Santiago, a jolly modern bandito, has just lost his partner when he happens on the isolated farm of young Manuel and Maria Lopez. Manuel's aid is enlisted in what develops into a violent encounter with Santiago's fence. Exposed to money, the fast life, and Santiago's anarchistic philosophy, Manuel (formerly simple and hardworking) is in serious danger of being corrupted (and Maria is not immune either)... Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
There is something very likable about this low budget, "poetic" story of an aging outlaw who comes upon the small farm of an ambitious peon and his willful wife. The atmosphere is a bit thick perhaps, constant philosophizing in a "poetic" Spanish accent, with a guitar playing in the background. But Kennedy is particularly good as the outlaw, worldly-wise and mellow with flashes of toughness, anger and cynicism. The other players carry their weight well enough, though Iglesias sometimes goes a bit overboard with his characterization of the naive, greedy young man. There's not much to the story, but it's well told. Here, certainly, is a film that, whatever its ultimate virtues, is unique. Though the subject makes it a Western, the style (as well as the Mexican setting and the apparent thirties time-frame) makes it something completely different. This is the sort of film one expects from Ulmer's reputation; small but personal. I really did like it, but I don't know if I would go as far as Francois Truffaut: "Poetic and violent, tender and droll, moving and subtle, joyously energetic and wholesome... reminds us inevitably of Renoir and Ophuls."
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