This film has it all. One woman out for revenge, a second woman ready to stand her ground, but both women afraid of love. A man running both away from and towards his past. A gang divided and up against a wall. A posse, weary of death, that is dressed for a funeral.
Anti-HUAC allegory, subversive feminist Western, luridly stylized Trucolor extravaganza, all of the above? I typically don't care for Westerns, but I'll make an exception for a prime example of Ray's considerable talents and one of the most stunningly transgressive films to ever emerge from the Hollywood studio system.
Carico di buone speranze per merito della magistrale sequenza iniziale, mi sono poi ritrovato ripulito di quest'ultime nel momento della rapina in banca, che le ha fatte sparire assieme all'oro della psicopatica Emma Small. Dalla fuga di Dancin' Kid e dei suoi sgherri fino agli ultimi 10 minuti finali, il film è stato un movimentato memento del perché non amo questo tipo di film.
A visually gorgeous and subversive rejection of the usual boring male Western. The downfall of the narrative/story is thrown against the wall by the delirious and fierce passions of love and hate, slight campiness, excellent compositions, delicious use of color, allegorical aspect, and great performances (particularly from Crawford and McCambridge). A dreamlike rebel in the Ford universe, and I love that.
3-4. I walked away with the impression that the lead wasn't quite as strong as she's been talked up to be, but she is a willful, active figure who gets to face off against her own antagonist, who brings a splash of Freud to the story. And the movie does boast a vivid political subtext defiant towards Mccarthyism. That being said, some of the acting didn't hit me quite as hard as it could have, but it works overall.
Signals a different evolution for the American West had there been such a strong delineation between the liberated and oppressed. Its attack on the puritanical mob who manifest the persecuted into outlaws is striking, both for the desires that drive their action, and the US exceptionalism it gives way to. Ray is cinema of the liberated; miraculous real-time first act, sound and set design, personalities and then some
A fascinating mixture of the pedestrian and the sublime: brilliant use of colour, textural sophistication, iconic moments of melodrama all sit alongside familiar western plotlines. Brilliantly subversive in its play on gender and in its challenge to McCarthyite idiocy. Crawford is magnificent.
This most "Baroque"of Westerns,is Nicholas Rays most anti-authoritarian film.Made at the height of McCarthyism and scripted by blacklisted Ben Maddow(fronted by Philip Yordan),Ray takes on the evils of ultra orthodoxy.At times,Emma Small and her posse/lynch mob, look like puritans at the Salem Witch Trials and the scene where Turkey is asked to name names(in order to save his life),is pure HUAC.A powerhouse classic!