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Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: titoli on August 12, 2006, 06:09:06 AM



Title: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: titoli on August 12, 2006, 06:09:06 AM
Just got me the dvd (the usual 3 euros) and currently watching it (I am sure I saw it already on tv but can't remember a single scene). It is a movie that couldn't have been done any better, by Hollywood standards, were it not that, at the same time, on the other side of the Atlantic somebody was doing the real thing. And, unfortunately, if you are a regular in this board you can't help thinking about it.
First thing one notices is the fact that McQueen doesn't fit his character as he's too old for it. One thinks also that's the reason why there are no close-ups. then you realize that Hathaway just doesn't adopt close-ups.
And then you wonder how, after having been wounded and taken among the Indians McQueen is clean-shaven.  And the whores? All spic and span, not an hair out of place. Also, you wonder where you heard already the score: original, but  good for the Mann westerns of the previous decade. In fact this is one of the best westerns of the '50's.


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: titoli on August 12, 2006, 08:00:04 AM
The whole Louisiana prison episode is superfluous and stupid. Looks almost like a rehearsal for Papillon. No way to believe one can decide to spend 2 years in a hell like that just to catch one who is faring much worse than if he were caught by McQueen.
One good thing of the movie is the girls, the indian and the "spanish"   (Suzanne Pleshette: can't remember this moment where else I saw her, but she's gorgeous!): I like their sixties make-up.
And in the end the final episode is repetitive, the convent intermezzo tiresome (if one wants to be gentle) and the fact that Malden, once he discovers McQueen's identity, doesn't get rid of him at once having the chance to do is implausible.
But the final scene is masterful, Malden's voice is spectacular: the best thing (and he did many) this great actor ever did. I also like the sound of the guns and the fact that no explanation on Malden's pouch is asked by McQueen.
But (and here I leave the word to the experts)  can somebody explain why McQueen wears the holster on the right side and shoots with the left? 


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: titoli on August 12, 2006, 08:02:31 AM
If his right arm was wounded I didn't notice.


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: Tim on August 12, 2006, 11:23:15 AM
  Where to start, where to start, so many questions, Titoli.  First, he fires with his left hand because he can.  Jonas Cord (great performance by Brian Keith) teaches him to shoot with both hands.  Of course, this might just be McQueen being McQueen, bringing a little something else to the role.

  Second, the only other thing I've seen Suzanne Pleschette in is The Bob Newhart Show, as Bob's wife Emily.  Agreed though, she was a hottie.

  And lastly, wasn't Nevada Smith made in the 60s?  1966 I believe.  But all in all, a great movie although like ya said McQueen doesn't look young enough for the part or half-breed.


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: The Peacemaker on August 12, 2006, 12:53:08 PM
You're right Tim, Nevada Smith was made in the 60's, but it looks like a 50's Anthony Mann western. Nothing wrong with Mann's work, I loved the Man From Laramie, but it is too Hollywood. Nothing even close to what Leone and Peckinpah would make a decade later.

But I liked Nevada Smith. It's not one my favorites and it is not a great film, but it is enjoyable. And any movie with Steve McQueen has to be at least average.  ::)


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: cigar joe on August 12, 2006, 02:50:14 PM
One cool little sequence was where Cord berates McQueen for not picking up the empty cartridges, you don't ever see that in a Western. Those were easily reloadable (if they weren't rimfire) and could be hard to come by.

Yea it was a cool Western at the time it was made.


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: titoli on August 12, 2006, 03:21:22 PM
I.e. the same year of "Il buono , il brutto, il cattivo".


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: dave jenkins on August 12, 2006, 05:05:45 PM
  (Suzanne Pleshette: can't remember this moment where else I saw her, but she's gorgeous!):
Part of the love triangle which includes Rod Taylor and "Tippi" Hedren in The Birds.


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: titoli on August 12, 2006, 06:05:19 PM
Actually I can't remember her in that film (can't say is one of my favourite Hitchcocks). I surveyed her filmography at IMDb and nothing comes to mind. Still I am sure I had spotted her in some relevant role in a movie. Bah.


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: Sackett on August 12, 2006, 06:16:17 PM
I like Nevada Smith also. Yes, it does have its faults, but its still good. Brian Keith is always good and I wish he had another scene or 2.
Pleshette was beautiful to watch and Malden's screaming out "you yella.....you ain't got the guts" is rememerable.


