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4.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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(May 11, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Posse" finds Douglas starring as Howard Nightingale, a United States marshal hunting down an outlaw so as to further his political career. Organizing a posse to catch infamous bank robber, Jack Strawhorn (Bruce Dern), Nightingale ends up with the tables turned on him as the cunning criminal gets the upper hand and holds him hostage instead. The only way for the posse to pay the $40,000 ransom in order to free Nightingale is by becoming bank robbers themselves.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Kirk Douglas, Bruce Dern, Bo Hopkins, James Stacy, Luke Askey
  • Directors: Kirk Douglas
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, Surround Sound, Digital Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: May 11, 2004
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001JXPVQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,635 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Posse" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
One of the truly unique American Westerns, Posse finds Kirk Douglas as a pompous U.S. marshal--fittingly named Howard Nightingale (he's great at singing his own praises)--doing everything he can to drum up support in his bid for Senator from the great state of Texas.

Key to his campaign is the capture of Bruce Dern's infamous Jack Strawhorn, a cucumber-cool, sharpshooting robber whose bad luck in finding a gang worthy of his own smarts is echoed by Nightingale's great fortune at having a posse who never fails him.

Or so he thinks....

When Strawhorn is captured, the whole town cheers, but this is offset by Wesley, one of Nightingale's best posse guys, having a go with the mayor's wife...and with two other posse members finding love, as it were, with two younger members of the female gender in the town. Seems Nightingale's boys aren't too shy.

Things come to a head when the tables are turned, and the ending is a total shock for those expecting things to turn out the way they "should" in a Western which, let's face it, is supposed to typify the core of what's good and true in American civilization. The editor of the local newspaper, a former soldier now missing an arm and a leg, is intriguingly similar in his perspective to Strawhorn; this comes out in some subtle and not so subtle ways.

Douglas himself directed this piercing look at American greed and lust and acquitted himself admirably. One of the better entries in the American Western canon, Posse is all too close to political reality even today.

Definitely recommended.
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Format: DVD
Here's a perfect example of a small, quietly subversive film, obviously created in a specific time, whose message hasn't dated in the least. It's produced, directed by & stars Kirk Douglas as a Texas lawman with his sights on the Senate, perhaps even the Presidency. He travels in a special train provided by the railroads, whom he'll represent once in office; he has a handpicked posse to help him in his pursuit of train robber Bruce Dern, whose capture will assure a successful election. Douglas' lawman also travels with a photographer, who makes the most of every photo op, such as his early capture of outlaw Dern.

As this was made in 1975, it's very much a post-Watergate film. And as such, it's still quite relevant today. For example, when Douglas makes his big speech to the town after capturing Dern, invoking God & goodness & appealing to the pre-programmed traditional beliefs of the townspeople, you realize that by changing just one word in that speech -- by substituting "terrorists" for "criminals" -- it's the same empty rah-rah speech we hear so often today.

However, Dern doesn't want to hang, and he definitely doesn't want to be used as an election prop. I won't give away what happens next, but it's quite satisfying. The film also stars James Stacy, who had recently lost an arm & a leg in a horrendous motorcycle accident, as the town's newspaper man, wary of Douglas & of any ambitious politico. He obviously represented Vietnam vets at the time; now he'd just as easily represent maimed veterans returning from Iraq, or any war, sacrificed for the personal ambitions of a smarmy would-be leader.

The performances are excellent, and even the minor background characters are given fine moments of characterization.
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Format: VHS Tape
then you should get a kick out of this one! fans of the offbeat and bruce Dern should like this western.this movie plays out like kind of a chess game between pat garrete and billy the kid,with whole trains and towns as pices. kirk douglas plays the railroad backed 'all guns, guts, and glory'marshal Nightingale who at a closer look reveals a darker side.his ambition makes him even worse than pat garrette.all he really cares about is winning a election to become a powerful U.S. senator.Evidence of this is in the way he makes arrests;his professionism is thrown out the window-He uses a Janet Reno style method to catch outlaws,taking no prisioners,caring little about taking them in alive,or recovering robbery mony. The two people who see through him the most are Dern,and a local journalist,who having lost limbs in war hates railroads and ambitous people.Kind of like the old Hamilton vs Jefferson;Hamilton represnting big banking and progress-while others dont like it they know its the way of the future.Many people dident like RxR's either. Bruce Dern is the outlaw Strawhorn,with a great understanding of human nature.Evidence of this is in the scence where just after shooting someone,in front of a horrified crowd,he shuts up a barking dog by throwing him a pice of meat.always trying to cloud good and evil,one of his most memorble quotes is when he tells Nightingale:'honest men only stay honest til it stops paying,thats why your a liar and Im a theif.' Nightingales' plan is simple:elimiate strawhorns gang, and to get elected-capture Strawhorn himself- simple plan but he finds it not as simple to carry out.Read more ›
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james stacy
Mar 21, 2009 by S. Rogers |  See all 2 posts
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