RARA-AVIS: Re: noir-ish westerns

From: Kevin Burton Smith (kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 21 Aug 2009

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    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.

    And just to stir up the muck a little more, THE TALL T is based on an Elmore Leonard short story. "The Captives," I think it was.


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