17 October 2007 | bkoganbing
Intertwining Family Feuds
The title role of Barbarosa is played by Willie Nelson and he's a former Texas Ranger turned outlaw who's on the run from his various crimes and from his in-laws who don't like him very much. They resent this Anglo marrying into their family and family patriarch Gilbert Roland got his leg shot off while trying to break up that marriage. He's lost several other family members in trying to kill Nelson to avenge that.
But Nelson picks up Gary Busey a farm kid on the run from a feud himself because he accidentally killed his brother-in-law. Busey takes up with Nelson and his outlaw ways and the two become an amiable pair.
Judging by the other reviewers Barbarosa seems to have a bit of a following. I wouldn't call it great by any means, still it's certainly entertaining enough for the discriminating western fans.
Barbarosa's significance to me is that it is the farewell performance of Gilbert Roland whose career went back six decades into the silent era when he was touted as a would be Valentino successor. His career never quite fit that mold, but he was always a favorite of mine. The part as the family patriarch is not the usual carefree, but tough Gilbert that we usually see. He's an understandably bitter man in this film and it was a good performance to go out on.
Western fans won't mind this one and Nelson and Busey have a nice chemistry between them.