Sergio Leone Web Board
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
December 17, 2017, 08:53:24 AM
Home Help Search Calendar Login Register
News:


+  Sergio Leone Web Board
|-+  Films of Sergio Leone
| |-+  Other Films (Moderators: cigar joe, moviesceleton, Dust Devil)
| | |-+  Man of the West (1958)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: 1 2 [3] Go Down Print
Author Topic: Man of the West (1958)  (Read 14060 times)
moviesceleton
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3928


The glance that makes holes in the silver screen


View Profile
« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2010, 02:54:54 AM »

This is a great western but it has some minor flaws the biggest one being that the score is uninspired, even bad. And as said, Cooper is way too old. His character should be in his fourties, not nearly sixty years old. The shootout in the ghost town is excellent, a great climax. Too bad they didn't bring the Lee J. Cobb character in that town; now the gunfight with him is somewhat disappointing (although it could have been much worse) and Cooper has to tell the stupid excuse that he's going to "take him in" even though we know he isn't, that just would be wrong. Cooper and Julie London's relationship is a juicy one, although it could have used some more downs in between the ups. The fact that Cooper has a family could have been made clear in some better way but it's okay. The ending is bittersweet enough but could have been even bitterer.

I wouldn't oppose to a remake that would fix those flaws but I'm fine with this version. And I really can't see how making the train a slaughterhouse and making Julie London strip and getting raped on-screen would make it a better movie (as CJ suggested in on the first page of this thread).

9/10

Logged

"Once Upon a Time in America gets ten-minute ovation at Cannes"
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12784


easy come easy go


View Profile
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2010, 03:44:59 PM »

Quote
And I really can't see how making the train a slaughterhouse and making Julie London strip and getting raped on-screen would make it a better movie (as CJ suggested in on the first page of this thread).

Well I'm tired of all this safe PG Crap that Hollywood is constantly turning out these days we need some spice in the cinema.

Logged

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
Groggy
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11458


This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2010, 06:14:00 PM »

And you make this complaint about a film that was made fifty years ago. Roll Eyes

Logged


Saturday nights with Groggy
Groggy
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11458


This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #33 on: May 07, 2010, 05:28:24 PM »

Full review (not yet uploaded):

Anthony Mann's penultimate Western, Man of the West (1958) is a divisive film. Some consider it a revisionist masterpiece, while others find it piffle. I fall in the latter category. Man of the West takes a talented cast, a potentially interesting story and gorgeous scenery, and turns it into a turgid, stagnant B Western.

Link Jones (Gary Cooper) is a reformed outlaw transporting money to hire a school teacher for his hometown. His train is robbed by a gang of outlaws, and Link is stranded with singer Billie (Julie London) and gambler Sam (Arthur O'Connell). It turns out that the gang are led by his old partner, the crazed Doc Tobin (Lee J. Cobb), and Link reluctantly rejoins them to try and save his friends. When Link is recruited into a bank robbery scheme, he is forced into a showdown with Doc and Company.

Man of the West is highly disappointing, especially from a director of Mann's caliber. Aside from Ernest Haller's gorgeous cinematography and some knock-out set pieces - particularly the long, brutal fistfight between Link and Coaley (Jack Lord) - it's largely hack work. The story is rushed and under-developed, characters are poorly-drawn ciphers, things drag at inopportune moments. Reginald Rose's terrible script culminates in Link telling Doc "I'm takin' you in!" like the star of a cheesy '30s serial. Even the shootouts seem anemic, and the final showdown is laughable. Mann somehow gets everything wrong, resulting in a film that feels like a shoddy B Western.

To be fair, one can see why many adore the film. It contains many themes which should be interesting: the death of the outlaw breed, a killer trying to go straight. Trouble is, they are badly handled. The Mann who brought us the tortured, fascinating characters of The Furies and The Man From Laramie is absent here: themes aren't so much explored as baldly asserted, and character conflicts remain puerile and one-note. That later Westerns - most notably The Wild Bunch and Unforgiven - cribbed a good deal from Man's plot only underscores its failure: they show that this story could be done well, and that Mann has no excuse.

Surprisingly, the cast is equally ill-used. Gary Cooper fails to be convincing as a tough guy fighting back murderous rage. Julie London is pretty, but aside from a rather sadistic striptease, is wasted in a dopey romance. Lee J. Cobb (On the Waterfront) chews scenery like a starving Tasmanian Devil. The supporting cast fares slightly better, particularly Jack Lord and John Dahner as Doc's more devoted followers.

Overall, Man of the West is a huge disappointment. It's by far Mann's weakest Western, if not film (that would be Fall of the Roman Empire), and shows little sign of being the work of the auteur behind The Man From Laramie. Pity.

