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High Lonesome

3.0 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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(Nov 05, 2010)
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(Mar 29, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Texas ranchers blame a homeless drifter for two killers' dirty work.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: John Barrymore
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Vci Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 29, 2005
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007NMJD6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,194 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The credits are most intriguing: Eagle-Lion London-financed production, Alan Le May, Big Bend locations, Technicolor, Jack Elam--and perhaps Barrymore Jr., presciently channeling Sean Penn. These credits and the characters' names (Cooncat, Boatwhistle, Roper, Horse, Smiling Man) do suggest one of those offbeat postwar Westerns without John Wayne, much peacetime angst, noirish dark shadows and perhaps archetypical parables for McCarthy Era paranoiacs. The best of those films are BLOOD ON THE MOON, PURSUED, COLORADO TERRITORY, THE FURIES and SILVER LODE--all leading up to JOHNNY GUITAR and ultimately to THE SEARCHERS. Alan Le May (1899-1964) wrote the novel on which Ford based THE SEARCHERS, and here Le May, directing straight from his own script, remotely prefigures themes, motifs and high, lonely landscapes we'll find considerably amplified and perfected in Ford's great masterpiece of 1956.

Le May, like James M. Cain, was a surprisingly fine writer on very filmable tropes (this is a solid script, poorly acted) but had little notion of how to direct or how to edit down a superfluity of rather beautiful location footage. Every scene runs slightly overlong, giving the film a lumpy rhythm, and the bargain-basement cast seem bewildered and not quite on top of the script complexities. Junior Barrymore's performance as outcast drifter Cooncat is not bad, Chill Wills rocks the barn party with his greatest hit, the rather butch cowgirls Lois Butler and Kristine Miller are surprisingly emancipated, and of course Jack Elam steals the show in the badguy role "Smiling Man.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Good old western, made in the 1950"s. However, it seems older because the quality of the film is poor, blurry........actual film has aged, splotchy. Expected better, but watched it anyway. I'm a fan of old western movies.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
The film quality is terrible in this version, it was pixelated and barely visible. Why pay to watch this horrible rendition of High Lonesome when you can watch free on youtube and in color. Not worth the money.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you like westerns, this movie has some moments. It was filmed in the Big Bend river country of Texas on the property of 6 working ranches. The technicolor photography is rich and scenic. There are some accomplished actors giving good performances as well some servicable ones by what must be genuine ranch hands based on their looks and riding ability. Unfortunately, the story is somewhat preposterous and it's main focus is on the character played (and I use that word in it's fullest sense) by the only Barrymore who couldn't act - John Drew Barrymore, father of his middle named daughter. Because of his famous lineage, J.D. bypassed the learning process of acting experience and jumped into lead roles like this one. Other than shouting out his lines, his entire range consists of contorted facial expressions to show suprise, fear and God knows what-all. The price of admission is almost worth the laughter it provokes. Because the producers or director couldn't have failed to notice how inept his acting was, most of his scenes take place with a squeaky voiced actress who deflects attention from him by being even more annoying. Also it must be noted that if music were medication then this movie is overmedicated. The soundtrack is shrill and overbearing, particularly in the beginning.

So what are the good points? Chill Wills gives the kind of appealing folksy performance before he became a cariacture and Basil Ruysdael as the father left me wanting to see more of him in something (anything) else. The film was directed and written by Alan LeMay who can be forgiven for this since his story was the source for Ford's "The Searchers". And there's the landscape spread out over 6 ranches, from arroyos to plains to riversides. As for John Drew Barrymore- well, he's got beautiful blue eyes and a great head of hair which as Mick Jagger once said is all you need to be a rock star. Not a film star.
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Format: Amazon Video
The quality of this picture was so poor that I had to abandon early on. I skipped ahead hoping to see improvement, but no such luck.
I remember our old 1950s era Philco television (needless to say, black and white) whose picture tube was on its way out. Believe me, the old Philco had better video quality than this. Too bad, too, because it looked like an interesting movie.
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Format: DVD
HIGH LONESOME was Eagle-Lion's sequel to THE SUNDOWNERS (1950). While several cast members from the earlier film also appear in this one, most notably Chill Wills, the film lacks the "star-power" of a Robert Preston (or Robert Sterling). John Barrymore Jr. isn't as bad as some have written, but neither does he give the film that essential lift that it needs to be truly memorable. Still, for the price, and the fine camera work, and for Chill Wills (who always adds something), the film is worth investigating. Again, thanks to VCI gives us a handsome print..and we owe them thanks.
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Format: Amazon Video
Yes, this copy of the film is a photographic bummer, but the story has some surprising twists. A little Hitchcock, a little Serling and Chill Wills' singing voice! (I expected the usual gravel throat, but was treated to something smoother.)
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