|Index||10 reviews in total|
Producer A C Lyles made several low budget Westerns in the 60's and
they invariably featured -like this movie -a cast of veteran stars
whose golden days may have been but a distant memory but who were still
very able performers .The pictures never scaled any dizzy heights but
provided satisfying B movie experiences Waco does not refer to the town
in Texas but is the name of the hero,played with authority by Howard
Keel.A town is being terrorised by gunmen under the leadership of the
black garbed Ace Ross (Brian Donleavy) who kills a prominent citizen
(Richard Arlen- a regular member of Lyles stock company)The citizens
then realise the one man who might be able to save them is Waco but the
problem is that he is in gaol but he is released in order to tackle the
bad guys and in the process stake a claim in society.
The performances are good especially from Wendell Corey as a gunman turned preacher ,Sam Stone ,and the ever radiant Jane Russell as Jill Stone with whom Waco has a romantic dalliance .Other veterans in the cast include DeForrest Kelley ,John Agar and Gene Evans It is more violent than most Lyles movies but not excessively so and certainly not by today's standards Good solid B movie making and worth your time if you like Westerns
A.C. Lyles turned out another good geezer western with Waco starring
Howard Keel a recently released outlaw from prison who's been hired to
clean up a really bad town run by saloon owner John Smith and his hired
gun DeForest Kelley. Keel is kind of hoping to take things up where
they left off with Jane Russell, but turns out she's gone and married
preacher Wendell Corey. That sort of disillusions him as he wavers back
and forth between doing the job he was hired or resuming his old outlaw
If it's action you want than Waco will not disappoint. Keel in the title role and we never do learn his real name because he probably was not born with that name, has a number of nasty fights and shootings. Besides Smith and Kelley, he's also got the Jenner family to contend with he killed one of them years ago. Willard Parker and Reg Parton are the remaining Jenner brothers and there's Anne Seymour, Ma Barker of the old west. In many ways, she's the one you'll remember from this film.
Waco's also a pretty adult western with such themes as infidelity lightly touched upon and rape of Tracy Olsen an integral part of the story. The final shootout in the town involves just about every member of the cast.
If you like western action you can't go wrong with Waco.
I love this film because it shows that people can and do change for the better, and that's what Waco thought he hadn't changed after a long time in prison, but he had and for the good of the town and the people in it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I liked this film because by accident I tuned into it about five minutes after it had started so I had missed all the introductions and had no idea at all who would be starring in it. Wow! It turned out to be a who's who of Hollywood B Stars and I had great fun in spotting them as they popped up on the screen. Towards the end of the film my biggest surprise was the old villain of many movies Brian Donlevy turning up all in black as an old gunfighter. Although we never get to see his fast draw as he high-tails it out of town at the first sign of trouble. Fuzzy Knight, Robert Lowery, Gene Evans, Wendell Corey, Jane Russell and a non singing Howard Keel. Definitely worth a watch.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Waco is a typically terrible AC Lyles production full of ageing
alcoholic actors struggling to read their lines, incompetent
choreography where actors hold their hats as they fall over whilst the
main plot (recycled the following year in Arizona Bushwackers) consists
of a sheriff failing to arrest those who keep trying to kill him.
The budget must have been especially low since this one features no outdoor location shots at all (those that exist are obvious bits of stock footage) but does include a pathetically unconvincing sagebrush backcloth which doubles as both a cemetery and a ranch corral.
Laugh as director RG Springsteen repeats the same footage every time we see a raucous outside the saloon, John Agar tells Ben Cooper that his girlfriend will get over being raped "in a few days", Wendell Corey slurs his lines and is so visibly drunk that even Springsteen has to cut away before the man starts to topple over after being shot and a film whose morality is such that a man of God has to be killed for no good reason than that the hero wants to cop off with his wife without offending the Hays Code.
This was De Forest Kelley's last film before being snapped up for Star Trek and immortality as Dr McCoy. Billed 12th, but with a much bigger part than several of those listed above him (Brian Donlevy gets third place for a five minute cameo), he's actually pretty good as the saloon 'bouncer' who keeps smirking behind Howard Keel's back. Kelley seemed to have done nothing but westerns in the 5-6 years before Star Trek and made a pretty good B western villain. In these movies he stood out possibly because he was one of the few actors sober on set and capable of doing more than read his cue cards !
This is another obscure western that I just watched on Netflix streaming. It stars Howard Keel as Waco, a formerly jailed gunman who's pardoned by the governor and sent to Emporia to tame that town. Unfortunately for him, his former lover Jane Russell is now married to preacher Wendell Corey who was a former gunman himself. I'll stop there and just say that while the triangle that I just described makes some of this oater dramatically compelling, it's not the only exciting part of this movie. There's also the Jenner family who holds a grudge against Waco for killing one of their members and then there's DeForest Kelley who's the bouncer at the local casino who's also anxious to eliminate him. Oh, and there's also a pretty good story-song about the title character as told by Lorne Greene. So on that note, I highly recommend Waco. P.S. Not long after Kelley made this, he would soon become a Sci-Fi icon when he began playing Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy on the original "Star Trek".
