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Set in the Argentina of about 1875 in which a customary punishment for killing was a sentence to army service. A young gaucho deserts his army sentence and becomes a bandit leader and also gets his sweetheart pregnant. Seeing the futility of his ways, he takes her to a church to be married prior to surrendering himself back to the army. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The fantastic beauty of wild Argentina and the splendor of Gene Tierney
"Way of a Gaucho" was filmed in the wild Argentina of 1950. The beauty of the locations is fantastic and alone makes the movie worth a view. Not only the endless Pampas and the awesome Andes are breathtaking, also the towns and farms, with their ancient, decadent, cracking Spanish-style buildings and churches are incredibly evocative.
The photography is accurate, the colors are magnificent. The story is quick and entertaining, but perhaps too melodramatic. The dialogue is somewhat declamatory. The characters of Martin - Rory Calhoun and Salinas - Richard Boone are not fully realistic: one is too sullen and gruffy to be a youngster, the other is over-bad.
Then, of course, there is Gene Tierney, as Teresa. Her unparalleled splendor wins the beauty of Argentine landscapes (I admit I'm not a fair judge in this matter). At first we see a dishevelled Gene with her shirt torn on a shoulder (she has just been abducted by an Indio, you know). How I like these old-fashioned, good-taste erotic touches! Martin has the incomparable luck to save her. Follows a long ride together in the Pampas, with a pair of my most favorite romantic scenes: Gene sleeping on the high grass, close to a pond with exotic birds, then waking up and looking for her rescuer, with a dreaming look; later, at sunset, Gene resting in the shade of one of those lonely, huge, marvellous trees of the Pampas, silently contemplating Miguel. Love is sprouting: how beautifully romantic.
Let me remark a theme of the movie, much creditable in rendering the climate of the 19th century. Teresa is pregnant, and Miguel repeatedly endangers his life to get to a church, trying to marry her, in order that the coming child could have a "real, legitimate father". The necessity to face death, to get a legal wedding, for both Teresa and Miguel is utter matter-of-factness: another option is inconceivable. This was the actual way people were in the 19th century! By contrast, how preposterous is the show of anachronistic feelings (such as feminist ideology, dislike for religion etc.) in many current movies placed at that epoch.
"Way of a Gaucho" is a good way of spending 90 minutes for everybody, and, of course, a must-see for Gene Tierney's fans.
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