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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting movie. Character brilliantly written and played. All about integrity and justice. "Hombre", Paul Newman, born white, raised by Indians, identifies with their... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Yudit Ecsedy
Holds up surprisingly well and is a great counterweight to every other Western featuring Native Americans. Read morePublished 15 days ago by MJ Keating
I'm not a western fan, the western era was slightly before me. But, I know Newman. This is my favorite western for 2 reasons. I love the desert southwest visuals in this movie. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Zacharia
Paul Newman, are you kidding, never a sub-par performance. This man is a legend
perhaps the best ever.
Paul Newman at his best. A great western action flick with involving revenge, racism and courage.Published 1 month ago by Gerald Davis