It's 1865 in Missouri and the Civil War has just ended. Reb soldiers Hollis and Matt flee from Union soldiers that want to imprison them. Hollis then frees a black man named Duncan from a ... See full summary »
It's 1865 in Missouri and the Civil War has just ended. Reb soldiers Hollis and Matt flee from Union soldiers that want to imprison them. Hollis then frees a black man named Duncan from a lynching and they become a trio. Later when Holllis wins a lot of money at the pool table and Matt doesn't get any, the two soldiers become enemies. This leads to a showdown between Hollis and Duncan against Matt and the men he has brought in to get that money. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The one redeeming item in this awful, awful western about a couple of ex-confederate soldiers wandering around the old West -- hey, everyone digs a rebel, even if they were rebelling so they could keep slaves -- is the camera work by Carlo Carlini. However, it isn't enough by a wide margin.
I was going to write that Jack Elam's typically straightforward semi-comic performance was also noteworthy, but it simply emphasizes the awfulness of Joe Namath's performance. Woody Strode is as good as he can be, although he does look embarrassed, as if he wants to be back in the dignity of a Bomba the Jungle Boy movie.
As for Broadway Joe, He sounds querulous every time he speaks a line, as if he's about to stamp his foot and run off. They don't even let him move that much, just pose him and let him stand, which argues that one of the best running quarterbacks of the 1960s did not know how to move. Usually they didn't even shoot him full length, unless he was lying down with his shirt off so you can see him carefully-shimmed armpit hair.
But if there is one thing that makes this a terrible movie, it's the music score. I know that if you want to evoke the dirt and grit of the Old West, there's nothing like Motown-inspired Rock-and-Roll organ work and drumset to do it and that's what they did here. That must've been a great help at the box office.
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