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 Posted:   Aug 29, 2010 - 2:40 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

So, this 1967 Monty Hellman western (co-produced by Jack this time) is the companion film to RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND which I did another thread on recently. I had no idea that it was critically lauded, but it kinda make sense, as it tries to inject a European artfilm aesthetic into the quintessential American genre.

The story seems to be about two cowboys who escort a rather psychotic woman (and later on, her badass hired gun associate, played by Nicholson) on some vague mission through the sweltering desert sun. And then all kinds of tension arises between them; it's a typical "chamber piece" drama set in a vast, open landscape, which is interesting in itself. Unfortunately, I couldn't really understand much of the dialogue, due to the muddy sound and broad Southern accent (and there were no subtitles), so I may have missed a few plot points.

It gets kinda confusing towards the end, though - and the very ending is definitely up to interpretation.

Nicholson does a cool bad guy - very laidback, cool and arrogant. Excellent stuff.

Markowitz' score is really quite similar to that of Robert Drasnin for WHIRLWIND. Gritty jazz modernism with certain hints of americana through orchestration and rhytms, in particular. There was probably more music here, but it often seems sparse due to the sporadic outbursts. There's never this one muscular theme that comes through it all.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 2, 2010 - 1:48 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Some of you commented on this film in the RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND thread. It would be interesting to hear your viewpoints now, in this one.

 
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