TCM Greatest Classic Film Collection: Westerns (The Stalking Moon / Ride the High Country / Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid / Chisum)
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Top Customer Reviews
This was the cinematic swan song for two more-than-noteworthy stars of quintessentially American movies. Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott both turn in magnificent performances, as do the extras-- notably Peckinpah regular (and perhaps the most under-appreciated American actor ever to grace the screen) Warren Oates. And you don't have to look fast for him, folks. He's a big part of the film.
In a way, Ride the High Country was deconstructionist before Unforgiven ever hit the big screen-- by thirty years or so. Like Eastwood's hit, the film manages to express reverence for and contempt of the mythology of the American West at the same time. All the stock players are here, but never presented as stereotypes. Bankers, prostitutes, prospectors, missionaries, young bucks, lawmen, hucksters and outlaws. Anyone familiar with westerns knows the drill. Only this time it's different.
Though recognized as a genius, Peckinpah is just as often derided as a misogynistic Hemingway-wannabe these days. What a shame. This film is no macho fantasy. Instead, it's a look at the seemingly inevitable (and lamentable) decay of principles that results when high-minded people find themselves in a situation and a setting that doesn't conform to their preconceptions of how things ought to be (Straw Dogs, anyone?)-- and what happens when they 'return to normalcy' in the wake of atrocity. When everything's on the line, one might just be faced with the sort of challenge to faith (in anything held dear) that we all dread confronting. Stand true and lose it all, or sell out and win?Read more ›
The story is not only a classic one but features the acting of two of the genres most well known stars (McCrea and Scott) playing parts that fit perfectly with their age at the time and ....well..
picture Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven era) and Duke Wayne (Rooster Cogburn era) in a Western together about aging cowpokes...on one last job....fighting their conscience and age and ...well...you unsterstand how impossible that is to film..that was a once in a lifetime opportunity and Peckinpah didn't squander a bit of it...from georgously backlit scenes in the old west to perfect dialog and believable story turns....this is a film to cherish and share with friends and loved ones....
anyone that discounts Peckinpah as a director because they think he is all slow motion bullets and blood...needs to see this and RE-think!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Randolph Scott's last film, and nearly Joel McCrea's final film, this is a fitting swan song for both Western film stars, while at the same time being Sam Peckinpah's first... Read morePublished 1 month ago by TLR
A very underrated Western Movie. It has all of the classic story line inputs of films from a better time of Hollywood.Published 6 months ago by Max Carpenter