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Buchanan Rides Alone

Buchanan Rides Alone(1958)

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  • buchanan rides alone

    • kevin sellers
    • 7/22/16

    Definitely the funniest of the six Budd Boetticher/Randolph Scott Westerns, but far from the best. The screenplay, (largely by an uncredited Burt Kennedy, who did a quick, last minute rewrite) while providing Scott with some good comic zingers and containing a great mock funeral soliloquy from L.Q. Jones, is slapdash and has a huge story hole; that scene where the bad guys easily untie themselves and help themselves to rifles that Scott and Jones unaccountably did not take with them. Real amateur hour from the usually fine Burt Kennedy. Also, important character stuff is neglected, most egregiously the reasons why the three Agry brothers hate each other so much. And the decision to make the town of Agryville, aside from a saloon girl and a servant, completely devoid of women is just bizarre. It gives the film an unintended homoeroticism that may be of interest to gay audiences but seems largely irrelevant to the film's themes of injustice, power, and greed. What partially saves it are the usual fine work of Scott, and an interesting bleak ending which finds evil, personified in a fine, dark performance by veteran TV actor Craig Stevens, triumphant. Come to think of it three of the six Boetticher/Scott Westerns end in this manner, the other two being "Ride Lonesome" and "Decision At Sundown." More proof that Boetticher prefigures Leone by at least ten years. So, let's give it a generous B minus 'cause I'm a big Boetticher/Scott fan. P.S. Subtly beautiful cinematography by Lucien Ballard that transports you to the Arizona/Mexican border.

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