Logged


Saturday nights with Groggy
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8448

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« Reply #34 on: September 05, 2011, 11:59:28 PM »

I just saw man of the West (rented off iTunes), and I am a very happy man. Can't remember being this happy after watching a Western in a long, long time. Many thanks to cj for recommending to me this film, which I'd rate an 9/10
..

     SPOILERS  


1. the performances are very solid all around, with one exception: the other man from Link's trio ( I forgot the character's name), does not deliver a great performance. Especially as he is dying. He is talking to Link just as quickly and without any visible pain or slowness that we are accustomed to seeing just before a cinematic death, and then he just dies right there. I was mighty glad when that dude bit the dust. Kind of like how I felt when Mason Verger was thrown to the pigs in Hannibal. Anyway....)

The other performances were all wonderful. What can you say about Lee J. Cobb!

2. RE: Link's  fate: The viewer really dosen't know whether or not Link will survive at the end. Based on the title -- Man of the West -- and how the theme progresses, you really start to believe that it may be impossible for Link to escape his past, he will always be a Man of the West, and cannot live any other way. He'd either have to join the gang (impossible) or die. So it's no "gimme" that the good guy will survive at the end -- and of course, he isn't really a typical "good guy." Halfway through the movie, I was certain that he'd be killed off at the end. So the ending was truly much more than a formality


The film that this one reminded me most of was the incredible The Gunfighter (1950) with Gregory Peck. There, he was unable to escape his past; his future was set the moment he chose his lifestyle years earlier

3. RE: Link & Billie: One part I didn't love about that was the fact that she'd suddenly be head over heels for him. I mean, sure, she'd be appreciative for what he's done; and she is always lonely looking for a gentleman anyway, so when she sees him carrying on as a gentleman and protective of her, certainly she could become attracted to him. But then you add in the factor that she finds out Link has family and kids. So Billie meets a man who finally is a true gentleman and treats women well, and she is instantly so head over the heels for him despite knowing he is married with kids and this will never work out. She knows this and won't even try to make it work out. She is just content expressing her feelings, and enjoying their special moments of closeness today, knowing that tomorrow they will be gone forever. Is this sort of tension plausible? For a woman to be so head over heels for a man she just met, even knowing he has his own wife and kids he is going home to tomorrow. I guess that is something for a woman to decide. (Heck, if Scarlett O'Hara could pursue Ashley the way she did, even after he has been married for like seven years, then a woman can plausibly do anything, right?


Anyway, be that as it may, and let us accept the situation as is: I really loved how,  it all goes unfulfilled here. Life is more complex than just automatically  falling in love and living happily ever after, and this film deals with that very well. Yeah, he is unlike any man she has ever met, but that's life: 'you can't always get what you want, even if you try really hard, and think it's what you need'  Wink

4.RE: FINAL SCENES: When Link walks up to Billie in the wagon, for a moment we thing she is dead, which I thought was very plausible -- remember, love can't go unheeded cuz this is the world of the Western, so Billie will just have to be killed off, rather than live a life of unfulfilled love, right? as it turns out, she is not dead, but certainly beaten and likely raped by Dock and his men.

Now for the final shootout: Some people here, including Groggy, find it non-believable that Link would say "I'm bringing you in," when he knows that'll never happen. However, I think there i a very good reason here why Link indeed would have attempted to bring in Dock, if he could: remember, Link himself has become a wanted man again, for his old escapades with Dock from decades ago. If Link could bring Dock in to the sherrif's office, that would serve to prove that Link himself had truly renounced his life as an outlaw. Link has to spend the rest of his life running, cuz the WANTED posters for him have been hung again. He needs to demonstrate that he is truly done with that life, and bringing in Dock would have served that purpose. Sure, bringing in his dead body would do that too, but it is quite clear that Link still has some feelings for them as his cousins, and would prefer to not kill them if he can bring them in.

5. So I loved the plot and thematic elements. The sets and the train were absolutely amazing, the scenery was gorgeous. Just one quibbile: In the first scenes around their shack, you see the most gorgeous green rolling hills all around them -- and there is a strong implication that it is cold weather.
 Then, as they continue to travel-- in what can be either later the same day, or at most the next day -- you see absolute desert dryness, and then we get to that Mexican town that is desolate and sandy without a blade of grass in sight.

Is that really realistic? One day, the most gorgeous rolling hills as far as the eye can see. And a few hours later -- or at most, 1 day later,  absolute desert. Based on geography and time/distance they can travel on horses and wagons, is that plausible?


