Saturday, January 25, 2014

344. Ride Lonesome (1959)

Running Time: 73 minutes
Directed By: Budd Boetticher
Written By: Burt Kennedy
Main Cast: Randolph Scott, Karen Steele, Pernell Roberts, James Best, Lee Van Cleef
Click here to view the trailer


This one was listed as a "short wait" from Netflix, however, I managed to track it down, playing on one of the commercial free cable stations, so I recorded it and watched it on this snowy Saturday morning. Of course I'm talking about "Ride Lonesome".

The movie kicks off right away (and with a seventy-three minute time limit, it kind of has to) with lead character Ben Brigade (Scott), tracking down and capturing crooked, whiny murderer Billy John (Best). Before Billy Boy (as he's called) is cuffed and rode down the dusty trail, toward Santa Cruz where he'll hang for his crimes, he tells his gang to get in touch with his brother Frank (Van Cleef) and let him know what's going on. Brigade hears the warning and continues to Santa Cruz. Along the way, Brigade runs into a few other fugitives, Boone (Roberts) and Whit (James Coburn in his first screen role), who are ready to hang up their criminal hats and become good 'ol boys. In fact, it turns out that in addition to a cash reward for bringing Billy Boy into hang, the powers that be are also offering amnesty to anyone with a criminal record. This is where Boone and Whit's interests come in, as they want to start a new life - one where they won't have to sleep with guns under the pillows and constant looking over their shoulders. In addition, there's also a widowed wife, of a husband who was murdered by Indians, Carrie Lane (Steele), who all of the men ogle at will and whom Boone and Brigade form a crush on.

You know, I haven't seen too many westerns. In fact, I've seen the ones that appear in THE BOOK and that's probably all. However, growing up my grandparents and even my dad were way into westerns, so I've seen enough clips to know that this looked like a pretty typical old west, shoot 'em out, good guys vs. bad guys western, with nothing really unique or special to warrant it's inclusion as one of the 1001 must see movies. Everyone involved knew their parts and did them well, but weren't they simply going through the motions of this seemingly cookie cutter movie? I'm no great fan of Westerns anyway, but every now and then a good one will come along and when that happens I love it, because I feel like I'm expanding my tastes. It seems to me that when it comes to westerns, the simpler the better. If the whole film had simply been Brigade taking Billy to Santa Cruz and the troubles they encountered along the way, that probably could've been a pretty good flick. However, once you add in the widow and the two other bad guys and the Indians and Billy's brother - well it just gets too muddled and I lost interest real quick. No need to stretch out the review, as I've said my peace on the film and that's that.

RATING: 4/10  Can't even go '5' because that would be calling it average and it certainly isn't even that good.


January 25, 2014  12:52pm

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