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Author Topic: Hombre (1966)  (Read 18580 times)
Groggy
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« Reply #60 on: May 16, 2015, 10:22:21 AM »

DVD Savant reviews the new Blu-Ray release:

http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s4809homb.html


Savant's review has one major shortcoming, ignoring Richard Boone's excellent villain turn. Instead he praises Frank Silvera - huh?

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« Reply #61 on: May 17, 2015, 02:57:09 AM »

But Silvera is also fantastic. His role is pretty untypical for a genre film. He is for a long time only in the background, seems just to be another faceless genre-Mexican who is expected to be the first of the gang to die, but then turns by and by into the most dangerous (and rational) of the bandits.

Hombre is such an underrated film. Probably only the wrong director. Name not craftmanship.

« Last Edit: May 17, 2015, 03:01:11 AM by stanton » Logged

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« Reply #62 on: May 23, 2015, 03:27:17 PM »

Perfect 5/5 for image quality: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Hombre-Blu-ray/49047/#Review

Ordered and shipped!

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« Reply #63 on: May 26, 2015, 10:49:11 AM »

Blu-ray in da house! Spinning tonite!

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« Reply #64 on: May 27, 2015, 06:30:10 AM »

OK, took a look: fabulous. The new transfer is so good that I could really concentrate on the film for the first time (in the past I've only ever seen it on TV, which I tend to watch distractedly). Anyway, I've got some questions.

When the group gets to the mine the first time there's talk of one of the water bags going missing. At the end of the picture after  they've returned to the mine, the group is holed up in the structure up on the hill. Frederic March shows up and he appears to be on his last legs and he tries an old water pump and nothing comes out. Diane Cilento mutters something about him not remembering that they'd left the water bag behind. She calls out to March and tells him the water bag is in the mine shaft. March gratefully staggers over starts guzzling. Then Richard Boone and Co. ride into view.

Question #1: Why did they leave the water bag behind in the first place?
Question #2: How did Diane Cilento know where the water bag was?
Question #3: If the group members knew where the water bag was, why hadn't they reclaimed it for themselves? Why didn't they have it in the cabin? How could they take the risk that Boone and his boys would come by and cut them off from it; further, that the Boone gang would find it and use it themselves?

Question #4: Why were the Boone gang so cavalier about water to begin with? They get the money, but then don't think to take the water bags? Then one of the villains goes back for a bag as an afterthought. He takes only one of the bags. He shoots a hole in another bag. Huh? How can he not know that the gang is going to need every bag they can get?

Question #5: Why does Boone develop this elaborate plan to hold up the stage, when he can rob the Favors in town even before the journey begins? Remember, Cam Mitchell, the sheriff, has already thrown in with the robbers. There is no one to oppose the men. The Favors are just as defenseless in town as out, and it requires a lot less trouble to rob them in town.

Question #6: For the climax, why does Newman give the rifle to the kid instead of Martin Balsam? We know Balsam can shoot; we don't really know what the kid can do. Why is he the better choice? Also, don't they have more weapons? Why can't they both cover Newman, especially from two different angles? (which, as it turns out, would have been really helpful).

« Last Edit: May 27, 2015, 06:44:34 AM by dave jenkins » Logged


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« Reply #65 on: December 31, 2016, 09:01:10 AM »

Rewatched. To Jinx observations I might add the scarce probability that March could be welcome by the group after he tried to f...'em in the desert. So the last 20' make really little sense characterwise. Still 8/10 thanx to the 4 male leads.

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« Reply #66 on: January 01, 2017, 11:33:55 AM »

OK, took a look: fabulous. The new transfer is so good that I could really concentrate on the film for the first time (in the past I've only ever seen it on TV, which I tend to watch distractedly). Anyway, I've got some questions.

When the group gets to the mine the first time there's talk of one of the water bags going missing. At the end of the picture after  they've returned to the mine, the group is holed up in the structure up on the hill. Frederic March shows up and he appears to be on his last legs and he tries an old water pump and nothing comes out. Diane Cilento mutters something about him not remembering that they'd left the water bag behind. She calls out to March and tells him the water bag is in the mine shaft. March gratefully staggers over starts guzzling. Then Richard Boone and Co. ride into view.

Question #1: Why did they leave the water bag behind in the first place?
Question #2: How did Diane Cilento know where the water bag was?
Question #3: If the group members knew where the water bag was, why hadn't they reclaimed it for themselves? Why didn't they have it in the cabin? How could they take the risk that Boone and his boys would come by and cut them off from it; further, that the Boone gang would find it and use it themselves?

Question #4: Why were the Boone gang so cavalier about water to begin with? They get the money, but then don't think to take the water bags? Then one of the villains goes back for a bag as an afterthought. He takes only one of the bags. He shoots a hole in another bag. Huh? How can he not know that the gang is going to need every bag they can get?

Question #5: Why does Boone develop this elaborate plan to hold up the stage, when he can rob the Favors in town even before the journey begins? Remember, Cam Mitchell, the sheriff, has already thrown in with the robbers. There is no one to oppose the men. The Favors are just as defenseless in town as out, and it requires a lot less trouble to rob them in town.

Question #6: For the climax, why does Newman give the rifle to the kid instead of Martin Balsam? We know Balsam can shoot; we don't really know what the kid can do. Why is he the better choice? Also, don't they have more weapons? Why can't they both cover Newman, especially from two different angles? (which, as it turns out, would have been really helpful).

