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Author Topic: Warlock (1959)  (Read 11640 times)
dave jenkins
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« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2012, 08:15:10 AM »

A) there is a scene with a guy in a barbershop who runs out with half his face still full of shaving cream. Remind anyone of a somewhat similar scene in FAFDM? (Although, according to Frayling, that scene in FAFDM has a more direct reference to another movie I forget...)
My Darling Clementine, perhaps?

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« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2012, 09:14:32 AM »

My Darling Clementine, perhaps?

No, I would have remembered if it was MDC. It was a movie I haven't seen. (In MDC, there is no face half full of shaving cream)

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« Reply #32 on: February 02, 2012, 08:35:18 PM »

No, I would have remembered if it was MDC. It was a movie I haven't seen. (In MDC, there is no face half full of shaving cream)
Maybe Frayling refers to something else, but there certainly IS a scene in MDC with Henry Fonda with a face half full of shaving cream. He's in the process of getting lathered up when the barber is interrupted by the commotion caused by the drunk indian. Fonda then goes and subdues the indian, with his beard whiskers (but not his moustache) covered with cream.

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« Reply #33 on: February 03, 2012, 04:12:05 AM »

Maybe Frayling refers to something else, but there certainly IS a scene in MDC with Henry Fonda with a face half full of shaving cream. He's in the process of getting lathered up when the barber is interrupted by the commotion caused by the drunk indian. Fonda then goes and subdues the indian, with his beard whiskers (but not his moustache) covered with cream.

my bad then, I must have forgotten.

The movie I am talking about is mentioned by Frayling in the FAFDM commentary. I'll post it here next time I listen to it

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« Reply #34 on: October 08, 2012, 06:54:04 PM »

Finally got to rewatch this yesterday. Full thoughts:

Quote
The '50s saw the emergence of the so-called "adult Western," oaters which place characterization and thematic baggage ahead of action. Edward Dymytryk's Warlock (1959) is a typical example. Long on ponderous talk, it's been subjected to more psycho-sexual dissection than any Western save Nicholas Ray's Johnny Guitar. The movie's interesting even if it doesn't quite hang together.

Warlock is a mining town terrorized by Abe McQuown (Tom Drake) and his gang. After McQuown's boys run Warlock's marshal (Walter Coy) out of town, the terrified townsfolk hire gunslinger Clay Blaisedell (Henry Fonda) and his sidekick Tom Morgan (Anthony Quinn) for defense. Clay and Tom set themselves up as lawmen while earning spare change through a faro game. The marshals start to wear out their welcome after Clay's rival dies in a hold-up, while McQuowan's gang starts encroaching on his territory. Reformed cowboy Johnny Gannon (Richard Widmark) becomes Deputy Sheriff and tries to prevent all-out war. Meanwhile, Clay's romance with Jessie (Dolores Michael) sends Tom over the edge.

Warlock is based on Oakley Hall's novel but plays as a deconstruction of the Wyatt Earp legend. Clay is a nastier Wyatt, buffaloing criminals and running vice rackets, with Tom a back-shooting, demented Doc. Writer Robert Alan Arthur even loosely re-stages bits of Earp lore: a shady stagecoach hold-up, the jurisdictional dispute between Clay and Sheriff Keller (Hugh Saunders), the uneven showdown between Clay/Tom and amateur cowboys. Warlock's anti-heroes are hired guns rather than "real" lawmen, tolerated without being liked. By film's end they're as unwelcome as McQuown's men. 

"Adult Westerns" are heavy on psychological baggage, from Anthony Mann's tormented heroes to the sexual weirdness of Johnny Guitar and Terror in a Texas Town. Warlock raises eyebrows with Tom, whose obsessive jealousy towards Clay implies an "unnatural" relationship. Perhaps I'd cotton to this if I hadn't heard critics claim just about every male film duo as "coded" lovers. If Tom is gay then Clay doesn't suspect it, least of all while pairing with Jessie. Perhaps we can call a spade a spade?

Warlock is a slow-burner but the powder dampens long before the climax. Arthur's script bogs down in talk and side characters: square Johnny Gannon doesn't fit the warped story, with love interests Jessie and Lily Dollar (Dorothy Malone) eating up valuable screen time. Dymytryk stages clever scenes like Clay's humiliation of a cocksure cowboy (DeForrest Kelly) and Gannon's torture by his old gang, while Joseph MacDonald provides stunning color photography. But Warlock lurches into silly melodrama with Tom's meltdown and Clay's ludicrous reaction. Dymytryk salvages things, though, with an inspired anti-climax.

Henry Fonda does fine, though his vaguely amoral Clay isn't noticeably different than his straight hero roles. Anthony Quinn is less successful, mixing a regrettable Southern accent with ham acting. Richard Widmark (Two Rode Together) navigates his conventional arc with finesse. Dorothy Malone provides a nice edge against Dolores Michaels' white bread princess. DeForest Kelly (Gunfight at the OK Corral) makes a sympathetic bad guy and Wallace Ford (The Man from Laramie) steals his scenes as a righteous Judge. The supporting cast brims with familiar faces: Vaughn Taylor (The Professionals), Whit Bissell (The Magnificent Seven), Joe Turkel (The Shining), Roy Jenson (The Wind and the Lion), Frank Gorshin and L.Q. Jones.

Warlock isn't quite the sum of its parts. Interesting in conception and full of great scenes, it lacks the cohesion to be a classic. 7/10

http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2012/10/warlock-1959.html

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #35 on: October 09, 2012, 06:22:55 AM »

Quote
Warlock is based on Oakley Hall's novel but plays as a deconstruction of the Wyatt Earp legend. Clay is a nastier Wyatt, buffaloing criminals and running vice rackets, with Tom a back-shooting, demented Doc. Writer Robert Alan Arthur even loosely re-stages bits of Earp lore: a shady stagecoach hold-up, the jurisdictional dispute between Clay and Sheriff Keller (Hugh Saunders), the uneven showdown between Clay/Tom and amateur cowboys. Warlock's anti-heroes are hired guns rather than "real" lawmen, tolerated without being liked. By film's end they're as unwelcome as McQuown's men. 

Nicely observed. And succinct, too. Afro

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« Reply #36 on: October 09, 2012, 05:51:23 PM »

I enjoyed reading your review (as usual  Wink) although I don't rate this nearly as highly as you do. I found this pretty excruciating.

IMO there is no doubt whatsoever about the queer connotations, starting with the scene in which, after arriving in town and setting up their room, Quinn excitedly tells Fonda about how he has decorated the room, with the nice curtains, etc. I mean, come on. The queer references are as blatant as can be for 1959.

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« Reply #37 on: November 19, 2017, 02:04:42 PM »

I kinda liked this movie. I had more high hopes due to the fact that Fonda, Quinn AND Widmark are all in it.  Its actually a pretty good movie the more i think back on it. I said in the thread " what movie would you wish Leone had made), and this one immediately came to mind. Its got kind of a sphagetti western vibe to it.  The look and feel of the film were almost there. I think Leone could've made this one a great movie. I liked all the characters in this movie.  Widmarks's character was especially compelling. On its own, i still rank it a good 7 out of 10...

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