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The Law and Jake Wade
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Sturges was at his best making Westerns, and The Law and Jake Wade was a great one. It was the last great movie Robert Taylor made, and one of the best that Richard Widmark ever made.
Taylor plays Jake Wade, a lawman who breaks Richard Widmark out of jail. They used to ride together as outlaws, and Widmark's character saved Taylor's life, so he feels indebted to Widmark. All Widmark cares about is the stolen loot hidden from their last big heist, and he forces Taylor to take him to its location.
Tense, suspenseful, and well-acted, The Law and Jake Wade is a must-see Western.
This film was shot on location in California's High Sierra Mountain Range, Lone Pine location, and in Death Valley. Both the filming sites and the actors allow great realism in this western. The 88 minute film was shot in both great color and wide screen.
For Robert Taylor (1911-1969) this film would be one of the better ones he had left to make, with Richard Widmark (1914-2008) having yet a longer string of films to make with some very good ones to come. Neither actor could have had any bad feelings concerning their stellar performances in this film. Both Taylor and Widmark do show their age somewhat in this film, however, their combined performance is a veritable thing of beauty to behold. For one seeing this film for the first time elements of suspense are encountered with the ending scoring a point for the 'good guys' believing in rule of law.
Great story, sustaining suspense, admirable locations, and a plethora of very good actors, help turn this western story into more than just a western. The label 'classic' isn't too far behind this movie. All-in-all, Hollywood seldom did a western any better than THE LAW AND JAKE WADE. Watch it and you will probably understand why I enjoyed this one so much.
The film is still terrific entertainment, particularly in its second half, with the tensions within bad guy Richard Widmark's crew threatening violence; a fierce Indian raid, with the best-ever use of arrows in a Western, seeming to swoop down from a great distance at the viewer; and the long, mythical shoot-out. The film's characters and themes develop predictably - Taylor, who wants to rejoin civilisation by working as a lawman and marrying the daughter of a rich capitalist, must exorcise his violent, blood-stained past - and there are the usual homoerotic and Oedipal complications.Read more ›
This is a good movie that most western fans will enjoy. Taylor and Widmark are very good as ex-partners who reunite. As another reviewer points out, there seems to be a real friendship between the two men. The showdown at the conclusion is very well done if a little predictable. Nevertheless, this is a good movie that looks better in letterbox as I saw it on TCM. Very entertaining and well worth the watch!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I didn't give the movie five stars, because I thought it ran out of steam at the end. Richard Widmark is one of my favorite actors from the past, and he does his usual great job... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Robert Hagedorn
good old western,,not a stupid Italian one either,,it's more the way it should be,,eat your heart out ,,[who's that guy that talks to chairs]Published 1 month ago by steven oliver
Fun movie. Filmed almost entirely in Inyo and Mono counties California. Great scenery shots and very rognizable for those that lived there.Published 3 months ago by L. Brown
Great western. Robert Taylor and Richard Widmark had great chemistry. Well worth the watch.Published 4 months ago by B. G. Meadows
Excellent Western movie with 2 great stars, Richard Widmark and Robert Taylor. This movie was well written and was far more than a shootemup.Published 8 months ago by KlondikeMatisse
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