Captain Spaulding on Skull Island

Western Roundup Part 2

May 10th, 2010

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Monday 5-3-10
The Beguiled (1971)
Directed by Don Siegel
Written by Albert Maltz & Irene Kamp, from a novel by Thomas Cullinan
Starring Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page & Elizabeth Hartman
Ooops! This isn’t a western, it’s a dark, twisted Civil War melodrama. Eastwood plays a shady Yankee soldier in Louisiana who has to recover from his war-wounds in a school for girls. He manipulates their confused passions and jealousy and disaster follow. It doesn’t belong in a western film festival, but I’m glad I watched this perverse little gem.
4 out of 5 stars.

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Wednesday 5-5-10
Breakheart Pass (1975)
Directed by Tom Gries
Written by Alistair MacLean
Starring Charles Bronson, Ed Lauter, Ben Johnson & Richard Crenna
A somewhat bland Western/Agatha-Christie-Style-Murder-Mystery hybrid. Charles Bronson is a prisoner being transported on a train full of medical supplies. When the other passengers start getting killed, it’s up to him to find out what’s going on. I love Alistair MacLean’s “Ice Station Zebra” and “The Guns of Navarone,” but this was mediocre. Maybe the others were better because other people wrote the screenplays? The world may never know.
2.5 out of 5 stars

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Thursday 5-6-10
They Call Him Cemetery (1971)
Directed by Giuliano Carnimeo
Written by Enzo Barboni
Starring Gianni Garko, William Berger, Chris Chittell & John Fordyce
Another Spaghetti Western. A couple of naïve brothers return west after going to school in Boston. They think that peace and love are the proper ways to handle disagreements. Luckily a mysterious gunfighter is there to teach them the way of violence! Okay with one good bar fight. I watched this on a box set called “Spaghetti Western Bible presents The Fast, the Saved and the Damned” and the sound was so bad it was nearly unwatchable.
2 out of 5 stars

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Sunday 5-9-10……….TRIPLE FEATURE – 3 JOES!
Apocalypse Joe (1970)
Directed by Leopoldo Savona
Written by Eduardo Manzanos Brochero & Leopoldo Savona
Starring Anthony Steffen, Eduardo Fajardo & Mary Paz Pondal
And another Spaghetti Western. Joe just wants to be a famous actor, but when he inherits a gold mine from his uncle he has to step up and free the mine from his uncle’s evil partner. Towards the end, he uses Shakespeare and Wile E. Coyote tricks to outsmart the bad guys. The first scene is good, with Joe delivering Hamlet’s soliloquy and shooting everybody through Yorick’s skull (although I would’ve preferred hearing the monologue to having music play over it) . I was starting to have low expectations of the “The Fast, the Saved and the Damned” box set, but this one had good sound, good picture and the movie was good, too!
3.5 out of 5 stars
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Navajo Joe (1966)
Directed by Sergio Corbucci
Written by Fernando Di Leo, Ugo Pirro & Piero Regnoli
Starring Burt Reynolds, Pierre Cressoy, Aldo Sambrell & Nicoletta Machiavelli
More Spaghetti. A town has to turn to an Indian to protect them from outlaws, an Indian who has his own issues with the bad guys. Interesting by itself, but also noticeably a heavy influence on Quentin Tarantino. A stylish, entertaining film with a great score by Ennio Morricone.
4 out of 5 stars
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Joe Kidd (1972)
Directed by John Sturges
Written by Elmore Leonard
Starring Clint Eastwood, Robert Duvall & John Saxon
First Joe Kidd tries to help a wealthy landowner track down a troublesome Mexican. After he finds out the landowner is bad, he sides with the troublesome Mexican. Then there’s a train running into some buildings. Some okay stuff mixed in there, but not Eastwood’s best, not Sturges’ best and not Leonard’s best.
2.5 out of 5 stars

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