17 August 2015 | a.lampert
Glenn Ford's western swan song
I started out really liking this western for the first 50 minutes or so. It had a story by Elmore Leonard that was quite coherent up to that point. Unfortunately from then on, it does start to fall apart with the dialogue becoming more and more simplified, almost lazy as if the director, Chris McIntyre, couldn't wait to get it finished, as he also helped with the writing, or more likely tinkered with Leonard's original. I liked the photography, good colour design but bad editing I thought. Seems choppy, particularly the second half. This was the great Glenn Ford's last western and he hadn't appeared in one since 'Santee' 17 years earlier. Pity he didn't do what Randolph Scott did and retire before he got too old for the part and kept us with our memories of how great he was in movies like 3.10 To Yuma and Jubal. The supporting parts are well played by some of the older character actors, none of whom I knew apart from Michael Ansara doing his usual native American stint, but the film is let down by the younger players who mostly seem very wooden. The one exception is Charleen Tilton, she of Dallas fame, who I found very sexy, particularly as her blouse kept falling of her lovely shoulders. Without wanting to appear sexist, I also thought she acted very well, and much better than the younger male leads and brightened up every scene where she appears. I really wanted to like this film but unfortunately poor old Glenn was way too old for his part and looked very frail and it's a bit painful to watch a fight scene where he is replaced by a stunt man who knocks out about four big tough guys. As he picks himself up from the floor you can see him trying to catch his breath and sadly it looked like as a result of his age, rather than anything that happens in the scene. Still, he can still talk the talk like the old days, even if he can't walk the walk. Four stars, mostly for Charleen Tilton then.