|Index||4 reviews in total|
This edgy and off-beat western has plenty of seething resentment amongst its characters (and there are lots of them: vengeful gunslinger, baddie, baddie's dumb henchmen, local gambler, baddie's wife, baddies girlfriend...) but isn't too believable. Some good action scenes but only average over all. (5
I read the reviews here and wonder if anyone has a different
interpretation. This movie is about the dark side of human nature where
everyone is for themselves. I'm not sure if that message will catch but
it will in another light if you consider more recent films such as the
Dark Knight movies or the Man With No Name trilogy. In many movies,
there are no real heroes. So even the women in this movie don't have
emotional reaction when something tragic happens to a close person. The
hero Tex Kirby comes back for revenge of his brother, or is it? Paca
who loses her husband finds an cold unexpected way to get revenge. The
Indian maids who leave Hannah (Yvonne De Carlo) and the ranch are
neutral characters but still, they do what's best in their interest. So
at the end, it is easy for Hannah to have no love lost and be willing
to leave with the hero.
The wild west was an arena where you had to watch your back. The setting was a wild 1842 Oregon where there are no rules. It was lawless and you defended yourself. Even those you think you can trust, can you really trust them? The rancher who makes the rules, Gerald Montgomery makes very harsh rules. Take a woman like she is property if she has no husband. One evil character shoots his father in the back. No one cries in this movie. Violence, lawlessness and war dull the emotions. We know that where even young children exposed to war get emotionally insensitive to death. It is unusually violent for a movie in the mid-50s depicting rape, murder (of relatives), treachery and lawlessness. It seems really that the Yakima Indians are the only ones with a code, law or ethics.
A question is what degrees of evil and selfishness are there?
If you watch the movie with this in mind, you can see the message. But most people won't see it that way, but will get confused by the mindless violence and unemotional characters. In this way, it's an unusual minor masterpiece.
The evil characters are definitely fun. Overall, supporting roles are well-acted but the leads are very average. The script does not lead to a clearer message and a viewer could get lost in its meaninglessness. Other than the message and supporting actors, the movie is fairly average. So an average rating might be 5-6 for me, but the supporting actors and dark message are fascinating and bump it to a 7 even 7.5. If you don't understand it, it's a 5 or 6.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is one of the most implausible Westerns I have ever seen. Despite the good actors, acting, cinema-photography and other good production values, the story reduces the movie to rubbish. ***Lots of spoilers.**** The movie centers on a stupid rule/custom of the locale that an unmarried woman can be claimed by any (strong) man. So when an Indian wife's (Mara Corday) white husband is hanged on flimsy grounds, she calmly accepts the man claiming her, even though the Indian helping her escape back to her tribe is also killed.. Vigilantes hung the husband for assault even though the wife (Yvonne De Carlo) of the big local land baron said the Indian's husband did not attack her. Rory Calhoun is looking for the land baron, who instigated the hanging (of Calhoun's brother), so some lustful townspeople follow along hoping to claim the land baron's wife and property after he is hopefully killed by Calhoun. Even though he had Corday's husband hanged, the land baron trusts Corday that the Indian tribe wants to see him, not kill him, but she lies and he is killed. Near the end one of the bad guys shoots his father in the back. To top it off, at the end De Carlo goes off with drifter Calhoun, seemingly leaving her wealthy husband's property behind.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In 1842, Oregon, might makes right. And might belongs to Montgomery, who rules over the land. One of his "laws" is that any "free" woman rightfully belongs to the first man who claims her, until his death. And he has claimed the desirable Hannah (Yvonne De Carlo - no wonder she made so many Westerns, that woman can ride!). When the brother of a man whom Montgomery unjustly sentenced to hanging comes looking for revenge, Montgomery's protectors decide to side with him, hoping to see their boss dead and his wife open to re-claiming. The threat of rape, if not explicit then certainly strongly implied, hangs over the proceedings throughout "Raw Edge", giving the film an unpleasant air (this is definitely no family fare). Even the "hero", or at least the person who comes closest to that description (Rory Calhoun), is morally questionable at best. But the cast is good, and the film is beautifully shot in natural locations and vivid Technicolor. **1/2 out of 4.
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