Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: Il Buono on February 10, 2003, 01:35:32 PM

Title: Clint the Cowboy
Post by: Il Buono on February 10, 2003, 01:35:32 PM
Just out of curiousity...  Which Eastwood western vehicle do you like best?  I mean apart from the Leone ones.  Personally I really liked High Plains Drifter the most (for obvious reasons).  It's the most spaghettilike western he's made in America, it has a cool atmosphere and the music is great! 8)
Title: Re:Clint the Cowboy
Post by: shorty larsen on February 10, 2003, 01:37:11 PM
I also like "Two mules for sister Sarah", because of Morricone's music.
Title: Re:Clint the Cowboy
Post by: cigar joe on February 10, 2003, 05:22:57 PM
Ok, this is a good discussion topic, I like all the non-Leone, Eastwood westerns. That said however they almost all seem to me to have fatal flaws that keeps them from being really great, or what I would call having the Leone magical touch. I'll go down the list with my thoughts.

Hang 'em High - A great story, Clint gets hanged by a lynch mob and survives to serve vengeance upon his hangers. It had a great historical back story, though for the life of me I don't know why they changed the names. In the movie the Hanging Judge was Judge Fenton and the town was Ft. Grant, in real life the Judge was Issac Parker and the town was Ft. Smith, Arkansas. The historical depictions of the multiple hangings were great. The scene where Clint confronts Reno is a classic but it goes down hill from there.

The vigilantes for the most part are lightweights, take the two captains, Captain Maddow,  and "The Captain" Alan Hale-Gilligan's Island, come on give me a break. Leone would have had distict memorable baddies maybe even top stars as baddies, each would have had some sort of unique confrontation with Clint. What happend to the Swede, most of that apparently was left on the cutting room floor, only Bruce Dern had a spark of some devious charater. It seems that a lot of the story was truncated,  Leone would have given it the full treatment.  That whole storyline with Inger Stevens was for the most part another melodramatic waste, she should have been played against type and should have been one of the whores. There was also no big ending, think of what Leone's version might have been. And to top it all off the music was a joke, they could have used the Morricone touch.

Two Mules For Sister Sara - This was a great story too, Clint and dynomite together again. The train wreck was great, they should have had more. This one really had potential it had Morricone but lacked the outstanding camera work and feel of a spaghetti. Shirley Maclaine was better than their first choice (Liz Taylor), but it could have used someone more sizzilling,sexy and sultry, Shirley, always seens a bit to tomboyish. Again this one lacked a strong villan to play off Clint.

Joe Kidd- This one had an ok good story, and Robert Duval made a good villan and some of his henchmen were memorable. But the western town looked too Disneyland almost like some tourist attraction. It had some good Leone type gunmanship and weaponship action, example the very realistic longrange gunbattle where you see and hear the bullets before you hear the gunshot. Chamma could have been played by a better actor. The set piece of the Locomotive running into the saloon was good but I think would have caused more damage.  No memorable music either. It just lacked the big Leone type concepts. It was more like a long tv western, to familiar to the typical 50's fare.

High Plains Drifter - a good story, the avenging gunfighter returns to punnish the townfolk and the released outlaws framed by the same. The most spahgetti like of Clints American westerns, I agree. Aside from Geoffry Lewis (a very good character actor), "Whisbone" (from Rawhide) and the midget actor who were great, it could have used some big name actors to play opposite Clint. Whats lacking in Clints American westerns is Leone's way of casting stars out of character that worked so well to keep audiences on edge.  Its all probably got something to do with probably lower budgets. Painting the town red is great, and the burning down of most of it was good too, but again the climax should have been more Leonesque. The openning music was good but it could have used more of it. Again seemed too low budget.

To be continued

Title: Re:Clint the Cowboy
Post by: cigar joe on February 10, 2003, 09:06:30 PM
Ok lets continue.

Pale Rider- Off the top of my head impressions, No really strong bad guy, ok you had the mining big shot, his son, and probably the strongest badie the old "Lawman" actor in the duster with his bunch, again they're all too weak to bring a heightened building conflict with Clint. The "Lawman" actor maybe should have been used more, but still to get the Leone effect going you need one or two big names and cast them against type. What you are left with here is evil watered down. Again we are creeping back towards the melodrama of the past.

The best part was Clints use of the preloaded cap and ball revolver cylinders on his gunbelt. this would be the way to do it before brass cartridges.

This had to be the first eco-western, but again, instead of a world class cast and crew it has the feel of Clint getting together with a bunch of friends and old acting buddies and making a western on a shoestring budget.

I don't even remember the music for this one.

The Outlaw Josey Wales- On this one I actually read the book first, it was a first class book up until Josey ran into what I call "Sondra Locke and the Beverly Hillbllies", lol. It was like two different people wrote the story it just completely changed gears. The movie was similar it was good up until the arrival of Sondra Locke. It could have been great with again a better villan played by a top star. The scenes with Chief Dan George were a hoot, and if they had never run into Locke and crew it probably would have been just fine and probably more entertaining. But again we get stock players from Clints other movies which for some reason just don't seem to be top notch. We just don't quite get the same rarified atmosphere that we get from Leone, no memorable camera shots, no amplified squeaks or hoofbeats, gunclicks, no big gundown and no Morricone music.

Unforgiven- Finally we are hitting on all cylinders, a good one, the best of the lot, realistic looking sets,  good camera work, top notch actors, great script, a great villan, and the big payoff shoot out in the end, the only flaw and its a very small one is the sparing use of music, Bravo!
Title: Re:Clint the Cowboy
Post by: Christopher on April 11, 2003, 11:49:02 AM
It's always a tough call for me when picking favorites between Clint films.

My favorite Eastwood western is between Unforgiven and The Outlaw Josey Wales. Those are really tied at the top for me. Then High Plains Drifter would follow.