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Classic Western Collection - The Outlaws (The Proud Ones, Forty Guns, Broken Lance, The Culpepper Cattle Co.)


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Episode Description: GiftSet Includes the Following Titles:

**Culpepper Cattle Co. **The Proud Ones **Broken Lance **Forty Guns

Amazon.com

The Proud Ones: The main draw (and quick draw) of this 1956 Western is the marvelous presence of Robert Ryan in the lead role. This underappreciated actor plays a Kansas marshal with a history of perceived cowardice in his past. Everything comes to a head in a single week: a cattle drive ends in town, bringing shootin' and hollerin'; Ryan's nemesis, a casino-runner played by veteran bad guy Robert Middleton, arrives to soak the suckers; and young hotshot Jeffrey Hunter, whose father was killed by Ryan, arrives with revenge on his mind. Oh, and Ryan himself begins to suffer from blinding headaches. Despite the crowded plot, the results are Fifties Western boilerplate, with few distinguishing features beyond the cast. But the supporting ranks are crowded with essential horse-saga actors: Walter Brennan, Arthur O'Connell, Rodolfo Acosta, and of course the bearded, lizard-eyed Middleton. Virginia Mayo plays Ryan's hotel-keeper ladyfriend. Ace cinematographer Lucien Ballard gets a few good outdoor CinemaScope set-ups into the generally backlot feel of the thing. But the reason to see the film is lanky Robert Ryan, whose compelling mix of neurosis, gentleness, and fury is on full display here. --Robert Horton

Forty Guns: Forty Guns is the most rampantly sexualized Western ever made, and the most outrageous of Samuel Fuller's late-'50s B movies. Fuller's original title was "Woman with a Whip," referring to the hard-riding range baroness--Barbara Stanwyck, sporting silver hair and (most of the time) black, skintight man togs--who's "the boss of Cochise County" and a law unto herself. The forty guns are an army of pistoleros who accompany her just about everywhere, and Fuller misses no opportunity to exaggerate their macho assertiveness in black-and-white CinemaScope, whether thundering along the horizon or formed up on either side of a preposterously long dinner table with Stanwyck at its head. Barry Sullivan costars as a Wyatt Earp–like gunfighter who both threatens Stanwyck's empire and awakens her lust for something besides power. As one of his brothers, Gene Barry (soon to star in Fuller's mind-blowing Vietnam movie China Gate) enjoys a passionate liaison with a gunsmith's busty blond daughter (Eve Brent) whom he romances down the bore of a rifle--an image Jean-Luc Godard would memorialize in Breathless. In the relentlessly double-entendre dialogue and the blocking of scenes, everything takes on sexual overtones: power and impotence, political advantage and exclusion. Fuller and cameraman Joseph Biroc capture many sequences in single, minutes-long takes that often end in a death--and in one perverse instance, the revelation of a death that has occurred midway through without our knowing it. (It's a T.S. Eliot moment, though we won't insist on it.) Style is all in this movie, which will leave you either astonished or aghast. More likely, both. --Richard T. Jameson

Broken Lance: Broken Lance is a noble entry in the trend of adult Westerns of the early 1950s, scoring on a couple of fronts: (1) as a multigenerational saga, with Shakespearian overtones, of a family bickering over a giant ranch, and (2) as a grown-up look at the dilemma of the Native American... its title perhaps inspired by the Indian-friendly Broken Arrow? Spencer Tracy stars as the blustery patriarch of a cattle spread, threatened by pollution from a nearby copper mine as well as the shiftiness of his older sons (Richard Widmark, Hugh O'Brian, and Earl Holliman). Tracy's bluff characterization--as ever, he seems to be yanking at the script like a cat unraveling a ball of yarn--carries the film effortlessly along. The central character is actually his youngest and wisest son, played by Robert Wagner, who's not especially convincing as the mixed-race issue of Tracy's second marriage, to an Indian woman (Oscar nominee Katy Jurado). Edward Dmytryk directs in a style that could be called "intelligent," which is another way of saying "not very exciting." The early CinemaScope probably accounts for some of the static set-ups, although there are exteriors that are breathtaking (watching this film in its full-screen version would be crazy). The cast is certainly tops; Widmark is overqualified to play a third lead, but who's complaining? Most memorable is the loving relationship between Tracy's cattleman and his Indian wife, although the subject of Native Americans is secondary here (check out The Devil's Doorway and Apache for more overt Fifties looks at the topic). Veteran screenwriter Philip Yordan won an Oscar for his "original story," a curious and long-defunct Academy Award category. --Robert Horton

