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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
Filming on "Hombre" coincided with that year's Academy Awards. Co-star Martin Balsam was a Best Supporting Actor nominee for A Thousand Clowns (1965), and not having received permission to leave the set, Balsam sneaked off to attend the ceremony. He won the Oscar. See more »
John Russell's sidearm during the film is a Colt Single Action Army revolver with a 7" barrel. However, in the final scene where Russell is on the ground exchanging shots with the vaquero the revolver has changed to a modern (and not yet invented) large frame double action revolver. See more »
Paul Newman did a whole bunch of films with Director Martin Ritt and Hombre, one lean and mean western ranks as one of the best.
Newman is John Russell, the ultimate in the Stockholm Syndrome in the western film. He's a man who was kidnapped by the Apaches as a child, raised among them, and then when he was rescued from the Apaches, turned his back on his rescuers and went back to live among them. The opening of the film has some closeup shots of Newman as an Apache and he does look like a figure of interest with those baby blue eyes of his. The viewer is already involved, this is a person of interest, there's a story here, let's find out about him.
Circumstance has put him on a coach with several other passengers, including the Indian agent at the San Carlos Reservation, Fredric March and his wife Barbara Rush. Unbeknownst to everyone else, March has embezzled a whole stash of money from the tribe and is on the run, like Berton Churchill in Stagecoach. Of course Churchill is not taking his young pretty wife along with him.
The outlaws led by Richard Boone know about the loot and they ambush the coach, but the holdup is unsuccessful. Nevertheless the passengers are left afoot with the loot, but limited water on the Arizona desert.
It falls to Newman to lead them to safety, a guy they had previously snubbed. Hombre gets deliciously ironic that way.
Next to Newman, I'd say the best performance in the film is easily that of Diane Cilento, the very wise and earthy boarding house keeper. She's one experienced with life woman who if everyone heeded it would have been better all around.
Why are they with Newman, cause he can cut it. And as a film, Hombre definitely cuts it.
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