The Americano (1955)

Not Rated   |    |  Adventure, Western


The Americano (1955) Poster

An American working on a ranch in the Amazon comes up against a gang of Brazilian bandits.

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5.6/10
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  • The Americano (1955)
  • Glenn Ford and Ursula Thiess in The Americano (1955)
  • Glenn Ford and Sara Montiel in The Americano (1955)
  • Glenn Ford and Ursula Thiess in The Americano (1955)
  • The Americano (1955)
  • Glenn Ford in The Americano (1955)

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24 February 2013 | LobotomousMonk
7
| Tight Identification, Neat Closure
This is a much better Technicolor production than many of the other Castle films of the era. Castle brings back his oblique staging/blocking and adds some interesting low and high angle shots (which had been poorly employed in preceding Castle films) in order to develop a clear psychological motivation for the titular character. The shot-reverse-shot construction is more subtle than previous Technicolor Castle films, making the suture smoother and thus more endearing for the spectator. Depth of field creeps back into Castle's stylistic system in this film, aided by picturesque natural exteriors. Castle plays around with montage again, purposeful as ellipsis and appropriate to plot progression. I am reserved in labeling certain elements of the production as budget due to the possibility of a poor transfer for the copy I viewed (in particular I am referring to the cross-cut shots of wild animals). The script is more natural and a nice fit for the milieu of the film - real people talking honestly to each other. Pace slows and shot-reverse-shot construction gets sloppy half way through the film but is compensated for by some frantic action sequences that distinguish a morality for Ford's character that drives the rest of the narrative forward. There is a nice song (musical number) tri-functional as entr'acte for the story, prompt for budding romantic subplots and homage to the chanchadas of Brazil (ironic, given that after all the Columbia Pictures distribution of Castle's films that The Americano was released through RKO). It was at this time that Columbia Pictures's exploitation of the Brazilian film market was reaching critical mass and spurring the development of the Cinema Novo counter-cinema movement. Dramatic confessions under extreme duress perfectly mirror Castle's The Chance of a Lifetime (1943) and tease out a neat closure to a film that operated with few plot contrivances.

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Genres

Adventure | Western

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