Re: RARA-AVIS: noir-ish westerns

From: tomarmstrongmusic (
Date: 20 Aug 2009

  • Next message: J.C. Hocking: "Re: RARA-AVIS: noir-ish westerns"

    Yeah I kinda wondered about what those first 20 minutes were doing in the film, as they genially amble about, very episodically. But then I saw how necessary they were. Aside from establishing characters and putting plot threads in place, those opening scenes functioned like a cozy, establishing a level of normalcy for subsequent events to shatter.

    Tom Armstrong

    --- In, Stephen Burridge <stephen.burridge@...> wrote:
    > I viewed "The Tall T" recently and enjoyed it very much. It starts out
    > quite sunny but soon gets pretty dark, suddenly and irreversibly.
    > On Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 2:52 PM, tomarmstrongmusic <
    > tom@...> wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > > 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
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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