The Culpepper Cattle Co.: The Culpepper Cattle Company is a worthy example of a certain kind of early-1970s Western: deglamorized, unromantic, and frankly violent. This one begins in familiar terms, as a greenhorn lad (Gary Grimes, recently deflowered in Summer of '42) joins a cattle drive, surrendering himself to the extremely focused leadership of boss Frank Culpepper (the authentically Western Billy "Green" Bush). The episodes that follow are engrossing and colorful, and the drive gets more interesting when a quartet of lethal hombres (among them Bo Hopkins, Luke Askew, and wild-eyed Geoffrey Lewis) join the ride. The business of frontier justice--which here usually means shooting strangers just to be on the safe side--is worked out in refreshingly unheroic ways. Clearly director Dick Richards (making his debut in a relatively brief directing career) is responding to the revisionist era, and specifically to the films of the great Sam Peckinpah; this movie's climax is a scaled-down nod to The Wild Bunch. Probably too scaled-down, given the somewhat abrupt ending. The music uses themes from Jerry Goldsmith's terrific score for The Flim-Flam Man, released five years earlier. Culpepper got lost in the flurry of revisionist westerns that sounded similar themes: The Cowboys, The Great Northfield, Minnesota Raid, and by far the best of this group, Robert Benton's Bad Company. All were released in 1972, a high-water mark for re-thinking the genre. --Robert Horton


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Spencer Tracy, Robert Wagner, Jean Peters, Richard Widmark, Barbara Stanwyck
  • Directors: Dick Richards, Edward Dmytryk, Robert D. Webb, Samuel Fuller
  • Writers: Dick Richards, Edmund H. North, Eric Bercovici, Gregory Prentiss
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: May 23, 2006
  • Run Time: 361 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EMGJC2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,778 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Classic Western Collection - The Outlaws (The Proud Ones, Forty Guns, Broken Lance, The Culpepper Cattle Co.)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 57 people found the following review helpful By B. Cathey on May 13, 2006
Format: DVD
Robert Ryan made a number of Westerns during the 1950s and '60s, but always he seemed to be overshadowed by other actors in the genre. Nevertheless, who can forget THE WILD BUNCH or his magnificent portrayal of "old man Clanton" in the seriously underrated HOUR OF THE GUN (with James Garner). And his self-effacing determination is equally unforgettable in THE DAY OF THE OUTLAW. Now one of his best roles, as the straight-arrow sheriff in THE PROUD ONES is on DVD and available at a very reasonable price. Finally. THE PROUD ONES is perhaps director Robert Webb's finest picture, combining great action scenes and plot twists, taught dialogue, and a superior cast that includes not only Ryan, but Jeffrey Hunter, Walter Brennan, Virginia Mayo, and Robert Middleton. Minor roles are given attention as well, especially Arthur O'Connell (as Ryan's deputy) and, important thematically, the wonderful Paul Burns, who plays the town drunk and panhandler....Hunter, when he finally assumes the mantle of sheriff, will give alms to Burns at the finish of the movie, just as Ryan did at the beginning, when he was sheriff. This touch dramatically completes the movie and has much to say about Hunter's increased maturity. THE PROUD ONES is a superb movie, with a great story...it will repay re-viewing. Unlike some Westerns, I don't tire of watching it periodically. It is that good....
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Terence Allen VINE VOICE on March 25, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Proud Ones is one those great Westerns that gets overlooked when the great ones are mentioned. Maybe that because it never enjoyed a wide (if any) release on VHS. But now that it's coming to DVD, one can only hope that many fans of the genre will come to appreciate it.

Robert Ryan usually played a villain or a washed up, faded man of action in westerns, but in The Proud Ones, he plays the good guy. Ryan plays Cass Silver, a marshal of a booming cow town whose enjoying a relatively quiet life with girlfriend and hotel owner Virginia Mayo when Honest John Barrett, played by perennial Western villain Robert Middleton, shows up to open a saloon/gambling parlor. Barrett and Silver have a history. In a similar situation, Silver left town rather fight it out with Barrett, who is corrupt and murderous. Barrett and Silver head for a showdown, while Silver also has to deal with Jeffrey Hunter, playing the son of a gunfighter Silver had to kill years earlier.

