Chato's Land (1972)

PG   |    |  Western


Chato's Land (1972) Poster

In 1870s New Mexico, a half-breed kills a bigoted sheriff in self-defense but the posse that eventually hunts him finds itself in dangerous territory.


6.7/10
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16 April 2007 | Witchfinder-General-666
9
| In Chato's Land, Manhunters Can Easily Become Wild Game
Michael Winner's "Chato's Land" of 1972 starring the great late Charles Bronson and the equally grand Jack Palance, who also passed away recently, is a tough-minded and violent English Western which should not be missed, and a must-see for every Bronson fan. Director Winner, who is most famous for his violent 1974 cult classic "Death Wish", is certainly one of the masters of uncompromising revenge cinema and "Chato's Land", Winners first collaboration with Bronson, is one of the movies which have rightly earned him this reputation.

When half-breed Apache Pardon Chato (Bronson) shoots a racist Sheriff in self defense in a Saloon, local men form a posse to catch him, in order to hang him as soon as possible. The posse is lead by former Confederate Captain Quincy Whitmore, who is more keen on the manhunt just for the good old times than out of hate towards Chato. The sadistic Hooker brothers who have also joined the posse, however, hate Indians of any kind, and they don't have the slightest scruples of doing anything to make the fugitive pay for defending himself. As the posse members get deeper and deeper into the desert of Indian territory, however, they have to find out that they might have underestimated their opponent. This is Chato's land, and in Chato's land the hunters can quickly become the hunted...

The acting in "Chato's Land" is great, Charles Bronson, who hardly says a word fits perfectly into his role. Jack Palance is superb in his role of Capt. Quincy Whitmore, and I couldn't imagine anybody else but Bronson and Palance to play the leading parts in this. Simon Oakland and Richard Johnson are also great in their ugly roles of Jubal Hooker and his psychopathic little brother Earl, and the cast furthermore contains Richard Basehart. The film is very well photographed in the Spanish Almería, certainly the best location for European Westerns.

"Chato's Land" is a brutal, tough-minded and great Western, which should not be missed by anybody who likes revenge movies. The performances are excellent, and the movie is stunning, raw and atmospheric from the beginning to the end. A must-see for Charles Bronson fans, Chato's Land is a great film. Highly recommended.

Critic Reviews



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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Bronson speaks very little in this film, with only a few words of his dialogue being in English.


Quotes

Capt. Quincey Whitmore: To you this is so much bad land - rock, scrub, desert and then more rock. A hard land that the sun has sucked all the good out of. You can't farm it and you can't carve it out and call it your own... so you damn it to hell and it all looks the same....


Goofs

Although the rifles used were correct for the time period,several scenes show the actors shooting a single shot percussion rifle without cocking it,also firing several shots without reloading.


Alternate Versions

2) The scene when the body of Chato's friend is burning:

  • In VHS Warner Home Video FRANCE (1986 release), the corpse of the poor Native American is dragged on the floor past the corral front. His tormenters tie his feet and hang him from a beam. Then they start a fire with bushes to burn his body.
  • Witnessing this gruesome and barbarian show, character Captain Quincey Withmore played by Jack Palance loses his temper. He's heading enragedly towards the band of men surrounding the bushfire and draws his pistol and.....
  • The scene is cut bluntly, preventing us from knowing the end of the plot.
  • Is this new cut once more the result of censorship or was it made during the editing of the movie?
  • It still remains a mystery but this lobby card is the very evidence of its existence: http:/www.moviegoods.com/Assets/product_images/1020/23066.1020.A.jpg
  • In DVD Region 1 MGM/UA:
  • This scene is also shown on DVD but this time thanks to a very successful cut.
  • It is the famous scene with Jack Palance described above and that completely sank into the deep limbos of oblivion.

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Western

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