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: O'Cangaceiro on August 26, 2008, 06:11:44 PM
The movie is the classic tale of revenge in which the protagonist (McQueen) hunts the ones who killed his father and mother. I liked it, but perhaps it would have been more enjoyable had it been around 20-30 minutes shorter. Nice score from Alfred Newman.


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on December 01, 2011, 04:06:23 PM
This movie -- which I'd give a 7.8/10 -- was mostly very enjoyable, but very frustrating as well during the many times where characters acted in ways that are TOTALLY unrealistic


SPOILER ALERT:

a) opening scene of movie: the 3 bandits know they are about to kill McQueen's parents, know he has seen them, yet don't kill him? Ridiculous. I know he has to stay alive cuz it's the beginning of the movie, but I immediately rolled my eyes at that

b) then, instead of proceeding normally to his parents' house, they start riding hard and shooting wildly, tipping off McQueen that they are about to kill his parents. Really?

c) the whole episode (and that is what this movie is; a bunch of episodes) with the priest is the one episode that was ridiculous and should have been cut (though it may have been necessary to explain the ridiculous ending)

d) Would Malden risk bringing along McQueen -- whom he knows is Max -- on such a huge payday? Wtf for? Why  not just finish him off before the robbery?

e) the ending is ridiculous. After all the time searching for Malden, McQueen doesn't kill him? Cuz of what the priest said? puhleeez.

Other than these very frustrating points, it is in many ways a beautiful movie. The El Dorado set is terrific (though I wish they hadn't insulted us by using that same set for the scene where McQueen ropes and beats one of Malden's gang, which is not supposed to take place in El Doradao). And the landscapes, particularly from the El Dorado set till the end of the movie, are great.

Interesting also, in that the film is very unsentimental: McQueen just rides away.
 You're expecting him at some point to go back and give Jonas a big thank you and the big kiss to Neesa, but none of that. He never does go back to see Neesa (played by a gorgeous Janet Margolin), never goes back to thank Jonas Cord. Will he? Who knows. But there is little sentimentality here.


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on December 01, 2011, 04:15:13 PM
The whole Louisiana prison episode is superfluous and stupid. Looks almost like a rehearsal for Papillon. No way to believe one can decide to spend 2 years in a hell like that just to catch one who is faring much worse than if he were caught by McQueen.


I am not sure whether or not it's realistic that McQueen would put himself in prison just to get revenge, but other tha that question of the realism, I think that episode works well. But I was totally thinking the same as you were: is this a rehearsal for Papillon?  ;)


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 26, 2015, 03:37:07 PM
The whole Louisiana prison episode is superfluous and stupid. Looks almost like a rehearsal for Papillon. No way to believe one can decide to spend 2 years in a hell like that just to catch one who is faring much worse than if he were caught by McQueen.


have you seen Truffaut's "The Bride Wore Black?" At the end of that movie, SPOILERS, Jeanne Moreau puts herself in prison just so she can kill a man who is in prison whom she wants to take revenge on for having caused the death of her fiance. The point (of both movies) is that these characters are so consumed by revenge, that is their whole raison d'etre, they don't care about themselves anymore, only about revenge.


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 26, 2015, 03:38:57 PM
This movie -- which I'd say is a 7.8/10 -- was mostly very enjoyable, but very frustrating as well during the many times where characters acted in ways that are TOTALLY unrealistic


SPOILER ALERT:

a) opening scene of movie: the 3 bandits know they are about to kill McQueen's parents, know he has seen them, yet don't kill him? Ridiculous. I know he has to stay alive cuz it's the beginning of the movie, but I immediately rolled my eyes at that

b) then, instead of proceeding normally to his parents' house, they start riding hard and shooting wildly, tipping off McQueen that they are about to kill his parents. Really?

c) the whole episode (and that is what this movie is; a bunch of episodes) with the priest is the one episode that was ridiculous and should have been cut (though it may have been necessary to explain the ridiculous ending)

d) Would Malden risk bringing along McQueen -- whom he knows is Max -- on such a huge payday? Wtf for? Why  not just finish him off before the robbery?

e) the ending is ridiculous. After all the time searching for Malden, McQueen doesn't kill him? Cuz of what the priest said? puhleeez.

