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: Invitation to a Gunfighter (1964)  ( 4858 )
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« : February 24, 2006, 06:02:56 AM »

This movie from 1964 which in his book Michael Parkinson describes as a psychological western with "new" intensity is showing on Channel 4(UK only) on Wednesday 1st March at 1.45pm.I've been meaning to catch this for awhile now because i've also read elsewhere that Yul Brynner borrowed alot of his performance(especially in terms of dress and manner) for Adios Sabata from his role here as Jules Gaspard D'Estaing.

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« #1 : February 24, 2006, 12:05:47 PM »

I saw this in the TV guide the other day too and was going to post the news about it here. Well done. Like the review says it is rarely screened. Definitely have to catch it on wed.

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« #2 : September 16, 2009, 02:47:50 PM »

I saw this on tv awhile ago and didn't like it. Now I've seen the dvd and verdict is same. Too ambitious and didactic: western is the land of action, ideas derive from it, shouldn't be superimposed. The plot is quite weak, there wasn't an apparent effort at credibility.  And the action is lame, and diluted in an ocean of speeches at that. A pity because some ideas weren't that bad and some traits of the Brinner character were common to MWNN: but the differences explain it all. Janice Rule is pretty though. 4\10   

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« #3 : April 25, 2015, 01:56:27 PM »

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« #4 : May 04, 2017, 04:21:50 AM »

Currently doing the rounds on UK Cable. I think it's poor.

Thematically fine but executed with very little skill.

Rebel soldier Matt Weaver returns to town after the Civil War, only to find that his home has been sold by unscrupulous town boss, Sam Brewster. Brewster, fearing for his safety, hires gunfighter Jules Gaspard d'Estaing to eradicate Weaver. But as d'Estaing's settles in to town it becomes clear to him just what a corrupt and morally bankrupt bunch the townsfolk are.

It grieves me to mark a film like this, with so many good people involved with it, down so low. The thematic heart of this picture is fabulous, nothing none of us haven't seen before, but tales of hired gunmen straightening out dirty towns are always of interest if handled with care and a commitment to the moral essence. Invitation To A Gunfighter, in spite of starring Yul Brynner, George Segal, Brad Dexter, Pat Hingle and Strother Martin, and being directed by Orson Welles collaborator Richard Wilson, is ploddingly paced and acted like a low budget C movie. The score from David Raksin is intrusive and completely out of sync with the nature of the piece, whilst the back lot location is all too evident.

The piece briefly picks up entering the final third, where thankfully Brynner is asked to earn his pay outside of walking around glumly, but it's a false dawn as the finale has all the excitement of a runny nose. I'm in the minority judging by the comments written for this film thus far, so maybe it caught me at a bad time, but the chances of me ever seeking this one out again are remote to say the least. 3/10

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« #5 : August 21, 2020, 01:54:45 AM »

I saw this on tv awhile ago and didn't like it. Now I've seen the dvd and verdict is same. Too ambitious and didactic: western is the land of action, ideas derive from it, shouldn't be superimposed.

saw this movie on Watch TCM a little while back. Crappy movie. I agree, the "big ideas," thrown into a Western ? Frayling always talks about how Leone got fed up with the psychological Westerns and Westerns that were too talkie, and this piece of crap definitely qualifies.

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« #6 : August 21, 2020, 03:56:34 AM »

Odd reviews here.
This is an intelligent western full of subtle ironies and some clever dialogues. Sure it lacks some atmosphere, and the simplifying last scene is totally wrong in the context of the film's complexity shown before, but otherwise it is an enjoyable genre contribution. And Brynner is great in his best western role (and film). 7,5/10

Wilson's other western Man with a Gun (1955) is also very remarkable in certain respects, but also has a last scene which looks like re-shot by the producers.

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