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Author Topic: The Comancheros (1961)  (Read 11564 times)
titoli
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« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2008, 05:00:10 PM »

I think what is not working completely with this movie and prevents it from making Wayne's Top Ten is Whitman. It is not that he's no good, it's just he is too diminutive near the Duke, he looks intimidated by him, though the role could allow him to take all sorts of advantage over him. Who, being that great intelligent actor he was, wouldn't have minded at all: he knows he doesn't need it and usually relish an overpowering antagonist. In fact Marvin takes full advantage of it and gives us of of his most memorable performances: the card playing scene makes my personal top ten of the greatest scenes of western. After that it was impossible denying him the role of Liberty Valance. I think Whitman's role should have been played to great advantage by MacQueen or as an afterthought by Eastwood. Then the movie would have been great.

The dig scenes and the character of Gordo made me come to mind respectively GBU and Brega.

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« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2008, 06:46:14 PM »

Whitman also wasn't forceful enough in a very similar film Rio Concho opposite Richard Boone, same problem as you describe.  He plays Captian Haven a cavalry officer assigned to discover the source of stolen "yellow boy" Winchesters. A better choice would have been a William Holden "Escape From Ft. Bravo", or Joseph Cotton "Two Flags West"  or even Robert Ryan who already played similar roles.  Whitman just didn't have the gravitas to play opposite Boone.

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« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2008, 08:20:43 PM »

Whitman also wasn't forceful enough in a very similar film Rio Concho opposite Richard Boone, same problem as you describe.  He plays Captian Haven a cavalry officer assigned to discover the source of stolen "yellow boy" Winchesters. A better choice would have been a William Holden "Escape From Ft. Bravo", or Joseph Cotton "Two Flags West"  or even Robert Ryan who already played similar roles.  Whitman just didn't have the gravitas to play opposite Boone.

But in 1964 all those actors you mention were too old. That's why I named macQueen and Eastwood. Or, even better, come to think of it, James Garner.

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« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2008, 05:11:04 AM »

I love that film, watch it every year. Good R2 Widescreen DVD.
Leone obviousely liked it a lot too, he used 'Sweetwater' and 'McBain' in OUATITW.


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« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2008, 10:07:18 AM »

Anybody knows how the "Ed McBain" came to be adopted?

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« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2008, 12:27:04 PM »

You mean, was there an Ed McBain novel in the library of one of the screenwriters, something like that?

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« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2008, 03:15:24 PM »

I mean whatever had to do with Lombino.

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« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2009, 11:08:04 AM »

I finally watched this in its entirety and it was a pleasant surprise

some pros and cons, I'll start with the cons

Stuart Whitman
weak final battle
uneven interiors, some had polish, others not so much

plusses:
beautiful exterior shots and landscapes
good score (great for old hollywood standards)
Lee Marvin

I wish Marvin's character would have had a bigger role or played Whitman's character or something.

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« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2009, 04:31:13 PM »

I finally watched this in its entirety and it was a pleasant surprise

some pros and cons, I'll start with the cons

Stuart Whitman
weak final battle
uneven interiors, some had polish, others not so much

plusses:
beautiful exterior shots and landscapes
good score (great for old hollywood standards)
Lee Marvin

I wish Marvin's character would have had a bigger role or played Whitman's character or something.
That pretty much sums it up, don'tcha think?

One other thought: maybe this film provided the template for The Wild Wild West?

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« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2009, 05:13:38 PM »

That pretty much sums it up, don'tcha think?

One other thought: maybe this film provided the template for The Wild Wild West?

I would assume.

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« Reply #25 on: October 08, 2009, 07:54:30 PM »

Beans, eggs 'n' biscuit, cut by a sip of whiskey every now and then - this is a fairly ordinary Western. They tried a lot of different things but not much came out of it. The only bright point is, as mentioned here already, Lee Marvin's little show. It seemed to me he even caught the great John Wayne off-guard for a second or two, like he didn't expect him to go so directly and disrespectfully (don't know how else to call it) on him, the leading man.

