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Author Topic: The Violent Men (1955)  (Read 3468 times)
T.H.
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« on: October 22, 2009, 02:19:06 PM »

This gem was directed by Rudolph Mate, mainly a cinematographer, other directing highlights include D.OA. This is a great "cattle battle" western, one of the best. I'm really surprised this movie didn't have a thread. It understands the conventions of the Cattle baron saga and really delivers a thoughtful, entertaining movie. I don't want to spoil anything but go see this as soon as possible, if you haven't already. You may or may not enjoy it as much as I do, but I can guarantee that it will be worth your time.

cast: Glenn Ford, Edward G. Robinson and Barbara Stanwyck.

Good score, nice landscapes, nice technicolor cinematography.

OUATITW connection: Edward G. Robinson's ranch owner character is a cripple -- I'm thinking the Morton character is a tribute to this film. There is a "half a man" line, which I think is something similar is included in West.

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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2009, 03:53:50 PM »

I'll see if its on Netflix.

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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2009, 05:30:13 PM »

Yeah, sounds interesting.

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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2009, 08:50:13 PM »

This gem was directed by Rudolph Mate, mainly a cinematographer, other directing highlights include D.OA. This is a great "cattle battle" western, one of the best. I'm really surprised this movie didn't have a thread. It understands the conventions of the Cattle baron saga and really delivers a thoughtful, entertaining movie. I don't want to spoil anything but go see this as soon as possible, if you haven't already. You may or may not enjoy it as much as I do, but I can guarantee that it will be worth your time.

cast: Glenn Ford, Edward G. Robinson and Barbara Stanwyck.

Good score, nice landscapes, nice technicolor cinematography.

OUATITW connection: Edward G. Robinson's ranch owner character is a cripple -- I'm thinking the Morton character is a tribute to this film. There is a "half a man" line, which I think is something similar is included in West.

Your rating?

(It's 6.9/10 on IMDb.)

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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2009, 09:59:45 PM »

8.5

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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2010, 04:13:19 PM »

My rating is 7\10 because the familiar intricacies are little believable. Expecially the character of the daughter (too old for the part)  makes hard to guzzle the fact that she cannot see what's going on between Keith and her stepmother and, in case she does, it is uncomprehensible why she doesn't open up her father's eyes to it. Of course that is because all of this is very convenient for plot development. Still is a must see because it has good action and wonderful main players.

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« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2010, 09:17:46 PM »

To be sure, there are a lot of "crippled, crooked patriarch" characters in Westerns - I always thought Morton was an homage to Lionel Barrymore in Duel in the Sun, but having not seen this film, you may be right.

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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2010, 04:31:53 PM »

Finally saw this, and was very, very disappointed. Cinemascope and those Lone Pine locations are a natural match, but go for little here because of the stupid story. All the characters are cliches, incapable of thinking outside their roles. Then there are all the movie-movie idiocies. Nobody ever just rides their horse, they gallop everywhere. The day-for-night work is laughable: good thing they weren't shooting night-for-night or in the ambush scene no one could have seen where to fire.

The one thing I did like was the final gundown at the end. None of that showy quick-draw B.S.: just a man throwing down on another and firing, his opponent doing the same. Both stand their ground, continuing to shoot until one of them is hit. But again, logic intrudes and spoils everything: Glen Ford entered the scene on horseback; why did he then dismount and thus surrender the advantage he had over Brian Keith?

The worst is saved for last: Chiquita, or Maria, or whatever the town tramp is called, who until that point has been shown exclusively in town, suddenly appears from behind a wall at the ranch to render vengeance on the Stanwyck character. Her timing is ridiculously apposite, of course, but how did she even get there? Called a taxi?

Very stupid film: 3/10.

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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2010, 12:32:14 AM »

Finally saw this, and was very, very disappointed. Cinemascope and those Lone Pine locations are a natural match, but go for little here because of the stupid story. All the characters are cliches, incapable of thinking outside their roles. Then there are all the movie-movie idiocies. Nobody ever just rides their horse, they gallop everywhere. The day-for-night work is laughable: good thing they weren't shooting night-for-night or in the ambush scene no one could have seen where to fire.

The one thing I did like was the final gundown at the end. None of that showy quick-draw B.S.: just a man throwing down on another and firing, his opponent doing the same. Both stand their ground, continuing to shoot until one of them is hit. But again, logic intrudes and spoils everything: Glen Ford entered the scene on horseback; why did he then dismount and thus surrender the advantage he had over Brian Keith?

The worst is saved for last: Chiquita, or Maria, or whatever the town tramp is called, who until that point has been shown exclusively in town, suddenly appears from behind a wall at the ranch to render vengeance on the Stanwyck character. Her timing is ridiculously apposite, of course, but how did she even get there? Called a taxi?

Very stupid film: 3/10.

What about Ford's decision to let the baddies burn down his place in order to trap them? When have you seen anything that smart in a classic american western?

Are you really complaining about galloping?...Why?

Was the day-for-night any more or less laughable in AFOD or hundreds of other westerns?

I'm also perplexed with your issue with Ford getting off his horse. A Leone character would do the same. When has a western character ever NOT dismounted. The only time they stay on their horses seem to be during chase sequences.

The criticism that I do agree with is when the hispanic woman shoots Stanwyck--but it's not something that would ruin my enjoyment. The movie was basically over.

I usually understand your side of things, but this review reminded me of that post in which you irrationally ripped the Searchers (imo), like you had an axe to grind. I dunno, I just found those complaints very odd and unimportant.

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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2010, 11:27:04 AM »

What about Ford's decision to let the baddies burn down his place in order to trap them? When have you seen anything that smart in a classic american western?
No, I'll give you that one. I liked the whole idea of the old war veteran using his wiles to combat the larger force. I would have liked to see more of that sort of thing.

Westerns don't work for me when I don't like the characters, and in TVM all the characters annoyed me to death. The girlfriend who can't wait to leave town, the Mexican Tart-with-a-heart, the daughter mad at her parents, the land baron who wants more land but who can't figure out that paying for it is cheaper than killing for it, the scheming wife and the rest--I felt like I was watching an episode of Dynasty. When they're all that annoying it's not even fun waiting to watch them die.

Leone knew how to dispense with everything that was inessential to the Western. Perhaps he dealt with cliches as well, but at least he chose good cliches: the killer, the evil killer, and the goofy killer (for example). With that kind of set-up there's nothing to get in the way of action. I watch a Western (or a war movie, or an actioner) because I want to see men who, having marched to the very brink of death, balance on the edge and dance for two hours. I don't want to see a soap opera with horses and the (very) occasional gunfight.   

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