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Author Topic: Lawman (1971)  (Read 21297 times)
cigar joe
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« on: November 13, 2006, 11:23:05 PM »

Was at the local video rental place & picked this up to rent on VHS.

All I can say is WOW!

Here is another great American Western that slipped under my radar.†

Where to start, Dircted by Michael Winner, starring Burt Lancaster in whats got to be the best Western I've seen him in so far, with Robert Ryan, Lee J. Cobb, Robert Duval, Albert Salmi, Ralph Waite, JD Cannon, John McGiver, John Hillerman, Wilford Brimley and Sheree North in whats gotta be the biggest & best role I've seen her in. Plus a great supporting cast of all good actors in realistic parts.

This is sort of a psycological/action Western hybird with an emphasis on very good action, so its got a lot of dialog but its great dialog that sounds true with a good ear for Western slang.

A guy named Ray Moyer did the set design, and this is another standout of this film, a great job, he is as good as Carlo Simi, I couldn't believe how much detail was crammed into this film. Everything looks spot on, the town set is fantastic, the ranch's are great, interiors highly detailed. Roberto Silva & Herb Westbrook did the Art direction and they deserve mention too.

There is a whore house set thats great it features a crippled gambler/pimp who hobbles about on crutches who is a past friend of Maddox, he has this skull clock sitting on his card table that is a nice touch. All the whores are real looking women not caricatured or dressed overly flashy.
 
The landscape & town sets were all shot in Durango,† Mexico and some of the buttes featured were just beautiful, don't remember seeing these locations before but the rock in the outcrops look similar to those seen in the Magnificent Seven.

The story basically revolves around Bannock Marshall Jared Maddox (Lancaster) a "mankiller" he has the nickname "The Widowmaker". Maddox is after a bunch of drovers who shot up his town during a drunken spree killing an old man. The drovers work for big time cattleman Vincent Bronson (Cobb) near the town of Sabbath, New Mexico.

Maddox has a reputation for being quick on the draw, and always getting his man, we first see him riding into Sabbath with a corpse. He ties up at the Sabbath Marshall Cotton Ryan's (Ryan) office and he tells Ryan what happend and who he's after. Ryan tells him that the men all work for Bronson, and that he'll ride out to the ranch & tell them that Maddox wants to bring them back for trial to Bannock.† Bronson's men decide to tough it out and face Maddox.

This film even has a love interest thats handeled the just the way it should be in that it doesn't detract from or slow down the narrative one iota.

The score is nothing that sticks in head and pretty forgetable, its not an SW , no picaresque charaters or humor, but it does have some SW influenced action as do a lot of the post Leone & Peckinpah films of the 70's.

The ending is worth the price of the DVD which I just ordered.†Michael Winner best film, IMO.  Cool

Check it out you wont go wrong.

« Last Edit: November 13, 2006, 11:27:45 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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titoli
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2006, 01:12:44 AM »

It was on an italian national channel a pair of weeks ago. I find incredible that you could miss it all these years. How come?

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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2006, 04:56:43 AM »

Its never been on TV that I can remember, at least not in regular rotation on AMC possibly on TCM but I've never stumbled across it.

There was a period in the 1970's where I lived without TV so I don't remember any adverts for the film either, you don't hear it mentioned on forums much either, strange.

Lancaster was definitely playing against type in this. If it would have had a Morricone score and a little bit of picaresque humor it and been directed by one of the Sergio's, lol.......


Tell me Titoli did you happen to watch it?

« Last Edit: April 09, 2008, 03:29:04 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2006, 05:51:21 AM »

I watched it more than 20 years ago, but over here is aired quite regularly (actually they're airing a lot of half-known AW and also some SW these very days). I had decided to rewatch this time but it passed off my mind caught only the last half hour (when Lancaster takes Duvall prisoner),so I can 't be definite about it. I don't like Cobb's final action, though it is coherent: it should have been off-screen.
It goes hand in hand (they were made in succession) with Valdez is coming and Ulzana's Raid. In Italy the first 2 were given a similar title, making the connection clearer: I Am The Law, I Am Valdez. But maybe Ulzana'žs Raid (which was aired a few months ago) is just as good.
 

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cigar joe
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2006, 03:32:28 PM »

When you do watch it again look at the sets I was very impressed.

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« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2006, 12:53:46 AM »

Oh, you know, first I should disintoxicate myself from having watched these days some SW shot near Rome, where you have huts built with bricks and the like...

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cigar joe
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« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2006, 03:25:38 AM »

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Oh, you know, first I should disintoxicate myself from having watched these days some SW shot near Rome, where you have huts built with bricks and the like...


lol, well I couldn't believe the copious amounts of detail in the film, behind every actor there is someting interesting to look at , on low camera angles you see ceiling details.† I was also impresed with the large amount of well used supporting characters & extras. It wasn't a cheap production by any means.

This would have been a great role for Lee Van Cleef.

« Last Edit: November 15, 2006, 03:27:19 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2006, 05:42:51 AM »

I taped this off BBC2 a couple of months back and enjoyed it immensely-some great action and an intriguing battle of wills between Lancaster and Lee J Cobb! Smiley
 

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titoli
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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2006, 06:26:56 AM »

Do you like Cobb's final decision?

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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2006, 06:55:16 AM »

You mean to confront the Lawman instead of trying and failing to buy him off? Roll Eyes
Predictable but well done!

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Tim
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« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2006, 09:02:12 AM »

  I caught Lawman for the first time this summer on TCM and really enjoyed it.  The whole cast gives excellent performances, especially Lancaster and Cobb, but also the supporting cast, oh and Robert Ryan.  How could I forget him?

  And personally, the ending kinda bothered me.  I know the men Maddox are after are scared out of their minds, but to not get a single shot off?  It did catch me completely off guard when Lancaster shot JD Cannon in the way he did.  The same thing for how Cobb goes out.

  Overall though, great movie.  I'd heard of it before, but never how good it was. 

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« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2006, 09:22:22 AM »

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You mean to confront the Lawman instead of trying and failing to buy him off?

No, I mean the way he does away with himself. I think that maybe (maybe) he should have tried for him, knowing it was a lost cause anyway.

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cigar joe
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« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2006, 05:52:27 PM »

It was definitely the unexpected, I'm still amazed that it ended the way it did.

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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2006, 10:54:37 AM »

No, I mean the way he does away with himself. I think that maybe (maybe) he should have tried for him, knowing it was a lost cause anyway.
Sorry,i'd forgotten the ending so i'd need to look at it again Embarrassed

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« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2006, 02:25:14 PM »

I just saw this movie two weeks ago and I loved it. Great psychological western. Even though I'm not a big fan of those types of westerns, this one is an exception.

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