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Author Topic: Soldier Blue (1970)  (Read 11513 times)
Arizona Colt
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« Reply #30 on: December 10, 2008, 02:44:58 PM »

It's about 40 on UK Amazon.If a paperback edition comes out for around half the price i'll be tempted.

Wow. Wonder why it's more expensive on UK Amazon?

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« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2008, 09:03:32 AM »

Problem is with postage and the poor current exchange rate of Sterling it wouldn't be any cheaper for me to get this from the USA. Sad

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« Reply #32 on: October 29, 2009, 07:59:34 AM »

Saw it, and was disappointed. Horrible acting from pretty much all the cast, disgustingly bad music, shameful just-write-something-to-fill-the-time story, and, bah, I don't know, there must be something else that sucks too. The initial 10 minutes are good, the final 20 minutes are movie anthology. The heinous atrocities of war are so graphically powerful even if severely trimmed, and deserved, first of all, a better screenplay, and second everything else. Cause this cheap mess is a real shame, this is something you'd expect to find in a SW whose budget was a 1000 $. Out of respect for the victims if anything else. But, you know, here obviously everybody was so riled up preparing for the final gorefest they thought they can as well serve the audience anything they can find/quickly come up with before.

A great shame such powerful scenes were wasted on such a shitty movie.


4.5/10

« Last Edit: October 29, 2009, 08:02:05 AM by Hordak » Logged



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« Reply #33 on: May 26, 2011, 07:10:32 AM »

You guys are nuts. This film is awful with a capital FU.

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This tasteless, tacky piece of filth probably represents the nadir of revisionist Westerns. Ralph Nelson's Soldier Blue (1970) is yet another attack on America's mistreatment of the Indians, getting so caught up in righteous anger that it doesn't bother with minor things like storytelling or quality.

A detail of soldiers escorting white woman Cresta Lee (Candice Bergen) is ambushed by Cheyenne Indians, leaving only Cresta and green trooper Honus (Peter Strauss) alive. Cresa leads Honus on a bizarre odyssey to the nearest cavalry post, teaching him how to survive and deflating his pretensions of civilizing the West. Turns out Cresta is the former wife of Indian chief Spotted Wolf (Jorge Rivero) and is all wise to the ways of the Indian. They arrive at the fort, where Colonel Iverson (John Anderson) is preparing a murder raid on Spotted Wolf's village.

Soldier Blue embodies everything wrong with revisionist Westerns. We don't know the Indians because the movie focuses on the two white people; they're only presented as savage warriors at the beginning, then, bizarrely, crop up towards the end as a hippie-like village of innocents waiting to get slaughtered. Nelson and writer John Gay don't shy away from anachronism, with Cressa sporting hippie-like garb, the Colonel mumbling about "kids these days" and the blatant My Lai imagery in the finale. Most Westerns are very much of their time, but Soldier Blue openly embraces its Vietnam-era radicalism. It's like Billy Jack without roundhouse kicks.

Really the only reason Soldier Blue hasn't faded into obscurity is its infamous final massacre. Loosely inspired by the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864, it nonetheless borders on vulgar exploitation: a woman is decaptitated onscreen, children are shot, everything with breasts is raped and soldiers gleefully wave severed limbs around. This is presented so cartoonishly as to be laughable: I was reminded of Rambo, with its Burmese soldiers throwing babies into a fire. Nelson adds bizarre touches, like Honus wandering around screaming "WHY!?!" and the Colonel target-shooting from a chair (!?!), that only make things improbably crass.

Accounts of the real massacre aren't very pretty, but surely there's a less ridiculous way to present it? Little Big Man's depiction of Custer's Washita Raid gets across the horror of frontier warfare without veering into obscenity. As it is, this whole storyline doesn't even begin until the final half-hour, so who cares? With the carnage happening to people we barely know, it comes off as a lame effort to pound its audience into submission. Still harbor allusions about the Old West? Let's see you deal with this!

Divested of its message and carnage, Soldier Blue is absolutely worthless. Between the book-end massacres is a bizarre Old West comedy-of-manners, with Cresta "educating" the naive Honus in the ways of the West as they wander through the wilderness (beautifully captured by Robert B. Hauser). It plays like Pocahontas if Pocahontas were white, dressed like a Whitechappel hooker and swore like a Marine Drill Sergeant. Rest assured, we get lots of dialogue explaining why white people are evil and how square values like patriotism are a lie.

Besides insulting its audience's intelligence, all this jabberwocky is neither interesting nor helps the story. You can only hear so many righteous sermons before you go batty, and this film has little else to offer. An encounter with unfriendly Indians is over before it begins, and our protagonists' wanderings quickly grow repetitive. A bizarre interlude with a crazy gun-runner (Donald Pleasance) only muddles things further. When we finally arrive at the denouement it seems like an entirely different movie. Who cares what happens to the Indians after we've spent two hours with pretty young white people?

Candice Bergen (The Wind and the Lion) proves yet again that, while very attractive, she is a terrible actress. She's even less appealing as a gutter-mouthed frontier gal than usual. Peter Strauss is a complete bore. Donald Pleasance (Halloween) is ridiculously hammy, even by his standards. The "Indian" actors are completely forgettable, especially Jorge Rivero (whom MSTies will recognize from Werewolf). Oddly, the one actor to make a positive impression is John Anderson (Ride the High Country), who as a perennial Western baddie makes perfect casting for the John Chivington surrogate.

Soldier Blue is one of the most obnoxious examples of "politically aware" cinema to crawl out from the '70s muck. Compared to the craft and skill of other pro-Indian films - Broken Arrow, Devil's Doorway, Geronimo: An American Legend - it plays as a really bad joke, the Duel in the Sun of Indian Westerns. 2/10


http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2011/05/soldier-blue.html

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« Reply #34 on: May 26, 2011, 07:16:45 AM »

Before Jenkins bitches I'll add that the score is one of the worst I've ever heard. Though Buffy St. Marie is marginally better than Coven.

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« Reply #35 on: May 26, 2011, 12:37:19 PM »

Joe Hembus on Soldier Blue:

The cruelty of the film, which means the extensive and detailed portrayal of the massacre, is neither covered by its moral nor its formal qualities.

Can't say it better. 4/10

(But it sounds better in German)

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