Other than these very frustrating points, it is in many ways a beautiful movie. The El Dorado set is terrific (though I wish they hadn't insulted us by using that same set for the scene where McQueen ropes and beats one of Malden's gang, which is not supposed to take place in El Doradao). And the landscapes, particularly from the El Dorado set till the end of the movie, are great.

Interesting also, in that the film is very unsentimental: McQueen just rides away.
 You're expecting him at some point to go back and give Jonas a big thank you and the big kiss to Neesa, but none of that. He never does go back to see Neesa (played by a gorgeous Janet Margolin), never goes back to thank Jonas Cord. Will he? Who knows. But there is little sentimentality here.

I just saw the movie again, and re-read my review above, written more than 3 years ago, and I actually agree with just about everything I said in that review, though I'd rate it a little lower. I'd give it a 7/10. (years ago I used to rate by tenth of a point, so I gave it a 7.8/10, which is the equivalent today of a 7.5 or 8/10 ... but I'm still going a little lower. I give it a 7/10).

This movie is a bunch of episodes, some enjoyable, some not. The only one that is really awful is the one with the priest. (Now, I think it is BETTER that McQueen didn't actually give the final blow to Malden much better to shoot him in five different places and die a slow and painful death, or live as a cripple. Refusing to put the final fatal shot into Malden is not an act of repentance for me; it is an act of the most extreme cruelty, which I love, considering what Malden & Co. were guilty of  ;D )

McQueen isn't as good as usual here, perhaps cuz he is playing a very different character than usual. Btw, it seems to me, not just in this movie but in others as well, McQueen has a weird way of talking, somehow I get the feeling that he must have often post-dubbed his dialogue. I have no idea if this is true but it seems to me like sometimes he is speaking too close to the mic, or his words don't convey the same emotion the scene warrants, I am not sure, maybe that is just how he spoke, but to me it seems there is something weird in the way he speaks, and/or maybe he post-dubbed lots of dialogue.

To me, the really amazing performance in this movie is by Brian Keith. He was terrific.

The movie is incredibly beautiful to look at, some of these locations are absolutely breathtaking; they did a good job in that regard, and with the music. There are quite a few shots that don't seem to be matched well color in one shot is bright, and in the next shot is dark, etc. seems to my untrained eyes that this happens a few times. But when that wasn't happening, this movie is very pretty to look at, which is probably its greatest asset, with beautiful landscapes and a marvelous set toward the end, the town of El Dorado. And the performance by Keith.

7/10


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: noodles_leone on March 26, 2015, 05:41:11 PM
This movie -- which I'd give a 7.8/10 -- was mostly very enjoyable, but very frustrating as well during the many times where characters acted in ways that are TOTALLY unrealistic


SPOILER ALERT:

e) the ending is ridiculous. After all the time searching for Malden, McQueen doesn't kill him? Cuz of what the priest said? puhleeez.


Duuuuuuuuuuude that's the point.


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 26, 2015, 07:50:36 PM
Duuuuuuuuuuude that's the point.

I know it's the point, but it's a stupid point. The "repentance at the end and walking away from the revenge that was driving the story" is an uninteresting point to me.
Just as getting forgiveness at the end, like the "Frankie, your mother forgives me!" end is uninteresting in The Informer. A protagonist getting religion or forgiveness or morality at the end of story is just not something I give a damn about in a movie.

With that being said, as I mentioned, I actually (perversely) did enjoy the end of Nevada Smith, because McQueen's supposedly getting religion actually leads to a much crueler fate for Malden. Whether that was intended or not, I don't know nor do I care. But I greatly enjoy how now, Malden will die a very slow and painful death or live a long life as a cripple. And all because McQueen got religion at the end. Wonderfully profane. So yeah, in this case, as it turns out, I guess I am happy that the main character gets religion at just the right moment  ;)

My other criticisms of the movie from that post from three years ago, I agree with almost all of them


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 27, 2015, 11:06:58 AM
A protagonist getting religion or forgiveness or morality at the end of story is just not something I give a damn about in a movie.
I'm glad to see you're finally admitting that the ending of Ace in the Hole is complete shite. And because of it, the whole film is ruined. Billy Wilder was a great director--except when he wasn't.


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: Cusser on March 27, 2015, 12:32:28 PM
Staying with Nevada Smith: plot line not altogether different than Death Rides a Horse.


