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Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: cigar joe on August 11, 2008, 07:26:35 PM

Title: The Law & Jake Wade (1958)
Post by: cigar joe on August 11, 2008, 07:26:35 PM
Saw this today on TCM.  I was definitely impressed possibly because I wasn't expecting too much. Dir. by John Sturges it was a prety good Western that was very entertaining with Robert Taylor  as Jake Wade,  Richard Widmark as  Clint Hollister ,  Patricia Owens as Peggy ,  Robert Middleton  as Ortero,  DeForest Kelley as Wexler, and  Henry Silva as Rennie. And a good part of the film is devoted to the spectacular Sierras and the Death Valley vistas that are sorely missed in modern Westerns. Its like they forgot how to shoot Westerns in Death Valley its has a ready made surrealistic element. Anyway it fits in nicely with Three Godfathers, and Yellow Sky as a triptic of films.

The action takes place in the colder part of the year with everyone in heavier clothing, the biggest fault is star Rod Taylor who looks a bit too overly cleaned & pressed for a Western. Widmark and De Forrest Kelly are in their Western villian modes, and Silva is on creep autopilot, it even has loot from a robbery burried in a ghost town graveyard, its got a lot of good stuff and is worth of buy for the DVD collection.

Its going to be released in a Warner Home Video Western Classics Collection (Escape from Fort Bravo / Many Rivers to Cross / Cimarron 1960 / The Law and Jake Wade / Saddle the Wind / The Stalking Moon) on August 8th.

Title: Re: The Law & Jake Wade (1958)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on August 11, 2008, 08:09:38 PM

I will look out for this film cigar. Thanks for the write up. It sounds pretty good, at least visually.
Title: Re: The Law & Jake Wade (1958)
Post by: sargatanas on August 15, 2008, 04:23:09 PM
i'm a henry silva disciple. LVC may have had that thing goin for him but henry silva was truuly meneasingly menising
Title: Re: The Law & Jake Wade (1958)
Post by: dave jenkins on August 15, 2008, 04:37:22 PM
Title: Re: The Law & Jake Wade (1958)
Post by: cigar joe on April 17, 2010, 04:47:59 PM
Re-Watched the widescreen DVD release today, great scenic sequences, can't understand why no recent Western films have not used the Lone Pine/Alabama Hills locations, they'd lend an instant cache to a film.  O0
Title: Re: The Law & Jake Wade (1958)
Post by: T.H. on May 21, 2010, 10:10:49 AM
Not much to add here but YELLOW SKY had to greatly influence this movie.

Great sets, landscapes, visuals. Very respectable. I'm surprised that Leone never paid homage to the scene where Widmark's character kicks out the support beam in order for the roof of the house to collapse on Wade.
Title: Re: The Law & Jake Wade (1958)
Post by: Spikeopath on May 20, 2017, 07:26:23 AM
Another very good Oater. Adding review.

More than meets the eye in John Sturges' excellent Oater.

Jake Wade, a former thief and gunman is now the town marshal. Out of a need to clear a debt, he breaks a former accomplice of his, Clint Hollister, out of jail, and almost immediately starts to regret it. It seems that Wade hid some monetary spoils out in the hills and Hollister wants his hands on it. So along with his gang, Hollister forces Wade and his fiancée to go out searching for the cash. But not only is there conflict within the group, there is the small matter of the deadly Comanche to worry about as well.

The Law And Jake Wade comes with some pretty solid Western credentials from the off. Directed by John Sturges (Gunfight at the O.K. Corral/The Magnificent Seven), starring Richard Widmark (Warlock/The Alamo), Robert Taylor (Saddle The Wind) and photographed by Robert Surtees (Oklahoma!/Escape from Fort Bravo). Widmark is on prime bad guy form as Hollister, and Taylor, who was often accused of being stiff, is perfect foil playing sedate off of Widmark's borderline evil. The cinematography is luscious from Surtees, both Death Valley and The Alabama Hills in California are as imposing as they are beautiful, with Sturges framing his blurry good vs bad characters amongst them to great effect. What action there is {this is primarily a talky picture in reality} is handled adroitly by the wily Stugess, with a Comanche attack on our protagonists in a ghost town, particularly exciting. It's very rare to see arrows and spears glide so gracefully on their path to pain as we do here, all crisply enveloped in MGM's choice of Metrocolor.

But really it's with the story itself that the film lifts its being to rank with the better genre offerings. William Bowers' screenplay, adapting from the Marvin H. Albert novel, on the surface looks like a standard good guy-bad guy dovetail piece, but things are purposely left unanswered to fully form the issues (yes you read it right). Is it for nothing that Wade, our law man, the "good" guy, is all in black throughout the piece? With Hollister all shiny in denim blue! Why is the money out buried in the hills after all this time? And come the finale you should be forced into a rethink about the law and all its little peccadilloes. There really is more on offer here if you give it your undivided attention. Some minor itches aside {Patricia Owens love interest looks lost for example}, The Law And Jake Wade is a fine genre piece that deserves better than being called a weekend time filler. 8/10