Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Monthly Classics #3


Release Date : April 4th, 1959
Director : Howard Hawks
Starring : John Wayne, Dean Martin, Angie Dickinson, Ricky Nelson

Synopsis
A small-town sheriff bites off more than he can chew when he arrests Nathan Burdette for murder. Problem is, This Nathan Burdette is the younger brother of a wealthy but corrupt rancher, and they didn't take too kindly with the law forcing their hands. Sheriff John T. Chance only has with him his rifle and his two Deputies Dude and Stumpy, a drunkard and a cripple, respectively.

(From left) Dude, Sheriff John T. Chance and Stumpy.
With no means of getting Burdette transferred to the county jail, or getting help from out of town, Sheriff Chance has no choice but to wait for the U.S Marshall to come, all the while fending off Burdette's henchmen as well as keeping his town in order.

Review
This, is another one of the earliest classic movies I've seen, God bless Cinemax. Now, I'm more of a Clint Eastwood fan, but that is not to say I don't enjoy seeing The Duke in action. In fact, if you ever feel like giving a John Wayne movie a try, this might not be a bad place to start.


I know the synopsis gave an impression of a fast-paced Wild West movie, like the subsequent movies this classic inspired (refer to Assault on Precinct 13 [1976] and its 2005 remake). The truth is, this movie has an idyllic feel to it, makes you feel like setting up a hammock and watch it from there.

The strength of movies like this lie in its characters, and although John Wayne is more of a prop than an actor, you gotta be kidding to say that you don't enjoy seeing him play a caricature of himself over and over and over again.


Suffice to say, this is not a movie to be taken seriously to begin with. Not only John Wayne is a caricature of himself, but almost every other character is a caricature of various other stereotypes.


As always, I don't rate the classic movies I feature here because they are the ones that I really like. Besides, in times like these old movies are more of a love 'em or hate 'em type of thing. So enjoy them if you can, or not. Whatever.

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