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Ross Bodine and Frank Post are cowhands on Walt Buckman's R-Bar-R ranch. Bodine is older and broods a bit about how he will get along when he's too old to cowboy. Post is young and rambunctious and ambitious for a better life than wrangling cows. When one of their fellow cowboys is killed in a corral accident, Post suggests a way into a better life for himself and his friend: robbing a bank. Bodine reluctantly joins in the plan and the two contrive to rob the local bank. They make good their escape initially, but Walt Buckman and his two sons, John and Paul, are incensed at this betrayal by their own trusted employees. John and Paul set out to bring Bodine and Post to justice. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I saw WILD ROVERS when it first came out - in the early 70s. It had been butchered by the powers that be at MGM. Still there was a lot to recommend the western: William Holden at his post-WILD BUNCH grizzled best, Jerry Goldsmith's classic, Copelandesque score that somehow manages to be lyrical, evocative but not a bit cloying (learn something, James Horner and Hans Zimmer), and the stunning cinematography. I saw it again in the late 80s restored to its original length (on a double bill with the restored PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID, also butchered by MGM in the early 70s). I found more to like about the movie: the unexpected spurts of humor, the observations of the connectedness between cowboy and animal life, and Blake Edward's staging of the scenes of violence - he never does the same thing twice, and the barroom shootout is an object lesson in blocking and editing. (If there is any complaint one can level against Clint Eastwood's UNFORGIVEN was how uninterestingly the action scenes were staged.) Anyway, I just caught WILD ROVERS again on HD.Net Movies during 4th of July weekend, and its virtues have actually grown with age. And it looks gorgeous on a 16:9 Hi-Def screen. Give it a few more years and it might attain classic status.
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