Blaise Starrett is a rancher at odds with homesteaders when outlaws hold up the small town. The outlaws are held in check only by their notorious leader, but he is diagnosed with a fatal wound and the town is a powder keg waiting to blow.
On his way to hire a schoolteacher, a homesteader is left a hundred miles from anywhere when the train he is on is robbed. With him are an attractive dancehall girl and an untrustworthy gambler and he decides to get shelter nearby from outlaw relatives he used to run with. They don't trust him and he loathes them but they decide he can help them with one last bank job. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jean-Luc Godard, a film critic before he became a director, raved about the film, saying it was the best film of that year. Because of his recommendation, the film has been re-evaluated and is now considered a classic western. See more »
When the train stops for wood, it would also have to take on water, but it stops a ways past the water tower - out of reach of the "spigot arm" of the tower. See more »
A superior western by the under-rated director Anthony Mann
"Man of the West" is one of the best westerns ever made--some would say THE best western ever made. It is far superior to the vastly over-rated "The Searchers," which came out during the same time period. Anthony Mann, who directed noir films of the 40's did even better with the western genre.
"Man of the West" is just as timely today as when it first appeared and has aged well like good wine. Psychological insight is provided on gang mentality and morality. This insight works as well with the outlaw gangs of the old west as it would if applied to the street gangs of today. What makes the Crips and the Bloods families of violence and disorder with their own brand of morality also tied the members of the western gangs together. In "Man of the West" the gang is actually made up of genetic family members.
The acting is superior by all concerned. I would like to mention one actor that usually does not get his just desserts. Royal Dano does what was probably his best acting in this film as the mute Trout, who doesn't utter a sound until he runs dying down the streets of the ghost town. Then he utters a blood-curdling cry somewhere between a yelp and a scream. What I have written only skims the surface of a multi-leveled study of human behavior and interacting during the waning days of the old west. This is one of those movies that can be seen again and again with many new and fresh interpretations and ideas.
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