. You have to wonder why there is any settlement there at all and what are human beings doing in such desolation. This movie was made in 1959 and one also has to wonder if any concern was given to how those horses were treated. There are some very disturbing scenes all made to enhance the effect of a brutal Wyoming winter, but some of those animals appear to be absolutely terrified as well as truly struggling to maneuver in that deep snow. It was difficult to watch some of those scenes and I wonder if any thought was given, in 1959, to the welfare of those animals.

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