The Proud Ones has lots of drama, gunplay, and Western action. It should not be missed.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By William W. Miller on June 16, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Big screen western with good cast and interesting story line. Lawman Ryan is nicked in a gun fight and starts to have vision problems that inhibits his ability to deal with the bad guys. He has to rely on the son of a man he killed in a questionable gunfight in his past to aid him when the going gets tough. Robert Ryan is fine as the town lawman, and Jeffrey Hunter gives an adequate pre Searchers performance as the offspring of the man Ryan killed. The great Walter Brennan is all but waisted in a small role as deputy as is Arthur O'Connel. Villan Robert Middleton as always, is smooth and greasy and provides the worthy evil advisary whom Ryan has had past run ins with. All in all, not a classic, but an intersting and satisfyingly entertaining western film footnote. I'd rate as 3.5 stars but will round up in deference to the release of the film on DVD.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. Lovins HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 12, 2006
Format: DVD
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment present "THE PROUD ONES" (1956) (94 mins Color), under director Robert Webb, produced by Robert L. Jacks, book author Verne Athanas, screenplay by Edmund H. North, Edward North and Joseph Petracca, musical direction by Lionel Newman . . . . .cast includes Robert Ryan (Marshal Cass Silver), Virginia Mayo (Sally), Jeffrey Hunter (Thad Anderson), Robert Middleton (Honest John Barrett), Walter Brennan (Jake, Jailer), Arthur O'Connell (Jim Dexter, Deputy), Rodopho (Rudy) Acosta (Chico), George Mathews (Dillon, Saloon Manager), Fay Roope (Markham), Edward Platt (Dr. Barlow), Whit Bissell (Mr. Bolton), Paul E. Burns (Billy Smith, Town Drunk), Richard Deacon (Barber), I. Stanford Jolley (Crooked Card Player), , , , ,our story has Robert Middleton making a lot of trouble for our hero Robert Ryan who is the Marshal of a small Kansas town...more trouble is coming when the trail herd cowboys arrive to gamble and possibly kill Ryan...can he depend upon Jeffrey Hunter for help or even the girl Virginia Mayo who knows Ryan is losing his sight and could be killed not caring...this builds to a climatic end with Jeffrey Hunter questioning if he should come to the aid of Ryan who killed his father years ago...don't touch that dial, you're about to find out!

Specal footnote, actor Robert Ryan (born Robert Bushnell Ryan on November 11, 1909, in Chicago, Illinois) is an American actor, imposing, ruggedly handsome lead who made his film debut in "Golden Gloves" (1940) and signed with RKO two years later...
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Roberto Frangie on November 5, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Robert Middleton was a big brutish character actor... We have seen him in "The Silver Chalice" opposite Paul Newman, in "Friendly Persuasion" opposite Gary Cooper, and in "Love Me Tender" with Elvis Presley...

In "The Proud Ones", he is at his best as the smooth-faced and smooth-spoken saloon owner who tries to have the lawman relieved of his job in order for the town to be wide open for wild business...

Middleton makes a considerable impression as Honest John Barrett, distinctive in his dishonesty and insincere manners... He is a thief ready for anything in order to control his lucrative interests, hiring cheap crooks like George Mathews (Dillon) who results a fraud according to his rules... We see him hiring dangerous gunmen willing to slay at any time like Chico (Rodolfo Acosta), who swears to the Marshal that he will kill him one day...

The film arouses profound suspicion that we are pushed to ask ourselves why a suspicious man like the Marshal had to shoot someone apparently unarmed from behind and can we justify his action?! ¿Is he, by any chance, a 'trigger-happy' murderer?

Jeffrey Hunter performs the mistaken cowboy involved in a sinful act to avenge his father's death with the wrong man... He never believes the rectitude of the Marshal who has a questionable past... Hunter accuses him of killing his father... 'It was either him or me', exclaims Ryan, 'but I never shot an unarmed man in my life.'

The climax of the film proves clearly and openly the whole truth to the tormented young man when he confronts Barrett in a showdown...
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Classic Western Collection - The Outlaws (The Proud Ones, Forty Guns, Broken Lance, The Culpepper Cattle Co.)
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