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Author Topic: Chuka (1967)  (Read 1561 times)
cigar joe
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« on: November 06, 2009, 03:19:06 AM »

Chuka Directed by Gordon Douglas,  is tedious, tedious, tedious, couldn't wait for it to end. Compare this snoozefest to "A FistFul Of Dollars" and its easy to see why the Spaghetti Western exploded onto the stage. With a pretty good cast of Rod Taylor, Ernest Borgnine, John Mills, Luciana Paluzzi, Veronica Kleitz, and James Whitmore, you think it would have been at least watchable. Avoid this one.

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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2009, 03:52:38 PM »

There must be a reason why I never even heard of it, despite the short stupid-sounding title.

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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2009, 01:38:55 AM »

I think this is a good one.

Gordon Douglas had a good time in the 60s, a decade in which he made his best films like Rio Conchos and Gold of the Seven Saints and some Sinatra stuff.

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cigar joe
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2009, 05:50:13 AM »

Douglas does have some good ones agreed but I just didn't like this one.

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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2017, 01:08:01 PM »

Watched it yesterday...

We're the scum of the United States Army. Colonel.

Chuka is directed by Gordon Douglas and adapted to screenplay by Richard Jessup from his own novel. It stars Rod Taylor, John Mills, Ernest Borgnine, Luciana Paluzzi, James Whimore, Louis Hayward and Victoria Vetri. Music is by Leith Stevens and Pathe Color photography by Harold E. Stine.

1876 and Fort Clendenon is host to a bunch of army misfits and a lovelorn gunslinger, hardly a group capable of defending the Fort against an impending Arapaho attack...

A super cast and a rather gorgeous colour print can't avert this being a distinctly average Siege Oater. Prodution wise it's a hodgepodge, an uneasy blend of stuffy looking studio bound sequences, matte paintings and airy locales, while the acting, sparse characterisations and general reliance on non meaty chatty filler scenes, all make it an odd viewing experience.

The chat angle is most frustrating, not so much because there is so much of it so as to make this a 90% talky piece, but in that there are moments of great dialogue, where interesting character arcs are dangled, but alas they are threads that are never pulled to the benefit of all. Action is sparse but what there is is competently staged, with the siege itself - while not worth the wait - has enough moments of excitement and intelligence so as to not annoy.

A very good and intriguing ending further adds to the strange mix of poor and good of it all, but ultimately it's average and hardly essential for fans of Westerns and the stars involved. 5/10

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mike siegel
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2017, 04:15:10 PM »

Not a very good film. Unfortunately.
It has some sort of cult following, mainly guys who where 7 - 10 years old, when they shaw it 40 or 50 years ago...

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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2017, 03:12:21 AM »

It seems I must call it now an underrated film. Not great, sure, it's directed by Douglas, so it can't be really great, but one of his best westerns though, and he made at least a few good ones, mostly in the 60s. But also not as good as Rio Conchos, which is easily his best.

In the 60s Douglas was a competent craftsmen (still made some fantastic turkeys), better than directors like George Sherman ever were.

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mike siegel
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2017, 03:53:04 AM »

I love the guy, he made THEM!   

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