A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
High Plains Drifter
Welcome to Hell
A gunfighting stranger comes to the small settlement of Lago. After gunning down three gunmen who tried to kill him, the townsfolk decide to hire the Stranger to hold off three outlaws who are on their way.
With High Plains Drifter, Clint Eastwood created arguably the most debatable and ambiguous film of his entire career - both as an actor and as a director. There is so much about this eerie western that doesn't get answered. So many details missing. So many presumptions to be made.
Most revisionist westerns of its time were busying themselves rewriting the West as it had been told by Hollywood, mostly wrongly, for over 40 years. Eastwood decided to take the traditional mainstream western, slap it around a while and show that something could still be done with it - just as long as it was willing to change.
It's well known by now that Eastwood's mysterious stranger rides into a town…
The Stranger: All these people, are they your sisters and brothers?
Preacher: They most certainly are.
The Stranger: ...Then you won't mind if they come over and stay at your place, will ya?
And when the preacher's stunned, passive look further betrays his hypocrisy, Eastwood, not content, has the holy man graciously invite the cast-out patrons into his and the other townspeople's homes... not charging them "one cent more than regular hotel rates."
A relentlessly bleak allegory of the human (American?) capacity for cowardice and avarice, with Eastwood's Stranger an almost Chigurh-like supernatural presence – slightly funnier, and only slightly more righteous.
"Yes, they're my neighbors, and they make me sick! Hiding behind words like faith, peace and trust!"
Black-as-pitch western about a community so desperately in need of a violent savior that they give a serial rapist complete control over their town in order to kill off a few bad guys. Turns out they might have bigger problems than the bandits. By giving the man with no name free reign, they expose their own hidden violence and the hypocritical values they've buried it under. They've come together as a community, but at the cost of the lives of other human beings. The unspoken exclusion (of the bandits, of the man with…
Somebody left the door open and the wrong dogs came home.
Everyone probably expected Clint Eastwood's directorial debut to be a western, but he opted to make a thriller in Play Misty for Me instead while ignoring what would have been a sure fire bet. For his sophomore effort, Eastwood might have thought there was no use putting it off, so he directed his first western, except High Plains Drifter is unlike any western Eastwood had starred in before and unlike most westerns ever made.
Don't waste your time on revenge, those that hurt you will eventually face their own karma, right? Well, thank god nobody told Clint.
A malevolently vengeful Eastwood, like the boss he is, rolls into town and Casper spanks everybody in this movie and its glorious.
Another eerily good and entertaining entry from the undisputed heavyweight champion of this beautiful genre. Boo!
I've reviewed High Plains Drifter before and I pretty much echo everything I said in that review, albeit with a few additions.
There has been a mountain of debate over the years about the film's rape scene (it still staggers me that people even question whether it is rape or not) but I think it is a scene that is an ends to a means. High Plains Drifter is a necessarily mean-spirited and problematic western, particularly directed as it is by an icon of the genre. What's interesting, of course, is that Clint Eastwood hadn't even been making westerns for that long, yet he still had enough of a grasp on it to make this scything critique of many of…
Sinister and weird unresolved desert business. Clint in type cast piss take evil mode and running the town within a day of materialising out of nowhere before going all satanic gunslinger and deciding to punish everyone for everything. Yeah ok I'm in.
There's a Stranger coming to town.
Jonah Hex: The Movie if Jonah Hex was in a middling "Twilight Zone" episode.
Could have been really something in the hands of Leone or Peckinpah.
Well, he may be a rapist...but at least he's no racist. He's a friend to Native Americans and little people alike!
This movie works on so many levels. It is gripping from start to finish, and contains mature, complex, thematic elements that are very striking yet, subtle. Unfortunately, this movie, which is attempting to moralize and instruct its audience, has a very confused moral center and an even more confused moral exemplar. Eastwood's drifter comes to Lago as a Christ figure, not only working miracles, but taking care each day to instruct the selfish, beastly citizenry how to love and care for their neighbors. In the midst of this, however, the drifter rapes a woman and later justifies it by…
I decided to get super problematic today and watch a Clint Eastwood movie as well.
This movie has a really tight script. There's something of a simplicity to it all, but there is something really clear that wants to be said about fear and masculinity, as well as the idea of the western hero and even evil itself. The symbolism to it all is really distinct and works much better than it does in unfortunately too many movies I've seen *cough*After Earth*cough*. It got me thinking that this is something that I can really see English classes using to demonstrate metaphor in fiction. Lo and behold it's based off of a book, which really makes sense to me after watching…
This is a tough son of bitch
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
A peaceful frontier town looks to a lone wandering gunslinger to save them from an outlaw gang on their way for revenge - High Plains Drifter starts like many of Eastwood's westerns, but any notion of his character once again being the reluctant yet kindhearted stranger are thrown out after he drags a woman into a barn and rapes her. He'll stay to help the town, as long as he can help himself to everything in it.
The mysterious rider soon has the desperate citizens at his whim, enacting his bizarre preparations for an ambush. His presence forces them to confront a secret guilt, as their quiet town turns to Hell on earth.
Eastwood is great as usual, there is…
Movies that are slightly off.