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Author Topic: Backlash (1956)  (Read 3427 times)
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« on: June 22, 2007, 04:03:38 PM »

For a plot summary: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048976/plotsummary

This is an OK movie, some things are fine, some suck. The idea is great, the script is good but directing is... it shows secondary things. I mean, it seems to me that, for example, they shot some fight with indians just for the sake of it. Ok, the scene was somewhat exciting but when the movie goes on it comes pretty clear how stupid it was. There is a twist towards the end but somehow it's not exciting. All motives are told in the dialogue. This is the besetting sin on AWs, too much talk. Action there is but mostly buildups are weak.

I'm not usually the guy who suggests remakes, but this would be great source for a new western. It has many elements that would work great in a SW. REMAKE! REMAKE!

5/10

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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2008, 11:32:18 AM »

Couldn't be more in disagreement with the above. This is one of the best 50's AW, a screenplay as perfect as any, never a dull moment (you count on a hand's fingers the movies as tight as this). There are minor defects (McIntire doesn't look like Widmark's father, f.e.) but this kept me glued to my seat from the great start (the first shoot comes as unexpected as can be) to the end. 9\10

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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2008, 04:36:34 PM »

I thought the chick looked too 50ish and not in correct period costume, my biggest complaint.

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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2008, 05:01:39 PM »


I wonder if this will ever be released in the United States anytime soon? It looks great and I love Richard Widmark.

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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2008, 06:35:56 PM »

I thought the chick looked too 50ish and not in correct period costume, my biggest complaint.

The chick is beautiful: everything Gail Russel tried to be but, poor soul, could never aspire to (except in Dave Jenkins' eyes). BTW you give me the chance to mention the fact that this is also one of the few movies where the woman's presence and the love story is not an encumbrance: the scene at the campfire is masterful and extremely sexy (compare it with the rather akward one in Two Mules for Sister Sara).  And yes, she's dressed horribly, like Costner in Silverado. But  I couldn't care less.

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« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2008, 08:03:47 PM »

I don't like the way Widmark wins Reed over so quickly. I think they should remain at loggerheads through most of the fiim, maybe even killing each other at the end.

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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2008, 10:09:41 PM »

Quickly? You miss the ambiguity of her position before the campfire scene, after the great first scene and the one with the bros. You call that quickly? And this is not a Cary Grant-Katherine Hepburn comedy, thanx god.

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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2008, 04:22:55 AM »

Can't really defend my opinion here 'cause I don't remember much about it, only scenes here and there and the twist in the end. If I recall correct, I watched this one half asleep after about 36 hours of staying awake (a poor choice, I know).

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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2017, 08:40:51 PM »

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048976/reference

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Backlash (1956) is directed by John Sturges and adapted by Borden Chase from the novel written by Frank Gruber. It stars Richard Widmark, Donna Reed, John McIntire & William Campbell. It's shot in Technicolor by Irving Glassberg on location in Tuscon, Arizona.

1870 Arizona, and Jim Slater (Widmark) is searching for the truth about what happened to his father during the Apache ambush at Gila Valley. This brings him into contact with strong willed Karyl Orton (Reed), who courtesy of her missing husband also has an interest in the events of that raid. Missing family members and missing gold, the can is now open and worms are pouring out every where.

It's about the writing and the characters here. From the off it should be known that this is no high octane actioner. We are dealing in a mystery, with what amounts to a detective story played out in a Western theme. It's a touch unusual but never less than interesting as Chases' unconventional script gives birth to a myriad of characters, some complex, others just stock genre story fleshers. There's some clichés spliced within the piece, but they are off set by some nice twists in the story. And while this is no Anthony Mann/Borden Chase psychologically tinted production, it doesn't cop out with its big decisions. Glassberg's cinematography is first class, really vibrant and bursting out from the screen as they nicely film it on location of where the story is set. The cast is real strong. Widmark is excellent as the tough as nails hero and Reed looks stunning whilst neatly essaying a prickly femme fatale type. McIntire gives another classy supporting turn and Campbell is enjoyably OTT as hothead gunslinger Johnny Cool.

The principals have all done far better work in the genre, but this is a nice change of pace for all of them. It's unlikely to raise the pulses of the action seeking fan, but for those of a more literary persuasion this should hit the spot. 7/10

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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2017, 11:37:46 AM »

This is one of the more under-appreciated Westerns of the era. You get a great premise, photography and locations, wonderful direction, a stunning Donna Reed, the great Widmark and a top notch screenplay which really covers all its bases and keeps the momentum flying along.

B+/A-

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« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2017, 01:01:24 PM »

I love that movie and I think Donna Reed has never been sexier.

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« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2017, 01:19:47 PM »

I agree.

I also didn't know Reed had the type of range where she could conceivably work in a Leone movie or a spag. Unless there's another performance that I'm forgetting.

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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2017, 03:43:52 PM »

I haven't seen all her movies, but I think Backlash must be her most overtly sexy role. Oddly enough, though she plays a prostitute in From Here to Eternity she's very wholesome in this movie.

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