Just read the novel. Q. #1 No explanation is given in the novel either but the water bag is repeatedly mentioned and all the passengers (Q#2) are aware of it. The only supposition I can make  is that is left there in case of back trip. But it is only a supposition.
Q#3 Because it would give them away to the gang. In fact they hole up in the cabin doing a kind of roundabout trip which allows them not to leave traces and easily assume that the gang will pass them by. The moment the 17y.o. girl (who incorporates the Cilento character) just rescued from Apache's captivity is moved to pity by the March character they're fucked up. And she claims her folly was right and would do it again: considering her age and her recent experience she is more justified than the Cilento rendition.
Q.#4 They do not plan to have trouble going back to base. And the shooting of the water bag is made out of spite of hombre's spiteful words. BTW, the  party who was seen in the tavern scene and is the first to leave the wagon scene is said to have filled his canteen with whisky instead of water: that's why the gang  goes into trouble.
Q#5 ? In front of a whole town of witnesses who could react? Naah.
Q#6 Balsam shewed his inability to keep cold blood before, when he opened up fire much in advance. So Newman gives the boy a chance. BTW, Newman is also exposed to the fire from the third party behind the barrack, so his chances are really scarce and his action all the more unjustified.     

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« Reply #67 on: March 24, 2017, 02:43:17 AM »

Just saw the movie for the second time (TCM). Print looks perfect.

I give the movie an 8/10


TCM was showing it as part of the TCM Spotlight series. This month's spotlight is on villains, called "March Malice."

The two Westerns  they showed in this months's series are THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE (spotlight on, of course, the villain Liberty Valance, played by Lee Marvin); and HOMBRE, for Richard Boone's character.

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« Reply #68 on: May 03, 2017, 05:49:59 AM »

Adding my coins worth.

We all die, it's just a question of when?

Hombre is directed by Martin Ritt and adapted to screenplay by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank Jr from the Elmore Leonard novel. It stars Paul Newman, Richard Boone, Fredric March, Diane Cilento, Cameron Mitchell and Barbara Rush. Music is by David Rose and cinematography by James Wong Howe. Plot finds Newman as John Russell, a white man who has been raised by the Apache. Travelling on a stagecoach after collecting his inheritance, Russell finds himself ostracised by his fellow white travellers. That is until something goes wrong and the group find they now need Russell's skills in order to survive.

If it's all right with you lady, I just didn't feel like bleeding for him.

One of the best things about 1960s Westerns was that writers and directors were now more comfortable in portraying the Native Americans more honestly. Yes there were some excellent ones in the 50s as well, but as the 60s wore on things started to get more gritty, characterisations had more daring depth to them and darker human thematics drove the narratives on. One of the finest of the decade is Hombre, a literate and often bleak story that thrives on truisms as it spins off about racism, tolerance, corruption, selfishness, hypocrisy and vengeance. Crucially here the makers aren't just about kicking the white man for injustices against the Native Americans, Russell, too, is not being portrayed as a stoic, moral, defender of the Apache. He too has major flaws, his bile consistently rising, he's one cold fish. The film does indeed have a liberal slant, but it's also kinked in places and ultimately plays out as a complex morality piece, while there's not much to like about any of the characters here, this is down and dirty stuff.

You wagged your tail in the mans face and got his attention.

The dialogue is sparse, but what there is is to be savoured. The script has intelligent barbs and rough edged ironies dotted within the exchanges, the group dynamic is frayed from the off and Ravetch and Frank's script keeps the mood sombre. And with Ritt unhurried and pacing it on the simmer, it's a film begging to be heard and understood. Filmed in Panavision on location in the Coronado National Forest area and the Helvetia Mines in Pima County (a real ghost town), film has a beauty that belies the tone of the story. Photographer James Wong Howe composes some striking images for the scenery and deals in memorable deep-focus shots for John Russell's telling moments. Howe, Ritt and Newman were a great team, four years earlier they had made Hud, with Ritt and Newman getting nominated for Academy Awards (Best Director/Actor respectively), and Howe winning for Best Cinematography (Black & White). Their understanding of each other is evident in Hombre, it's a lesson in how to get three of your key Western elements right (direction, photography and leading actor).

Cast are led superbly by Newman, piercing blue eyes with an icy cold demeanour, there's a boldness to the role that brings out a wonderfully simmering bitterness to Newman's acting. Perfect foil to Newman is Boone (The Tall T/Rio Conchos), who is nicely restrained in an uncouth bully boy role. Balsam (Psycho/Cape Fear) is one of the few character actors of the time who could get away with playing a Mexican without inducing cringes, and March (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde/A Star is Born) scores well in a two fold character portrayal of some shiftiness. Of the girls it's Cilento (Tom Jones) who leaves the lasting impression, she has Jessie as a lady not for turning, who has taken her knocks but ploughs on with strength of mind and a tongue as sharp as a tack. Rush (It Came from Outer Space/Bigger than Life) is the weak link, never once looking or sounding right in a Western setting, she compounds this by looking hopeless on a horse. A decent actress in the right genre, but an Oater? No way.

That gripe about Rush aside, this is a cracker of a Western. Not one for the all action guns a toting brigade for sure, but one for the adult who likes a bit of moody cranial splendour in their Western diets. 9/10

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