Set in the early 1880s, this is the story of one of the last buffalo hunts in the Northwest. Sandy McKinzie is tired of hunting buffalo, and tired of killing-Charley on the other hand ...
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Set in the early 1880s, this is the story of one of the last buffalo hunts in the Northwest. Sandy McKinzie is tired of hunting buffalo, and tired of killing-Charley on the other hand relishes the hunt and enjoys killing buffalo and Indians. When Charley kills an Indian raiding party, and takes their squaw as his own, tension develops between the two hunters, and matters will only be settled in a showdown. Written by
Buxx Banner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film's premiere was at the State Theatre in Sioux Falls, SD on February 16, 1956. Russ Tamblyn and his wife Venetia Stevenson (whom he'd married on February 14th) were in attendance. See more »
Mr. Woodfoot, how come Charley hates Indians so much?
Now that's a good question, my boy. It's kinda funny, you know? Charley beats his horse, just like an Indian. Charley's free with his women, just like an Indian. Charley even blows his nose on his fingers, just like an Indian. I just don't get it.
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So bleak it almost makes The Searchers look cheerful
Richard Brooks' The Last Hunt was a film star Stewart Granger couldn't even stand to hear mentioned he even tore up a vintage poster for the film when presented it for signing in his later years but then the director did run off with his wife, so it's understandable. For anyone else this is one of the best of the adult Westerns of the 50s, and years ahead of its time in its attitude to the environment.
In many ways it plays almost like a sequel to one of Anthony Mann's Westerns that see their heroes dragged to their redemption kicking and screaming against it every step in the way. Here Granger's legendary buffalo hunter has already seen the light but, after a buffalo stampede costs him his herd of cattle in a fit of poetic justice, he's dragged back into the darkness by Robert Taylor's callous and proudly racist gunslinger, justifying it on the grounds that "I've already got the guilty conscience. I might as well have the money as well." Raised by Indians, he's fully aware of the damage he's doing as the disappearing buffalo heads for extinction, and he gradually becomes almost as consumed with self-loathing as Taylor is with hate. When the two men fall out over Debra Paget's squaw the sole survivor of a band of Indians Taylor kills and a white buffalo hide that's priceless to the hunters and the Indians for very different reasons, a showdown becomes inevitable, though the outcome certainly isn't.
Taylor's is certainly ironic casting it was Granger turning down many of the epic roles MGM developed for him in films like Quo Vadis and Ivanhoe that gave Taylor his 50s comeback after years of steady decline. His hair color may not convince but his performance does, a shallow and violent man so consumed with hate that he doesn't wear a gun, the gun wears him. Granger's accent isn't always convincing, but he makes a good quiet hero in the Jimmy Stewart mold, trying to keep hold of his newfound decency and reconcile his actions with his beliefs before finally getting a chance to make amends. Russ Tamblyn's halfbreed skinner and Lloyd Nolan's one-legged old-timer also give as good as they get, but the real star is the script: tightly plotted with an excellent eye and ear for character not to mention an ending Stanley Kubrick borrowed for The Shining it balances historical revisionism with entertaining drama without ever selling either short. The new French DVD is extras-free but does boast a 2.35:1 transfer with an English soundtrack.
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