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"Pale Rider" is Eastwood's first western since "The Outlaw Josie Wales", 9 years earlier. In the mid-1980's, the western genre was considered "dead" in Hollywood with little public interest, but the success of this movie resurrected the western, and led to several more movies and made-for TV movies with old west themes (Silverado). Eastwood would make one more western, "Unforgiven" (1993), which Hollywood critics would heap praise on and award with several Academy Awards.
Eastwood resurrects another character in this movie, that of the mysterious stranger in "High Plains Drifter", who comes out of the past to exact revenge on a town that abandoned him when he was sherrif. His "Preacher" in "High Plains Drifter", has a clouded past as well, and throughout the film, there are hints given that the Preacher is perhaps a man back from the dead to repay past atrocities.Read more ›
The setting is Northern California,1860,(though the film was actually shot on location in Idaho's Sawtooth National Park)and centres around a group of gold-miners in a place called Carbon Canyon,the last area of land where mining mogul Coy LaHood(Richard Dysart) hasn't been able to set up his land-scarring hydraulic monitors.Even after numerous raids by his workers the stubborn 'tin panners' refuse to leave.But their resolve is waning.
A young girl(Sydney Penny),strong in her faith,prays for a miracle after a particulary brutal raid one morning.Enter Clint Eastwood.
I have watched this movie many times and still I am unsure of Clints character.And that's why this movie works.His aloof and mysterious 'Preacher',all the way through,begs the question is he real or is he a ghost?A suggestive script opens doors to this mans past but he himself coyly skirts around any direct answers with a dry mono-syllabic dialogue as to his true identity.He becomes an enigma to us,while outwardly to the miners of Carbon Canyon he becomes a savior in a clerical collar who seems to know how to use a six-shooter to full effect.
The two main female characters,Sarah Wheeler(Carrie Snodgress) and her daughter Megan(Sydney) are drawn to this lone stranger which causes a somewhat awkward sub-plot to the story but I feel it is entirely plausible and makes you really understand what motivates these two richly drawn characters.Alot of the female roles in Westerns are one-dimensional,Sarah and Megan are anything but.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I would like to get the soundtrack by Lennie Neuhaus of this movie in its completionPublished 1 day ago by carl venezia
'Pale Rider' is a beautifully crafted western and one of Clint Eastwood's best films. He uses the blueprint of George Stevens' classic 'Shane' and manages to put his own unique... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Michael P. O'Farrell
We somehow 'lost' our first copy (not this version)..so I got this one for a very good low deal here on Amazon, wow! Came exactly shown as the picture. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Avid Amazon Shopper
Clint Eastwood plays Preacher, a gunman who takes on the villains to help the underdogs.Published 18 days ago by K K Schwartz
Not sure on this. Maybe a 2.5 star movie. Clint plays this mysto-character a bit much. This had the potential, but was a bit slow and drab in places. Glad it showed placer mining! Read morePublished 25 days ago by asdf
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