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4.6 out of 5 stars 386 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

John Russell (Paul Newman), a white man raised by a band of Arizona Apaches, is forced to confront the society he despises when he sells the boarding house his father has left him. While leaving town by stagecoach, several bigoted passengers insist he ride outside with the driver (Martin Balsam). But when outlaws leave them all stranded in the desert, Russell may be their only hope for survival! Diane Cilento, Frederic March, Richard Boone and Barbara Rush co-star in this action-packed Western classic.


Paul Newman is the blue-eyed "savage," a white man raised by the Indians who rejects so-called civilized society for his spiritual family, in Elmore Leonard's take on Stagecoach. It's not exactly Grand Hotel on wheels. The hypocrites, crooks, and racists Newman travels with cast him out of their polite company in the coach, then turn to him for salvation when outlaws hold up the stage and hunt them through the desert. It's hard to "like" Newman's cold, hard survivor, but you can't help but respect his cunning and his unsentimental directness. Fredric March is sweaty with corruption as a crooked Indian agent, and Richard Boone smiles his deadly charm as a lusty bad man. While this 1966 Western wears its social politics on its dusty sleeves, director Martin Ritt tempers the revisionist moral of the tale with a stripped-down ruthlessness befitting the rugged, unforgiving landscape. --Sean Axmaker

Special Features

  • Still Gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Newman, Fredric March, Richard Boone, Diane Cilento, Cameron Mitchell
  • Directors: Martin Ritt
  • Writers: Irving Ravetch, Elmore Leonard, Harriet Frank Jr.
  • Producers: Martin Ritt, Irving Ravetch
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: June 4, 2002
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (386 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000063US1
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,378 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Hombre" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Glenn A. Buttkus on January 29, 2003
Format: DVD
This is a flat-out great western, even though often it is overlooked on many "Best" lists. It is existential, yet spiritual. It has action, but not too much. It focuses more on the interaction of its characters; the human condition. The cinematography by James Wong Howe, one of his last efforts, is crisp and expansive; shown magnificently on the DVD version. The score, by David Rose, is energetic and melodic. Director Martin Ritt made the most out of an unconventional plot with his powerhouse of a cast; and ultimately he filmed a picture that delivers a message without preaching.
Paul Newman, a giant among actors, found something in his character, John Russell; a stillness, an incredible strength buried deep within honed survival skills, a quiet confidence, and ultimately a compassion for others. It is a very layered, compex, and brilliant portrayal.
The supporting cast was excellent, surrounding Newman with talented adversaries and cronies. Diane Cilento, as Jesse, was willful, pragmatic, outgoing, yet still sexy; the earth mother of the piece. Richard Boone was the bad-to-the-bone Cicero Grimes; adding a new dimension to villiany. Yes he was mean, was a bully, was hard-as-nails, yet Boone still was able to show us an interesting man with deep shadows on his past; a gem of a performance. Fredric March, as the San Carlos Indian Agent, Mr. Favor, allowed us to dislike him, then pity him. He managed to dredge up a form of redemption out of the shoals of a potentially one-dimensional character. Martin Balsam found an odd humanity within his Mexican character, the stage driver Mendez; a man prone to compromise, a survivor. And in a small flashy part of a Mexican bandit, Frank Silvera made a tremendous impact. He helped us to like this brigand, and he shined with every gesture and line.
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Some reviewers on this site have said that all the white people in this film are louts; that's not true. Unlike Dances With Wolves, where every white man other than Kevin Costner's character is a brute, a lunatic or a savage, in Hombre the characters have a great variety of virtues and faults -- admittedly, mostly faults, but they are not caricatures, and I don't see this movie as a liberal guilt trip by whites.

For example, Peter Peter Lazer as the ticket agent stands up to Cicero Grimes and enforces the rules of the stage company; that's an example of a white character in the movie showing integrity. Diane Cilento's character is frank and gritty and self-confident. She stands up to Grimes in the stagecoach, calling him on his lewd comments. It's her integrity at the end of the movie, her willingness to put her own life on the line for others, that makes Newman's character finally relent from his self-contained aloofness and face the outlaws.

Newman is generally described in these reviews as selfish and egotistical; I disagree. The scene in the bar where he clobbers a tough guy in a bar who's abusing Indians with the butt of his rifle, showed lots of courage and it was done for others who were not in a position to help themselves. (Western justice wouldn't help the Indians; they knew it, and Skip Ward and David Canary's characters knew they could get away with it.) I thought it showed a lot of guts on Russell's part. As a half-white he stood a better chance at justice; but then, he didn't rely on others to provide him with justice. That's one of my favorite scenes in the movie.

The scene in the ticket office when Richard Boone's character Cicero Grimes enters, sets the background for a number of important aspects of the characters of the people in the cast.
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Format: VHS Tape
I am very surprised that "Hombre" is not available at major movie rental outlets or in DVD format. In my opinion, it is a masterpiece, the greatest western I've ever seen, and among the greatest films of any genre I've ever seen. I note, however, that AMC does feature this film from time to time, so somebody agrees with me somewhere.
The film is perfect; without a wasted word of dialogue, stunning cinematography, brilliant acting and perfect editing. It is full of irony and is absolutely unpredictable. It is near to poetry on film as can be. It brings to mind every study of philosophy and Human nature that one has undertaken from high school through college and beyond, while at the same time being entertaining, amusing and thrilling. I will never forget Paul Newman's "John Russell," or Richard Boone's "Cicero Grimes," the two opposing forces of this film, with the uniquely essential characters of "Mendez" (Martin Balsam), "the Mexican" et. al. in between. A truly great film, in the opinion of one who has been driven to write only one movie review in his entire life; this one.
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Format: DVD
A magnificent dramatization of a self-reliant egoist struggling to exist in a world of altruists, parasites, racists and pragmatists. The parasites (Grimes and the other outlaws) try to kill Hombre (also known as John Russell) physically; the pragmatist (Mendez) tries to convert him into a go-along-to-get-along, subservient type, trying to kill his ambition; the racists (the Favors, who are also parasites, and a couple of the minor outlaw characters) treat him like dirt, assaulting his self-esteem; and the altruists (Jessie Brown, and the young married couple) try to load him with a guilty conscience for the unforgivable sin of pursuing his own self-interest, his own happiness, to kill his spirit.
None of them succeed in changing him one iota. He goes down fighting, uncompromising. ...
Some great lines from the movie:
After not intervening on behalf of a victim of Grimes, and being berated for it by Jessie, Hombre says: "If it's all right with you, lady, I just didn't feel liking bleeding for him. And even if it isn't all right with you."
Jessie: "You mean you'd just let that (hostage) woman die?"
Hombre: "That's up to Grimes (the outlaw who held the woman hostage)." Hombre refuses to accept guilt for what is clearly Grimes' responsibility: the life of the hostage.
Jessie, after the stagecoach passengers are robbed, and are in a state of helplessness, speaking to Hombre: "Why do we keep trotting after you?"
Hombre: "Because I can cut it, lady."
Finally, Grimes comes up to "parley" with Hombre and the others trapped in an old mining shack. Hombre determines that Grimes has no right to any parley, as he was holding them there at the point of a gun.
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