High Plains Drifter
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Clint Eastwood's second film as a director finds the celebrated action star returning to his familiar Old West stomping grounds and his internationally acclaimed role of "The Man With No Name." This time, The Stranger (Eastwood) mysteriously appears out of the heat waves of the desert and rides into the lawless, sin-ridden town of Lago. After making a name for himself with a string of blazing gun battles, The Stranger is hired by the townspeople to provide protection from three ruthless gunmen just out of jail. The Stranger quickly proceeds to paint the entire town bright red, rename it "Hell," and supply divine retribution in the fiery, pulse-pounding climax of this acclaimed western shoot-em-up.
Clint Eastwood's second film as a director (and his first Western) is a variation on the "man with no name" theme, starring Eastwood as the drifter known only as "the Stranger." He rides into the desert town of Lagos and is quickly attacked by three gunmen. Recovering with the aid of a local dwarf (a memorable role for Billy Curtis), the Stranger is hired by the intimidated townsfolk to fend off a band of violent ex-convicts. After teaching the citizens self-defense and instructing them to paint the entire town red and rename it "Hell," the Stranger vanishes. He reappears when the marauding criminals arrive, and delivers justice and teaches the townsfolk a harsh lesson about moral obligation. Is he a figure from their past or a kind of supernatural avenger? Combining humor with action, High Plains Drifter is both a serious and tongue-in-cheek tribute to the Westerns that made Eastwood a household name. --Jeff Shannon
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It was the so creepy because it was Clint Eastwood.
...then, of course, I'm supposed to look past this as a viewer and just go along with him being a hero or whatever.
Overall the movie sucked and didn't hold the test of time. Plus I just couldn't get over that scene. Just weirded me out.
Frequent flashbacks of a brutal - and unjust - whipping that took place before Eastwood's arrival eventually explain the protagonist's behavior, which includes several cold-blooded murders and two [forced couplings] that must rank among the most anti-feminist moments in modern cinema. First a cheap hussy, then a respected townswoman fall under the spell of Eastwood's [member]. A midget gets appointed sheriff and mayor, and turns the tables on his tormentors. No one gets shot in the back, but that's about the only depth of human depravity not plumbed here. By the time the final scene arrives, you share the directorial disgust with the town he's created, and the murderous denouement is welcome.
The music is nowhere near as good as Ennio Morricone's, and the DVD transfer adds nothing to the mono soundtrack. Picture quality is OK - no better. The chapter index is decent, but skip the DVD extras - a set of cast bios and an Eastwood filmography.
Great fun, but don't play it for the kiddies - stick to 'A Fistful of Dollars' for that.