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 27, 2015, 05:02:51 PM
I'm glad to see you're finally admitting that the ending of Ace in the Hole is complete shite. And because of it, the whole film is ruined. Billy Wilder was a great director--except when he wasn't.

Wilder was a great director, period.

Douglas having regrets is not interesting, but that is redeemed (so to speak  ;)) with a great final line  :)


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: Groggy on March 28, 2015, 09:21:44 AM
Staying with Nevada Smith: plot line not altogether different than Death Rides a Horse.

The ending seems more like Angel and the Badman.


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 28, 2015, 01:41:59 PM
Wilder was a great director, period.
Why would a great director direct bad films? It seems to me he could have only been a great director when he directed good films, not when he directed bad ones. Ergo, he was a great director when directing, say, Double Indemnity, and a bad one when directing Fedora (or One, Two, Three, or The Major and the Minor). On Ace in the Hole he was a middling director.


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: stanton on March 28, 2015, 01:50:19 PM
But when One, Two, Three is in fact one if his best, what does this say Drink about Wilder?


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 28, 2015, 02:40:05 PM
Nothing, because Drink does not watch comedies (even unfunny ones).


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: stanton on March 28, 2015, 05:32:37 PM
Which does not answer my question.

But if Drink wants to avoid unfunny comedies he should not not watch One, Two, Three.


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 28, 2015, 06:41:10 PM
That is correct, DJ. I don't watch comedies so I can't comment on those. On dramas, Wilder was one of the greatest. Even on comedies, he directed what many consider to be the greatest comedy ever made (SOME LIKE IT HOT), and another highly acclaimed one, THE APARTMENT. In fact, there are few directors who have made as many great films as Wilder. I am sure he made some that aren't great (though I haven't seen those), but so has almost every other director who has made a decent number of films, includinfg Hitchcock and Ford. (I don't think Leone ever made a bad film, but he made very few films.) If you judge a director by his bad movies, almost every director has some of those. But if you judge a director by his good movies (or by the percentage of movies he made that were good) Wilder is up there with the all-time greats IMO.


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: stanton on March 29, 2015, 02:53:45 AM
I don't like Wilder's films that much, so I count him to the overrated directors. His non-comedies are a bit too preachy, too much the type of Hollywood "problem" films. And most of his films go on too long, and have generally too much dialogue in them.

His best are then the ones which are quick and brisk. Some like It Hot and One, Two, Three. A Foreign Affair is another one I always enjoy. But most of his films are at least entertaining and watchable.


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 29, 2015, 10:20:54 AM
Sunsent Blvd. and Double Indemnity are PREACHY?


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: stanton on March 29, 2015, 10:24:46 AM
Double Indemnity not, but it's still not a great film for me.

Sunset Boulevard has an off voice commentary which describes too often what I already see on the screen.


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: Groggy on March 30, 2015, 04:50:37 PM
What does Sunset Blvd. preach, exactly?


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: stanton on March 31, 2015, 12:50:12 AM
Maybe Sunset Boulevard also not, but I only said a a bit, and I thought firstly about Lost Weekend and Ace in the Hole. Sunset Boulevard is one of his best films. 8/10


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: stanton on March 31, 2015, 04:07:03 AM
Ok, preachy is maybe the wrong term.

Still, they have this Hollywood-problem-film attitude, but Wilder's cynicism helps to keep them alive. And it is far away from the way Stanley Kramer deals with the beeeg problems of our world.

Ace in the Hole is too long ago too talk about any details, but the sentimental ending is typical for these films.


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: Dust Devil on November 25, 2016, 08:20:52 AM
For whatever reason, I have never watched this before, but here I have to agree almost word to word with @titoli and @drinkanddestroy.

1) McQueen unfit for the role.

2) Beautiful actresses.

3) Great supporting cast with great performances (Keith being the best IMHO).

4) So-so action. Varying from scene to scene.

5) Devoid of any reason at all, and I mean ANY.

6) Visually attractive locations and sets.



All in all: entertaining with a score of approx. 7/10


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: mike siegel on November 25, 2016, 11:57:43 AM
Brian Keith is strong (as always) but they missed to bring him back at the end...


Title: Re: Nevada Smith (1966)
Post by: Dust Devil on November 26, 2016, 11:37:46 AM
They did bring him back in a brief sequence, but not enough unfortunately.