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John 'Hombre' Russell is a white man raised by the Apaches on an Indian reservation and later by a white man in town. As an adult he prefers to live on the reservation. He is informed that he has inherited a lodging-house in the town. He goes to the town and decides to trade the place for a herd. He has to go to another city. The only stagecoach is one being hired for a special trip paid by Faver and his wife Audra. As there are several seats others join the stagecoach making seven very different passengers in all. During the journey they are robbed. With the leadership of John Russell they escape with little water and the money that the bandits want. They are pursued by the bandits. As they try to evade the bandits they reveal their true nature in a life threatening situation. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Bill G. Walsall England
"Hombre" is a Great Western With Excellent Performances All Around
This brutal western is easily one of Paul Newman's best performances, hearkening back to "HUD" in its power and forthright honesty. Newman plays a white man raised by Apaches on the reservation in Arizona who grew up to become a member of the Indian police. His real father has died and he cuts his long hair and goes down to the town to claim his inheritance, a boarding house which he intends to sell "for a herd of horses down in Contention." The residents of the building, including the attractive female manager, are thus made to leave and he accompanies them on their stage coach journey down to Bisbee. They are joined by the Indian agent, skillfully played by Frederic March, his snooty, sheltered wife, and a sinister stranger, wonderfully acted by Richard Boone at his most gritty and threatening.
The characters in this movie, regardless of their importance, are fleshed out convincingly. The writing is spare and fraught with meaning, in fact, it is almost too perfect. No words are wasted and no act appears frivolous. Newman plays the quintessential stoic, an Indian mystic who rises above the circumstances of his harsh existence out of sheer detachment. He accepts the brutality of the world at face value and harbors absolutely no illusions. He doesn't stick his neck out like some damn fool in order to impress anybody and he survives because he deals with what comes his way, yet refuses to be affected by it, no matter how tough things get. Just to watch his very convincing interpretation of this sort of person is rewarding enough, but that is only one of the roles so well evoked in this excellent drama. Richard Boone has some of the great lines, such as, "Mr., you've got some mighty hard bark on you coming down here like this," followed by, "Well now, what do you suppose HELL is gonna look like?" Frederic March hands in a good performance as the crooked Indian agent, a role quite unlike his great offerings in earlier films such as "Man in the Gray Flannel Suit" or "The Best Years of Our Lives." "Hombre" is first-rate movie fare, an entertaining, action-filled story brimming with conflict. As art, it is right up there with the best films ever made, a philosophical masterpiece.
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