Overall, this film was AWESOME  Afro Afro




« Last Edit: November 22, 2013, 03:30:52 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12784


easy come easy go


View Profile
« Reply #35 on: September 06, 2011, 06:34:03 AM »

Quote
5. So I loved the plot and thematic elements. The sets and the train were absolutely amazing, the scenery was gorgeous. Just one quibbile: In the first scenes around their shack, you see the most gorgeous green rolling hills all around them -- and there is a strong implication that it is cold weather.
 Then, as they continue to travel-- in what can be either later the same day, or at most the next day -- you see absolute desert dryness, and then we get to that Mexican town that is desolate and sandy without a blade of grass in sight.

Is that really realistic? One day, the most gorgeous rolling hills as far as the eye can see. And a few hours later -- or at most, 1 day later,  absolute desert. Based on geography and time/distance they can travel on horses and wagons, is that plausible?

Yea its plausible, out West you can cross a divide and go from lush forests into dry step and desert country. The amount of rainfall you get vs slope aspect and sunlight  critical, sometimes its a very localized occurrence the Northeast slope of a mountain are tree covered the Southwest slopes are grass, or one North facing valley wet the next South valley dry, but it can also be a major continental phenomena.  Example of the latter , below here is the West side of the Cascades on road to Snoqualmie Pass Doug Fir & spruce forests:



Other side of pass, country is dry as a bone here is Yakima River Canyon about 100 miles from the first image the only trees grow right along the water or wherever there is just enough moisture on the slopes like in a drainage gully to support a tree:







« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 06:39:00 AM by cigar joe » Logged

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13707

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #36 on: July 23, 2014, 01:18:06 PM »

US Blu in November: http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=14544

Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for being such an annoying Melville fanboy.
drinkanddestroy
Global Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8448

trust a man who wears both a belt and suspenders?


View Profile
« Reply #37 on: July 23, 2014, 01:28:21 PM »

Awesome. I love this movie. This and THE FAR COUNTRY are my favorite Mann Westerns

Logged

There are three types of people in the world, my friend: those who can add, and those who can't.
T.H.
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1771



View Profile
« Reply #38 on: July 23, 2014, 02:01:32 PM »




When I saw this thread bumped, I was hoping it was a R1 bluray announcement, great news.

This was definitely on my short list of favorites not released in R1.

Logged


Claudia, we need you to appear in LOST COMMAND. It's gonna revolutionize the war genre. What did you think of the script?
Spikeopath
Guest
« Reply #39 on: May 29, 2017, 12:10:16 PM »

Divisive be damned!

Another Intelligent Western from Anthony Mann.

Link Jones is on his way to Fort Worth to hire a schoolteacher, having left his wife and children behind, Link appears to be the epitome of the simple honest man. However, the train he is on is robbed by outlaws, thus meaning that Link's past and his dubious family ties are all careering towards a day of reckoning.

This was Anthony Mann's second to last foray into the Western genre, and perhaps his most clinical as regards a structured tale of men as complicated as they are conflicted? I always find with Mann's Westerns that a sense of doom hangs heavy, there are very few directors in Western cinema history who have this knack of filling the viewer with such a pervading feeling of unease. Here we have Gary Cooper as Link, on the surface an amiable man, but the sequence of events see him thrust back into a life he thought had long since gone, the term that a leopard never changes its spots sits rather well, but here we find Mann fleshing out his lead character with an acknowledgement that a former life has passed, with Cooper perfectly transcending this well scripted arc.

What strikes me mainly about this piece is that Mann's characters are not the quintessential good vs bad characters, these are just men with their own individual hang ups, they all are fallible human beings, and that is something that surely we all can identity with? The acting across the board here is top notch, Cooper is excellent, replacing Mann's stock Western muse, James Stewart, he cements his earthy and identifiable worth wholesale. Lee J. Cobb actually is the glue that holds the film together, his portrayal of Dock Tobin perfectly plays alongside Cooper's emotive showing of Link Jones's confliction. Sadly a negative to me is that we are asked to believe that Gary Cooper is Lee J. Cobb's nephew, a difference of ten years has to be a casting error one feels. Still, the film comes highly recommended, because the intelligence and dark atmosphere of the piece makes it well worth emotional investment, whilst Cooper's two main fights (both different) are seriously great cinema. 8.5/10

Logged
stanton
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2988



View Profile
« Reply #40 on: May 29, 2017, 01:19:06 PM »

His nephew? Isn't Coop his step son, or an adopted son?

Logged

Spikeopath
Guest
« Reply #41 on: May 31, 2017, 12:15:18 PM »

His nephew? Isn't Coop his step son, or an adopted son?

Nope, uncle and nephew.

Logged
stanton
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2988



View Profile
« Reply #42 on: June 02, 2017, 06:01:12 AM »

I think the German version is different then.

Of course he should have been his real son, and Dehner his brother, and London his wife.

Logged

Pages: 1 2 [3] Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Visit FISTFUL-OF-LEONE.COM

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.033 seconds with 20 queries.