11 February 2006 | estabansmythe
"The conversation sorta dried up, ma'am."
"The Undefeated" is one of the finest of John Wayne's later westerns, "True Grit" excepted and taking into consideration that "Big Jake" is nothing to slouch at.
"The Undefeated" is the Duke's biggest large-scale epic since "The Alamo" a decade earlier. The battle scenes and the shots of the horse drive are stirring and impressive.
Another thing that separates this film from other post-1965 Wayne westerns (except for "The Cowboys") is the dialog. It's sharp, crisp, witty and often fun.
Here's a good example of that sharp, witty & pointed dialogue: Duke and co-star Rock Hudson had just returned to their camp after being forced to kill a Mexican bandit leader, who, with his gang wanted Rock & Duke's valuables, their horses and their women. When one of the women asks the Duke why he had to kill him, he replied matter of factly, "The conversation sorta dried up." Classic stuff!
And Hugo Montenegro's memorable score is terrific - the best work I personally have heard from him. It helps perpetuate the whole notion that this is indeed an epic western.
I'm amused at some of the wanna-be Rex Reed's here, the "I am a critic so I can't really, actually, truthfully admit that I loved something like this" with their "ho hum, it's passable, I guess"; and their "it's an okay time killer if you've got nothing better to do." How too, too cool. Give me a break, you elitist wanna-be's!
"The Undefeated" is long on length and even longer on entertainment. This is a grand western.