The town of Warlock is plagued by a gang of thugs, leading the inhabitants to hire Clay Blaisdell, a famous gunman, to act as marshal. When Blaisdell appears, he is accompanied by his ... See full summary »
Posing as a hangman, Mace Bishop arrives in town with the intention of freeing a gang of outlaws, including his brother, from the gallows. Mace urges his younger brother to give up crime. ... See full summary »
The gangster Colorado kidnaps Marshal McKenna. He believes that McKenna has seen a map which leads to a rich vein of gold in the mountains and forces him to show him the way. But they're ... See full summary »
Quirt Evens an all round bad guy is nursed back to health and sought after by Penelope Worth a quaker girl. He eventually finds himself having to choose between his world and the world Penelope lives in.
A renowned former army scout is hired by ranchers to hunt down rustlers but finds himself on trial for the murder of a boy when he carries out his job too well. Tom Horn finds that the ... See full summary »
Arriving at Medicine Bow, eastern schoolteacher Molly Woods meets two cowboys, irresponsible Steve and the "Virginian," who gets off on the wrong foot with her. To add to his troubles, the ... See full summary »
Rio Grande takes place after the Civil War when the Union turned their attention towards the Apaches. Union officer Kirby Yorke is in charge of an outpost on the Rio Grande in which he is ... See full summary »
In 1871, professional gambler John Devlin elopes with Sandra "Sandy" Poli, daughter of Marko Poli, an immigrant who has risen to railroad tycoon. Sandy, knowing that the railroad is to be ... See full summary »
Duke falls for Flaxen in the Barbary Coast in turn-of-the-century San Francisco. He loses money to crooked gambler Tito, goes home and PL: learns to gamble, and returns. After he makes a ... See full summary »
Will Penny, an aging cowpoke, takes a job on a ranch which requires him to ride the line of the property looking for trespassers or, worse, squatters. He finds that his cabin in the high mountains has been appropriated by a woman whose guide to Oregon has deserted her and her son. Too ashamed to kick mother and child out just as the bitter winter of the mountains sets in, he agrees to share the cabin until the spring thaw. But it isn't just the snow that slowly thaws; the lonely man and woman soon forget their mutual hostility and start developing a deep love for one another. Written by
Not many people think of WILL PENNY when they think of the great westerns, but it certainly deserves to be remembered. A simple tale of an aging cowboy (Charlton Heston) being nursed back to health by a woman (Joan Hackett), and then having to protect her and her young son (Jon Gries, son of the director) from the slimy characters who left him to die, the film is headlined by a wonderful, understated performance from screen veteran Heston, undoubtedly one of his finest. Joan Hackett also gives a great, if somehow delicate, performance. Donald Pleasence is a delight as always as the sadistic Preacher Quint, and there's good support from Lee Majors (in his major film role), Anthony Zerbe and Ben Johnson (both of whom, sadly, never really get to do much), character actor Slim Pickens in a small role, and Bruce Dern in one of his countless villain parts. And Gries is good as the boy.
The cinematography is beautiful, especially once the story moves to the snow-covered terrain where much of the film plays out. A little slow at first, but the pacing soon picks up and moves nicely. My only complaint is that the film's score is at times overbearing and distracting, but not enough to ruin the enjoyment of the film. All together, a fine little gem of a movie that should be remembered if AFI ever does a 100 Greatest Westerns special.
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