All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. An easy way of seeing how…
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…
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.
Eastwood as a director has gained most of his acclaim through his post-2000 efforts and although some of them are interesting, such as the terrifyingly bleak Letters from Iwo Jima, I find myself drawn more towards his earlier work. High Plains Drifter isn't one of his more popular works and yet it's one of his most fascinating, especially considering that it's only his second feature film. It starts off, like many westerns, with a wide shot of desert landscape and a lone rider in the middle of it. However, rather than music that is typically used in the genre, the score is eerie, mechanical and has an otherworldly quality to it. It ominously lingers in the air and sets up…
Clint Eastwood has reflected on the film's meaning, saying "it's just an allegory...a speculation on what happens when they (the townspeople of Lago) go ahead and kill the sheriff and somebody comes back and calls the town's conscience to bear. There's always retribution for your deeds."
The movie is full of retribution. Eastwood, again adopting the role of the man with no name (although this time we find out his surname) rides into the dusty town of Lago, and unbeknownst to its inhabitants has revenge on his mind. Using muscle and intimidation after gunning down three hired guns supposedly there to protect the town from outlaws Stacey Bridges (Eastwood regular Geoffrey Lewis) and the Carlin Brothers, he systematically begins to…
No one could successfully inhabit the the role of the nameless drifter like Eastwood in his prime. His first directed western is like poking an open wound of bleakness and desolation. This is the perfect summation of the lone gunman's perspective. Eastwood would only build on his character's mythos (without Leone, of course) in subsequent westerns, but this is "the stranger" at his most compressed and mysterious with the man himself behind the camera.
Pungent little revenge tale that's unfortunately soured by a certain, how shall I put it, rapeyness. Eastwood's treatment of women in his early films always makes my skin crawl, and here we have not one but two gals who despise The Stranger until he forces himself on them, whereupon they decide that he's dreamy after all. (Though it's unclear to me whether the one he outright rapes later sleeps with him merely so that she can unlock his door for the assassins. Couldn't she just stick a knife in his heart while he sleeps?) That significant ickiness aside, though, the film has fun with its darkly comic scenario, which amounts to a one-man inversion of Seven Samurai in which…
The ending didn’t come as much of a surprise, as it was spoiled on accident by a friend a while ago, but in no way was I less stunned. High Plains Drifter is a masterful revenge Western, like some weird hellish cross between The Magnificent Seven and Dead Man’s Shoes, that revels in its own evilness. You can spot Clint Eastwood’s obvious directorial influences, which come from the likes of Sergio Leone and mentor Don Siegel, but this is clearly his show, and it’s a sure-handed effort.
What I like most about it is that it doesn’t examine the moral implications of retribution. Most revenge pictures in one way or another put a lot of focus on whether or not…
In my opinion, this is Eastwood's best western. Period. It's creepy, engaging, kind of vile and has some vaguely supernatural elements that this particular horror fan eats right up every time. A must see.
This is definitely one of the best-executed Westerns I've ever seen, and I'm glad I went into it without really knowing anything. Clint Eastwood marches into an old ghost town, appearing to play a sort of parody of his Man With No Name character from Sergio Leon's films, but the film gets increasingly more complex and mysterious. There are no good guys and bad guys, unlike this little town believes, and we're constantly unsure of whether or not we like Eastwood, until he finally shows us what's going on as all hell breaks loose in the third act. Comedic, dramatic, repulsive, scary, thrilling - it's got a little bit of everything, and a semi-ambiguous ending to top it off. A great sophomore directorial effort from Clint, and great performances all around.
This western was one of Clint Eastwood’s first directorial projects and while it was both popular and well regarded, I can’t help but watch it and think about how much room there still was for Eastwood to improve. In general I think Eastwood is a lot better at making westerns when he’s avoiding Sergio Leone’s shadow, and that isn’t really what he does here. Eastwood’s character is pretty reminiscent of the man with no name, but the movie lack’s Leone’s bizzaro sensibilities and in general the movie suffers from the comparison. It is a good movie, but inviting comparisons to great movies was a mistake.
My favorite western.
This 1973 Western is directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. Eastwood plays a mysterious gunfighter who is hired by the residents of a corrupt frontier mining town to defend them against a group of criminals.
After passing through the small town of Lago, a Stranger (Eastwood) soon dispenses three men who try to taunt and harass him, each with a single bullet. Lago’s Sheriff Sam Shaw (Walter Barnes) is impressed with the Stranger’s actions, dismissing the killings of the unpopular trio and soon convincing the townsfolk to provide the Stranger with everything he needs in order for him to stay and help protect the town against three outlaws who want revenge after being sent to prison.
With the town split…
You can hardly go wrong with Clint in these type of roles.
Believe me, y'all best check your head if you think this is a sure shot.
Picture this, you're some tough guy ready to bust the new style, going to get it together, with some brand new crazy ass shit. You think your 5-piece chicken dinner is finger lickin' good but in the root down deep you're not the maestro. Here's the scoop, you're just another funky boss without an ounce of gratitude.
Hey fuck you.
It's about purgatory and that's it. The Matese falcon is a much better classic.
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