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Author Topic: Rawhide (1951)  (Read 3480 times)
cigar joe
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« on: February 06, 2005, 06:23:03 AM »

Saw this film yesterday with Tryone Power and Susan Hayward, but a young and skinny Jack Elam stole the show in a creepy performance as the second bannana bad guy. He even got a close up that lasted about a minute featuring his sleazy smile and walleye look.

« Last Edit: August 26, 2008, 09:56:54 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2005, 02:19:38 PM »

Saw this film yesterday with Tryone Power and Susan Hayward, but a young and skinny Jack Elam stole the show in a creepy performance as the second bannana bad guy. He even got a close up that lasted about a minute featuring his sleazy smile and walleye look.
Saw this movie on TV back in the 60's. I remember watching it because I thought it was a big screen version of EASTWOOD'S telly show (ah, the innocence of youth). It has always stuck in my head for the reasons you mention above, cigar joe. One i would like to catch again.

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cigar joe
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2008, 09:56:18 PM »

Watched this again on the new DVD released & all I can say is WOW, I was impressed. This film has vaulted into my top 20 Westerns.

First of all from beginning to end its hitting on all cylinders. This is a Stage Station film in the tradition of "The Tall T" & "Comanche Station" of the later Bud Boetticher/Randolf Scott Ranown series, all of the action takes place in the stage station and its immediate surroundings.

The opening sequences of a stagecoach crossing the rugged barren wilderness including shots of it passing through snowbound passes are just spectacular. The Black & White cinematography is gorgeous, and add to that the historically accurate use of a team of mules pulling it makes this film one of the best portrayals of stage travel I've seen.  Even the stagecoach itself is adorned with a "headlight" type lantern for night travel.

This is one of those films where you learn some bits of Western lore, its a good example of what was prevalent in that "golden age" of the Western 1950 -1971 when the audience through both films like this and the abondanza of Westerns on TV were innundated with things western where you were  in the aggregate going to a sort of "Western University".  Its a knowledge that is getting lost now and a good example is the illogical stupidity and implausible scenarios in the recent remake of 3:10 to Yuma.

But I've been digressing. Lets get back to Rawhide.

Care is also taken to show how the arriving  team of mules is changed out for a fresh team. For those who are not familiar with western staglines most stage stops "stations" were located between 15 to 20 miles apart so that fresh teams could replace the arriving team.  Each tandem of driver & shotgun made a run of about 100 miles a day, so they would go through between 5-7 stage stops in a shift.  At some stage stations they had lunch or dinner for the passagers, All the aspect of working a stage station was depicted spot on. The set is perfect.

Dir Henry Hathaway does an impressive job in this film,  his shots and compositions are beautiful & all the actors are convincing. This film boasts Edgar Buchanan's finest performance as Stationmaster Sam Todd, and Jack Elam is his creepiest as Treviss, Tyrone Power is Tom Owens, Susan Hayward as Vinne Holt  a tough ex-saloon singer turned protector/surrogate mother of her dead sisters daughter,  Hugh Marlow as the gang leader, George Tobias as Gratz, and a great performance by Dean Jagger as the slow on the uptake "one horse horse thief" Yancy. Its got a very well intergrated low key un-intrusive to the story "love interest" between Power & Hataway a good example of they way it should be handled in all Westerns.

This film should be in anybodies Western Collection, 8/10 or better.

« Last Edit: August 26, 2008, 09:58:17 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2009, 07:00:45 PM »

I've watched the dvd in the 3 movie set of Fox westerns and it left me unsatisfied. Yes, all the good points CJ remarks are true, but still the story drags. All the shenanigan with the paper message is ridiculous, though less than the wall digging business.

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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2009, 05:51:00 AM »

You're right on this one CJ. Rawhide is a pleasant surprise.

Together with True Grit it's Hathaway's best western. Especially best directed.

9/10


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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2009, 04:05:21 PM »

The only fault in the film is that Susan Haywards shirt remains remarkably clean what with her chipping away on an adobe wall and laying on the floor in the process, at the very least her breasts should have smuge marks on them.  Shocked

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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2017, 07:38:08 AM »

Adding.

Desperate Siege.

Rawhide is directed by Henry Hathaway and written by Dudley Nichols. It stars Tyrone Power, Susan Hayward, Hugh Marlowe, Jack Elam, George Tobias, Dean Jagger and Edgar Buchanan. Music is by Sol Kaplan and Lionel Newman and cinematography by Milton Krasner.

A stagecoach station employee and a stranded woman traveller and her baby niece find themselves held hostage by four escaped convicts intending to rob the next day's gold shipment.

A Western remake of 1935 crime film Show Them No Mercy, Rawhide is the embodiment of a solid Western production. Beautifully photographed in black and white by Krasner, smoothly performed by a strong cast of actors and seamlessly directed by the astute Hathaway, it builds the hostage plot slowly, tightening the screws of character development a bit at a time, and it unfolds in a blaze of glory come film's end.

Characterisations are always interesting, if a bit conventional to anyone who has watched a lot of Oaters. Power is of course our hero in waiting and Hayward is spunky and feisty, I wonder if they will get together romantically? The four convicts are your typical scuzzy types, with Marlowe dominating the screen as the intelligent leader saddled with cohorts he really doesn't care for, while Elam is wonderfully vile as a lecherous loose cannon.

The thematics of greed, sexual hostility and jeopardy for Hayward and child keep the pot boiling nicely, so suspense is a constant, and some thought has gone into the writing as regards the convict group dynamic. Sadly Kaplan's musical score is quite often cheese laden, even ridiculously jolly and not at one with the noirish thriller conventions of the story. But regardless of irritating musical interludes, this is a very good Oater and comfortably recommended to Western fans who want more than your standard shoot em' up B pictures. 7.5/10

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