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Author Topic: Dawn at Socorro (1954)  (Read 445 times)
Spikeopath
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« on: March 04, 2017, 06:36:33 AM »

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046894/reference

All my friends are my enemies.

Dawn at Socorro is directed by George Sherman and written by George Zuckerman. It stars Rory Calhoun, Piper Laurie, David Brian, Kathleen Hughes, Alex Nicol and Edgar Buchanan. Music is by Joseph Gershenson and cinematography by Carl Guthrie.

One Night In Socorro.

A cracker-jack Western this. Plot essentially has Calhoun as Brett Wade, a tough gunfighter who is suffering badly from ill health. Taking advice from his doctor he decides to retire to healthier pastures, but his past and new enemies refuse to let him go. OK! So it's very much a composite of a number of famous Westerns, but to dismiss this as a cheap knock off would be foolish. The script is very literate and the screenplay never gets tired or preposterous. From an action stand point it scores favourably, right from the opening in Lordsburgh where we get a stockyard shoot-out, pic is never dull.

I wont arrest you for being naked.

There's good black humour in here as well, and some outstanding scenes such as Brett playing Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata at his own funeral (you will understand when you see it) and a poker game where the stake is the fetching Piper Laurie! There's a constant running feud between Wade and Jimmy Rapp (Nicol), a well written part of the film as it brings in codes and ethics that play opposite another character.

The tech credits are bang on the money. Location photography out of Apple Valley and Victorville is gorgeous, as is Guthrie's colour lensing for the interiors. Props and set design is hugely appealing, including a super locomotive for the train enthusiasts to gorge on. While the front line cast members (Lee Van Cleef & Skip Homeier have small roles) turn in very good work, with Calhoun once again showing his qualities in the genre.

My past - every dark miserable day of it!

But it's with the characterisations where the film strikes the finest. Laurie's Rannah Hayes has been cast out the family home for apparently being a hussy, she's constantly carrying that baggage with her. She finds a soul mate in Wade, a man dragged down by his life, and the weight of such could be his downfall - and he knows it. Buchanan is wonderfully ebullient as the lawman trying to get Wade out of town ASAP, Nicol is hopped up on booze and a thirst for vengeance, whilst David Brian is entrepreneur Dick Braden, a devious man with no code or honour.

Highly recommended to Western fans. 8/10

Viewed via UK cable.

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cigar joe
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2017, 03:16:48 PM »

Thanks for the heads up on this one.

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Spikeopath
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2017, 10:59:00 AM »

Thanks for the heads up on this one.

Pleasure mate. I would say that for anyone with a kink for Calhoun would dig this greatly. There's DVD's out there so I'll have to search about and find out about quality. Last time I looked they were pricey for myself to import to the UK.

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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2017, 01:13:12 PM »

I think 7/10 is more in line. True, the movie has got pace, originality (the Laurie character, mainly. And the accepted proposition to end up as a saloon whore.), the other characters all spot on. What is missing? Confrontations. There's just one, the one at the beginning at the poker table. And without a violent resolution.  For the rest the violence comes without building up, and without original contrivances. It must be only noted that the duel Nicol-Calhoun is shot from above both gunners in the frame. Corday (not Charlotte) a poor man's Gardner,  is very sexy. Mediocre OST. But production values quite high. Garfield says the other Calhoun-Buchanan westerns are worth picking up.

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stanton
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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2017, 01:27:18 PM »

5/10 is even better, and does the film more justice. And this is one of the watchable films of Sherman.

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Spikeopath
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2017, 08:11:02 AM »

5/10 is even better, and does the film more justice. And this is one of the watchable films of Sherman.

5?!

You are one sick individual   Angry

Any chance you got a review to share?

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stanton
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2017, 10:02:32 AM »

5?!

You are one sick individual   Angry

Any chance you got a review to share?


I think my ratings are generally lower than yours. 5 is an entertaining film with not much ambitions. I give most of the films you rate with 7 or 8 a 5 or lower.

A director like Sherman has made at best a few film which might get a 6. Maybe Big Jake and Reprisal are the only ones, and Dawn at Socorro is probably close. Most are 4 or way below. Most of his films are totally boring.

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Spikeopath
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2017, 11:27:47 AM »



I think my ratings are generally lower than yours. 5 is an entertaining film with not much ambitions. I give most of the films you rate with 7 or 8 a 5 or lower.

A director like Sherman has made at best a few film which might get a 6. Maybe Big Jake and Reprisal are the only ones, and Dawn at Socorro is probably close. Most are 4 or way below. Most of his films are totally boring.

Okies. I'll just take it by a number then? Be nice to see some substance in written form, but if it aint your thing then so be it.

Cheers

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stanton
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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2017, 01:04:45 PM »

Okies. I'll just take it by a number then? Be nice to see some substance in written form, but if it aint your thing then so be it.


For that I have to re-watch the film, which is not likely in the near future. And then I need time to write which I mostly haven't

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