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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 <email@example.com>
When Link and Trout arrive at Lasso, their shadows are to the right of screen, indicating mid-morning. As they get to the bank, their shadows are nearly under them, indicating the sun nearly directly overhead or a time of around noon. The shadows are in the same place when Trout flees from the bank. However, when Trout reaches the edge of town and dies, the shadows are again to the right of screen and are in the same direction when Link finds him, and when Claude and Ponch arrive in town. See more »
Don't you talk anymore, Claude? We used to talk, you and me, when we were kids. What happened? Things have kind of gone to hell haven't they? And you're still at it - stealing and killing and running.
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Tough gritty western that influenced the Spaghetti Western
There is a bit wrong with this film. Gary Cooper's age versus Lee Cobb's. The coincidental stranding of Julie London and Arthur O'Conell after the train robbery. The abrupt ending.
There is quite a bit not wrong also. The outdoor photography. The interior train scenes seem to have been entirely shot on a real train going down the tracks, not a set with rear projection. All the settings are real looking not Hollywood whitewash. Gary Cooper is low-key but builds his conflicted character well. The villains are among the nastiest one can see in pre-1960's westerns. They really lay the groundwork for the stock western psycho in later Spaghetti Westerns. Jack Lord plays a real maniac!
Mann's eye for visual composition really adds to the psychological atmosphere. You can see the influence on Leone and it seems like Leone imitated a couple of shots from this film. The set design for the town of Lasso could have been used in any Italian western.
A good, if depressing, alternate western.
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