This, the second adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novel, is much closer to the source text than the original - Murder, My Sweet (1944), which tended to avoid some of the sleazier parts of ... See full summary »
Sequel to "Summer of '42" reunites Hermie, Oscy and Benjie as they graduate from high school. Benjie departs shortly to war while Hermie and Oscy go on to college and experience fraternity ... See full summary »
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Juan Castro Olivera,
Captain Maddocks will never be promoted beyond Captain because of a mistake that he made in the past. Lt. McQuade is a green rookie who is now under the command of the tough Captain and he ... See full summary »
Joseph M. Newman
Teenager Ben Mockridge feels life in a Wild West farm town has nothing better to offer then horse-cart racing with other hicks, so he naively begs cattle company owner Frank Culpepper to engage him as youngest cowboy for a long cattle trail to a fort, his mother barely notices. Ben doesn't even seem to get it when he's told to report as 'little Mary' to the old cook, whose words cowboy is something you do only if you have nothing better gradually become clear. Instead of an exciting heroic macho life, it's endless hard work, dumb chores and embarrassment, even getting literally caught with his pants down, robbed of his horse, witnessing unpunished crimes... Written by
Had I seen "The Culpepper Cattle Company" when it was released (I was 23), my life would have been a lot different; at least, if I'd understood and accepted the message. For, "The Culpepper Cattle Company" is about as bleak and realistic as any movie ever made. Gary Grimes plays a teenager with romantic, adventuresome ideas about cowboys. He learns, tragically, something completely different, after working for a short time on a cattle drive. Grimes doesn't just learn the usual lessons; that is, the work is exhausting, dirty, always dangerous and frequently unrewarding. He learns that most causes and people are treacherous, deceitful, selfish and certainly not worth dieing or killing for. Grimes also learns a lot about himself; some of which he probably didn't want to know.
There are a lot of fine performances in "The Culpepper Cattle Company," but Geoffrey Lewis makes the strongest impression. Lewis has such crazy blue eyes, it's no surprising producer Sergio Leone tapped him for head villain in "My name is Nobody" and Eastwood did the same for "High Plains Drifter." Here, Lewis plays a man who, under different circumstances, was probably quite decent. Now, he's just mean spirited and dangerous.
"The Culpepper Cattle Company" also boasts excellent production design, gritty photography and classic, memorable score by the beloved Jerry Goldsmith. Just don't expect to leave this movie feeling upbeat, inspired or even sad. You're more likely to feel slightly depressed. That being said, I give "The Culpepper Cattle Company" an "8".
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