3.5 stars. I think I would be okay with showing this film to young children to teach them courage and integrity. It helps that I associate it and the main character with my first girlfriend through sixth form & uni (we're still friends a decade later, which is nice!) who now writes Westerns and loves this film. I think it's the warmest film the Coens have ever made.
Un sympathique dosage de violence, de sentiment et d'humour fait de ce western un spectacle plutôt attrayant. D'autant plus qu'il oppose un John Wayne légendaire à une jeune actrice pleine de dynamisme et de malice qui lui dispute âprement la part du lion. Reste que l'intéressant metteur en scène Henry Hathaway s'est distingué avec bien plus de brio et de talent, dans son conséquent passé... www.cinefiches.com
IMO Coen's work best when working in a classical mode. I think it's because for all their technical competency, their politics or worldview seems dated. Not that the 40's would give us anything as cruel as Lebowski, but Hudsucker, Cruelty and Caesar might be their funnest (and most shunned) affairs. This is a good Western but it's revisionist to a fault, losing an entertaining genre film in the mix. 3.5