I think this is the best of Howards none musical films. I wish it was available to buy.He made a number of so called B westerns such as Arizona Bushwakers which I also enjoyed and Red Tomahawk. I think they were all by the same directors and producers.In Waco he plays a tough guy who has been a gunfighter and was in prison but is released to clean up a corrupt town.His ex-girlfriend now lives there with her husband but Waco doesn't know she is married until he gets there.This makes him revert to his old ways and decides to take over the town for himself.There is a shoot out with the towns bad men and the good people of the town decide to back him and help him to fight.When it is all over the girlfriends husband who is the preacher is dead. Waco intends to leave but the townspeople persuade him to stay and one assumes he gets the girl.I really like all Howards films and don't think he got the recognition he deserved.He had a beautiful voice as we all know but he could act as well.
Waco is directed by R.G. Springsteen and adapted to screenplay by Steve
Fisher from the novel Emporia written by Max Lamb and Harry Sandford.
It stars Howard Keel, Jane Russell, Brian Donlevy, Wendell Corey, Terry
Moore and John Agar. Music is by Jimmie Haskell and cinematography by
Gunfighter Waco (Keel) is given a pardon from his jail term to go clean up the town of Emporia.
Released in 1966 but feeling like it belongs in an earlier decade, Waco is a poor Western. As most Western fans will tell you, the "B" Western has its place in the heart and can quite often bring enjoyable rewards when the mood fits, unfortunately Waco is bad film making all round. Everything about it is tired, it's like it's desperately clinging on to the glory Western days of the 50s but doesn't know how to grasp with any conviction.
Filmed in Technicolor and Techniscope, not that you will notice, from the very beginning where Lorne Greene sings a cheese sandwich theme tune, film plays out as some sort of amateur dramatics production. Keel thinks he's in a hard-boiled film noir and voices it as such, often resorting to auto-cue line reading, and Donlevy shows up after an hour looking awful and literally doing a cameo to pay for his next bottle of Rye. Russell doesn't fare much better, phoning it in and the most memorable thing about her input is her bullet brassier!
The action is poorly constructed, with the big shoot-out proving to be more along the lines of a Keystone Cops skit, Haskell's music is simply rubbish, while what interesting character threads are in the story are sadly given short shrift by the writers (for example Corey's Reverend is briefly noted to have been part of Quantrill's Raiders). There's a level of glib humour about Keel's performance that keeps it just about watchable, while his indestructible capabilities makes him come over as a Captain Scarlet of the West. But really he's never convincing as a tough mutha and that just about sums up what an out of time Oater this is. 3/10
You might be surprised when you hear the film's title song as it's
performed by Lorne Greene. Greene's style was odd--talking the lines
more than singing them. But it was also very effective and he made some
very well-selling albums during this era.
Like other A.C. Lyles productions during the 1960s, it's a 'geezer western'--a film starring lots of actors who were well past their prime--thus, inexpensive to cast. Few of these films were brilliant but they were consistently entertaining. In the case of "Waco", it features Richard Arlen (67), John Agar (45), Brian Donlevy (65), Howard Keel (47), Jane Russell (45), Wendell Corey (52), DeForrest Kelley (46), Gene Evans (44) and Terry Moore (37). Several of these folks were in MANY of Lyles' films (Arlen was in almost every one), as he seemed quite loyal to these actors.
The film begins in a town that's become more and more lawless. In reaction, Waco is sent there--even though he's a violent man with an awful reputation. I guess the thinking is that with the town in trouble, they have nothing to lose! Naturally, the evil element in town isn't about to fall into line with the arrival of this gunman. However, at each turn, Waco is able to get the better of the baddies. Will he continue to be THAT lucky throughout the film--especially when three groups of evil jerks band together to off the new sheriff? Throughout the entire film, Waco snarls and acts constipated--all the result of him learning that his girlfriend has married. At first you can understand that but after a while it became a bit tiresome and one-note. Even when the townsfolk offer to help him in his ultimate battle with the baddies, he's STILL a snarly jerk! It made little sense and got old. I also thought it strange that although Waco is supposed to be so tough, every time he beat up a baddie, he did NOT arrest them or hang them! What gives?! Some tough guy! It's a shame, as some of the other characters in the film were pretty interesting--such as the preacher, the deputy and that crazy lady with a shotgun! Not a terrible film but it sure could stand room for improvement! The best thing about the film? Greene's singing.
Waco is one of the all-time great westerns. Waco boasts an outstanding
all-star cast, one of the finest ever assembled for a western film. (Look
especially for fine performances from John Agar as Councilman George
Wendell Corey as Preacher Stone and Anne Seymour as the irrepressible Ma
Jenner!) John Smith and DeForest Kelley combine to form a convincing pair
Keel treads a fine line as he portrays the psychologically complex Waco, a man torn between his violent past, his love for a woman, and his newfound faith in God. Jane Russell is as captivating as ever. Jeff Richards is great as Kallen.
Don't forget to take note of the stirring "Ballad Of Waco" sung at the opening and during the close by Lorne Greene.
Waco is truly a feast for the western fan. Veteran Director R.G. Springsteen can carve a notch on his six gun for this one! ("Chokin' on your own stench, huh?")
|Plot summary||Ratings||External reviews|
|Plot keywords||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|