RARA-AVIS: noir-ish westerns

From: tomarmstrongmusic (tom@tomarmstrongmusic.com)
Date: 20 Aug 2009

  • Next message: Stephen Burridge: "Re: RARA-AVIS: noir-ish westerns"

    Sorry for using that troublesome word in the title of my post, but...we've had discussions about the overlap between typical rara-avis material and Westerns before, and I watched a couple of films this week that fit the topic. I highly recommend both, currently in rotation on Encore.

    "The Day of the Outlaw" stars Robert Ryan and Burl Ives, directed by Andre de Toth. "The Tall T" is a Budd Boetticher/Randolph Scott cheapie. They have somewhat similar stories about tense standoffs with dangerous creeps holding hostages. Both are largely character-driven. Of the two I preferred the former for its unique winter-time setting, stark direction with a lot of wide angle shots that emphasize the vulnerability of the people within the setting, a more flawed protagonist, and the scene where the gang dances with with the town women - all they are doing is dancing, and yet the psychological violence that's being done is thoroughly quease-inducing. Highlights of "The Tall T" are the well-developed villain characters played by Richard Boone and Henry Silva.

    Neither of these movies is really a full-on noir, in the classic sense that the protagonist is screwed from page one and goes downhill from there - although the Ryan comes close. But both might appeal to any cross-genre fans on this board.

    Oh and "The Ride Back" starring William Conrad and Anthony Quinn is an understated gem too.

    Tom Armstrong

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 20 Aug 2009 EDT