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I've had good luck with Olive Films blu rays but it seems they just spit out whatever they get so I'll proceed with caution going forward. The Trap starring Richard Widmark was another of theirs I picked up today and its just a dreadful transfer.... truly horrible and again $25.
De Toth handles the complex plot and screenplay with his usual sharp explorations of shifting allegiances and betrayals of trust; Don Defore's edgy performance as McCrea's erstwhile friend is pivotal in embodying the film's dark mood and tone which some commentators have labelled noir.
It's great to see some of the Scott/De Toths on or soon to be released on DVD. Why not this film? Its brooding sense of evil is quite extreme.
As the film opens, we seem to be getting 'in medias res' after certain things have happened, events of which we have no information. As things move along many things become clear, however, the cheating, lying, murder, and out-and-out villany continue to unfold anew. As one character eventually states, too many men have died in this unofficial range war. For it has become open season, with many characters, including Dave Nash, to have seemingly changed their typical, accepted pattern of behavior.
This film of 1947 follows the Macmillian hardcover book by Luke Short (Frederick D. Glidden) from 1943, which by 1944 in hardcover had already reached its 3rd printing. The mass market paperback has been in print down to the present day, and can be fairly easily located in 2nd hand stores even now. I've had a Bantam paperback on my shelves for many a year, and one interesting thing about the movie is that it follows the book fairly well, which in itself is rather unusual for a Hollywood western of that time or any time.
Another unusual feature of both book and film is the behavior of Connie, or as one person said in another western novel she appears to be "crazy as a tree full of owls". She will deceive anyone to obtain what she wants, but true to fashion once she gets it, it doesn't satisfy, isn't really what she wants at all.Read more ›
The dialogue requires concentration by the viewer, as some characters' background and motivation are sketched in a brief sentence or two or even in a phrase. The sparse conversations pose some real moral issues, which will linger in your mind long after viewing the film. Is violent revenge ever justified, or should a man always pursue his ends through legal means? Is it good to sacrifice your life for a principle or a person you believe in? Should a man be a drifter or a stayer? Should a woman's objective be to marry a man and support his life, or can she marry and seek to also take a place of power in a world dominated by powerful and violent men?
The film makes clear the answers to these questions are not straightforward and the characters working through these issues are not painted in simple black and whites of good and bad.
Working from the excellent script, the director creates genuine suspense, often leading up to violence where the faces of the men facing death betray fear and uncertainty. The stalking and eventual cold-blooded execution of one of the characters is among the most chilling sequences you will see in a movie. In another scene, one of the 'good' guys goads an enemy into a one-sided gun fight, including by stubbing out a burning cigar on his intended victim's hand.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good old fashioned western with one of the greatest movie cowboys--Joel McCrea. Watching it on Blu Ray is a real plus.Published 11 months ago by Troutman
Standard western,Joel McCrea is great in the western parts he played in.Thinking man's Gary Cooper without that monotone voice .Published 11 months ago by buck mt. man
Terrific western, so realistic in plot, characters and dialogue and the black and white settings add to the realism. Read morePublished 11 months ago by J. Wheeler