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Author Topic: The Last Frontier (1955)  (Read 2064 times)
Dust Devil
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« on: February 12, 2011, 02:52:56 AM »


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049431/


Director: Anthony Mann

Stars: Victor Mature, Guy Madison and Robert Preston


Trapper Western that shows (almost) nothing of the trapper way of life, set in a f-ing fort... Is there anything worse than that, really?

The story's overridden with cliches, the performances lack vitality, no memorable scenes at all throughout the movie, the movie feels overlong... You know what I mean - I won't go any further - it's a fairly typical case of good ole mediocrity.

Victor Mature didn't quite convince me here. Or if you want: he did convince me he wasn't made for this role. Spontaneous is the word that can be found in a dictionary, but not in his performance. (The others are passable, I guess.)


5.5/10

« Last Edit: February 12, 2011, 02:54:25 AM by Dust Devil » Logged



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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2011, 02:55:45 AM »

You can't have a movie pretending to be a TW and not have any memorable outdoor shot. You just can't.

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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2011, 05:11:47 AM »

I completely disagree.

It is not a trapper western but a cavalry western with 3 trappers working for the cavalry as scouts, because the Indians stole their fur. And one of Mann's memorable westerns. And therefore filled with well done scenes and conflicts. (some cliches also, as in nearly all old westerns)

The film is about the untamed freedom of the trappers (especially the rude Mature) versus the well-regulated soldier life. As far as I know the final scene, which betrays the content of the film, was shot against the wishes of the director. A typical Hollywood ending.

Mature, normally a pretty stiff actor, is outstanding in his best role, and of the others Preston is also very remarkable.

8/10

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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2011, 02:32:53 AM »

It is not a trapper western but a cavalry western with 3 trappers working for the cavalry as scouts, because the Indians stole their fur.

The title fooled me, I know it's not a TW now.


And one of Mann's memorable westerns. And therefore filled with well done scenes and conflicts. (some cliches also, as in nearly all old westerns)

I quite honestly can't remember any. The only bits I remember (and like) is when Mature's character sneaks up on some of the folks, from the back, and catches them by the throat. Silly bits, but made me laugh. Everything else, from the war drama, romance, to the 'philosophical' discussions between Jed Cooper and the fort folks, is mediocre (at best). As I have said already, there are no memorable outdoor shots whatsoever - a bloody blasphemy. A few very short vignettes in the beginning, and a few near the end (when Jed is resting with the mountain towering behind his back) - aren't enough.

The film is about the untamed freedom of the trappers (especially the rude Mature) versus the well-regulated soldier life. As far as I know the final scene, which betrays the content of the film, was shot against the wishes of the director. A typical Hollywood ending.

Well, that's the idea of the movie. I personally, when about a movie, wanna see the whole package given to me. Implementation, that's what I'm interested in.

Mature, normally a pretty stiff actor, is outstanding in his best role, and of the others Preston is also very remarkable.

He's pretty stiff here too, if you ask me, and has way too much screen time. The old trapper Gus is far more interesting to me, unfortunately they seem to lose him for the best part of the movie, to carry on with the fort nonsense.

« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 04:08:18 PM by Dust Devil » Logged



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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2011, 02:37:35 AM »

Anne Bancroft was good, I forgot to mention her (don't know about you?). She was really a beautiful woman in her younger days. Unfortunately, I seem to remember her only after her role in The Graduate, in cougar mode. Always looked dirty to me after that.

« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 02:51:29 AM by Dust Devil » Logged



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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2011, 02:57:21 AM »

I see this is available on various sites on the internet.

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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2011, 03:08:55 AM »

Seems to be one of the cases in which I think people have seen completely different films.

For me everything is there.

Frankly said apart from Cimarron al Mann westerns work very well, despite some of the minor usual shortcomings with which most of the old westerns are infected.

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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2011, 04:09:31 PM »

I completely disagree.

It is not a trapper western but a cavalry western with 3 trappers working for the cavalry as scouts, because the Indians stole their fur. And one of Mann's memorable westerns. And therefore filled with well done scenes and conflicts. (some cliches also, as in nearly all old westerns)

The film is about the untamed freedom of the trappers (especially the rude Mature) versus the well-regulated soldier life. As far as I know the final scene, which betrays the content of the film, was shot against the wishes of the director. A typical Hollywood ending.

Mature, normally a pretty stiff actor, is outstanding in his best role, and of the others Preston is also very remarkable.

8/10

I agree with this. Mature is uncharacteristically charismatic in the lead role. It's his best role I've seen, definitely. I liked the technicolor. It's a third tier Mann western for me, but that's still a 7.5 or 8 out of 10.

I really don't put too much stock into what it says (or tries to say) intellectually, because it's a bit all over the place. I find the premise of pitting those two men against one another more interesting.

« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 04:10:34 PM by T.H. » Logged


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Dust Devil
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2011, 04:09:55 PM »

Seems to be one of the cases in which I think people have seen completely different films.

I've seen the 1 hour 40 minutes version.

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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2011, 02:36:06 AM »

I've seen the 1 hour 40 minutes version.

I don't mean that we have seen different versions.
But what we have experienced while watching the film, the way we describe the film is so different that it seems we are talking about completely different films.
It is always quite interesting that such different opinions about one and the same movie are possible.

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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2011, 04:01:33 AM »

I don't mean that we have seen different versions.
But what we have experienced while watching the film, the way we describe the film is so different that it seems we are talking about completely different films.
It is always quite interesting that such different opinions about one and the same movie are possible.

I understood, I was joking (and kinda hoping there's another cut). Wink

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« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2011, 01:23:33 PM »

I think that visually this is among the best Mann's movies: some sequences and shoots are wonderful. The problem lies with the plot: there is no confrontation like you see in the collaborations with Stewart, i.e. there is no tension. The story is all clichéd with a couple of unusual works: like Bancroft (sorry, but for me she does exist only in the Graduate, hadn't even realized it was her) cheating on her husband and, this is quite absurd, Mature wanting to get enlisted. 6\10

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