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Hank Stamper and his father, Henry Stamper own and operate the family business by cutting and shipping logs in Oregon. The town is furious when they continue working despite the town going broke and the other loggers go on strike ordering the Stampers to stop, however Hank continues to push his family on cutting more trees. Hank's wife wishes he would stop and hopes that they can spend more time together. When Hank's half trouble making brother Leland comes to work for them, more trouble starts. Written by
This is one of my favorite movies. It has excellent acting, a great story (by the late great Ken Kesey), and some very intense scenes. I found that Paul Newman's direction was very well done. This is a movie for fans of great character development.
First, Paul Newman, as usual, did an outstanding job. This is my favorite character. He was able to pull off this very icey dominance, even over his own father. He plays his character like he is Hank Stamper. Paul Newman always does a great job in his movies, but I think this one I especially like because he isn't as likeable as Cool Hand Luke or Fast Eddie (which are two other favorite characters and movies of mine).
Then there is Henry Fonda, who plays the eldest Stamper, Henry. He was a very interesting character, and Henry Fonda did a great job at playing him. He and Hank both head the family, and he and Paul Newman have a fractured relationship that is sort of crass, but still fun to see them on-screen together.
Then there is Michael Sarrazin, who plays the outcast Leeland Stamper. He is probably the best character. While all the other Stampers have leather skin and huge scars from wood chips, he has big bushy hair and is not a big barrel chested logger. Hank and Henry treat him like crap almost the whole movie, because he doesn't belong. Leeland just came back from the city, and he came back for the sole purpose of getting even with Hank.
And Finally, there is Lee Remick, who plays Hank's shut out wife Viv. She is probably the most complex character, simply because she only lets on what she thinks of her situation in little bits. She and Hank used to be wild lovers, but Hank is working so hard because of the logger's strike, he pretty much shuts her out, and so she begins to drift away from Hank.
My only problem with this movie is that they didn't have the big rights of passage fight between Hank and Leeland. In the book Leeland fought Hank after everything bad happened to the Stampers, as a way to show Hank that he isn't in control. I think that was the biggest part in the novel, and they left it out. But aside from that, I loved this movie.
Check this movie, or the book out for that matter, if you enjoy strong character development, many tragic events, and stories that take place in the backwoods of Oregon. 9/10
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