Good only for killing time I'm afraid, at least the first time.


5.7/10

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« Reply #26 on: October 08, 2009, 07:56:06 PM »

Or, even better, come to think of it, James Garner.

This crossed my mind several times while watching TC, they looked very similar in those days.

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« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2010, 04:25:44 PM »

Finally got to see this today. Movie, where have you been all my life?

Quote
I don't know how I missed The Comancheros (1961) during my Duke-loving youth, as I'm sure I would have loved it. It's almost a picture-perfect template for the classic Hollywood Western, with John Wayne, cowboys, Indians, gunfights, Monument Valley, card-playing, drinking, and lots of machismo. The Comancheros is no masterpiece, but it's a fun bit of Western entertainment, with a few niggling flaws that can be mostly overlooked.

Ne'er-do-well gambler Paul Regret (Stuart Whitman) kills the son of a New Orleans judge in a duel, and flees to Texas to escape justice. Upon arriving in Galveston, he's arrested by Texas Ranger Jake Cutter (John Wayne), who has the devil's own job keeping Regret in line. After Regret escapes custody, Jake finds himself with bigger fish to fry - a band of gun runners, the titular Comancheros, who are smuggling weapons to hostile Comanche Indians. While trying to infiltrate the gang, Jake meets up with Paul, and the two enemies must team up to fight crippled crime boss Graile (Nehemiah Persoff) and his gang of thugs.

There really isn't much to criticize in The Comancheros, unless you want to be nitpicky and point out that Winchester rifles didn't exist in 1843. It's a fun, compelling and well-made old-school Western which makes no pretensions to being anything more. With exciting shootouts and fights, a fun, quotable script, a cool duo of leads, a sexy, somewhat-duplicitous female lead (Ina Balin) and gorgeous Western scenery, the film admirably succeeds in what it sets out to do. If there's any criticism to be made, it's that the main plot takes awhile to get going, and the villains - aside from Tully Crow (Lee Marvin), the half-scalped, hard-drinking gun-runner who makes an unfortunately early exit - are underdeveloped. That being said, this isn't The Searchers, and such lapses can be overlooked when the end product is so damned fun.

The great Michael Curtiz (Casablanca, Mildred Pierce) is at the helm in his farewell picture, and the movie is certainly technically accomplished. With veteran Ford photography William Clothier, Curtiz makes exquisite use of Monumental Valley location, out-Fording John Ford in many sequences, especially the extreme, Lean-esque long shots in the scene where one of Jake's deputies (Patrick Wayne) watches the Marshall and Regret be intercepted by Comanches. The action scenes are excitingly staged, although the final battle is a bit of an anti-climax; it's given a great deal of build-up but seems over in the blink of an eye. The movie also boasts a snappy script by (who else?) James Edward Grant and Clair Huffaker, and a rousing, iconic score by Elmer Bernstein.

Wayne is in top form, playing his usual two-fisted protagonist with a snarky, self-deprecating sense of humor (his calling the New Orleans-based Whitman "Mon-sewer" is hysterical). Stuart Whitman acquits himself well although he's inevitably overshadowed by the Duke. Ina Balin is a gorgeous femme fatale but has little to do. Lee Marvin shines in his colorful bit; he would parlay this role into a co-starring role with Wayne in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and from there catapult to stardom. Old Western hands Edgar Buchanan (Ride the High Country), Bruce Cabot and Jack Elam (Once Upon a Time in the West) can be spotted in small parts.


http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2010/01/john-wayne-double-feature-angel-and_10.html

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« Reply #28 on: March 04, 2010, 05:36:37 AM »

Well, lemme tell you guys, I was *slightly* full of it the first time around. I raise my rating to 7/10. Solidly entertaining.

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« Reply #29 on: March 04, 2010, 07:41:30 AM »

Your opinion is your opinion.

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