5 April 2013 | ma-cortes
Diverting Western satire in which several nutty characters attempt to take control of a valuable shipment .
Amusing take off on cavalry-and Indian movies in which a rambunctious temperance leader called Template (Lee Remick) out to stop cavalry-guarded cargo commanded by a stiff colonel called Thaddeus (Burt Lancaster) and an officer named Slater (Jim Hutton) en route to thirsting Denver miners led by Oraculo (Donald Pleasence) and an old man (Dub Taylor) . As a wagon train heads for Denver with a cargo of whiskey for the miners being attacked by Indians led by Chief Walks-Stooped-Over (Martin Landau) , then chaos and wreak havoc ensue .
Overlong but fun Western parody in which satire goes on and on the same premise . This wacky spoof is packed with mayhem , lots of silly laughters and great entertainment and fun . Most of the laughs and sight gags galore work acceptably well ; humor is also bold and intelligent with a myriad of imaginative sketches . Demystified as well as amiable Western was one of a group of diverse characters changed the concept of this particular genre each bent on disproving a popular myth , yet tinged with humor , spoof and combining with anti-heroes , crazy Indians and many other things . John Gay's screenplay besides having more than its fair scraps of funny lines ,throws up rich personages . The formula deals to enhance the comics observations of the western originated on the decade 60 , being continued by the following filmmakers : Andrew McLagen and Burt Kennedy with ¨Support your local gunfighter (one of his better spoof Western)¨ , ¨Support your local sheriff¨ (his highpoint) , ¨Dirty Dingus Mcgee¨ and director Michael Gordon with ¨Texas across the river¨ ; a bit later on , Mel Brooks directed the indispensable ¨Blazing saddles¨ , a surrealist , extreme and gross-out spoof with the ordinary bunch of loonies and loopies . The picture is wonderfully amused and enjoyable with Burt Lancaster as a tough but agreeable officer , Pamela Tiffin as his rebel young daughter and Martin Landau steals the show as a deadpan but hilarious Indian . Special mention to Dub Taylor as the old brawler clearly relishing his comic relief . Colorful cinematography filmed in Ultra Panavision 70 , being rightly shot by excellent cameraman Robert Surtees , super-productions's usual . Jolly and enjoyable musical score by Elmer Berstein , in his ordinary style .
This very funny though lumbering motion picture was well produced and directed by John Sturges . He began his directing career at Columbia Pictures, where from 1946-49 he he worked on "12-day wonders" ("B" pictures shot on a 12-day schedule). From there he moved on to MGM where he filmed more "B" pictures, albeit on a larger budget . He established an independent production company in 1959, releasing through United Artists. From 1960-67 he worked under contract for United Artists. His first major hit was the western Dog Day at Black Rock (1955) , which he shot in just three weeks, wrapping up virtually every scene in a single take . He specialized in robust action pictures, particularly westerns. He excelled at bringing to life tautly written stories about tough characters facing difficult circumstances . Throughout his career he regularly alternated hits with misses . He has also been criticized for his lack of stylistic trademarks , though his best films remain exciting to watch . Sturges was expert on all kind of genres , but especially warlike such as : ¨Great Escape¨, ¨Ice Station Zebra¨ and ¨Eagle has landed¨ and Western such as ¨Last train of Gun Hill¨, ¨Magnificent Seven¨, ¨Backlash¨, ¨Law and Jake Webb¨, ¨Joe Kidd¨ and Chino¨, among others . This high-level and Western parody will appeal to Burt Lancaster and Lee Remick fans .