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High Plains Drifter (1973)

R  |   |  Western  |  22 August 1973 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 33,060 users  
Reviews: 162 user | 70 critic

A gunfighting stranger comes to the small settlement of Lago and is hired to bring the townsfolk together in an attempt to hold off three outlaws who are on their way.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
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Callie Travers (as Mariana Hill)
...
Jack Ging ...
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Ted Hartley ...
...
...
Stacey Bridges
Scott Walker ...
Bill Borders
Walter Barnes ...
Sheriff Sam Shaw
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Asa Goodwin
...
...
Bootmaker
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Storyline

A Stranger rides into in the dusty mining town of Lago, where the townspeople are living in the shadow of a dark secret. After a shootout leaves the town's hired-gun protectors dead, the town's leaders petition the Stranger to stay and protect them from three ruthless outlaws who are soon to be released from prison. The three have their sights set on returning to Lago to wreak havoc and take care of some unfinished business. A series of events soon has the townspeople questioning whether siding with the Stranger was a wise idea as they quickly learn the price that they each must pay for his services. As the outlaws make their way back into Lago, they discover that the town is not exactly as they had left it, and waiting in the shadows is the Stranger, ready to expose the town's secret and serve up his own brand of justice. Written by bob-oconnor1964

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Welcome to Hell See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 August 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La venganza del muerto  »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 1,512,351 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening/closing scenes are identical. See more »

Goofs

When the Stranger buys drinks for everybody in the saloon, the shots of the bar from behind where the glasses are stored clearly show fluorescent lighting underneath the bar. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
The Stranger: Beer... and a bottle.
Lutie Naylor: Ain't much good, but it's all there is.
[brings drinks]
Lutie Naylor: You want anything else?
The Stranger: Just a peaceful hour to drink it in.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing shot of The Stranger disappearing into the heatwaves plays out over the end credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in John Wayne Made Me Cry: Our Western Heros (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Darkest Eastwood western
6 June 2007 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

"High Plains Drifter" is probably Clint Eastwood's darkest western and that says quite a bit. It has similarities with "Pale Rider", his other western gem. The hero is a mysterious, ghost-like figure and he fights against the evil and corruption that infests a small town in the middle of nowhere. What sets these two films apart is that here Eastwood is fighting a lone battle , and his only sidekick is the midget Mordecai, while almost all other inhabitants of Lago are corrupted or/and cowardly.

Eastwood delivers one of his strongest performances here and manages to be charming and humorous besides exacting cool-blooded vengeance. His interactions with the two women (Marianna Hill and Verna Bloom, both solid in their roles) who are very different draws comparisons to his earlier film "Hang 'Em High". But what sets this apart from the typical Eastwood fare is the dark nature of this movie. Anthony James, the man with the unforgettable face, is once again back as one of the main villains. The rest of the cast are quite forgettable and lesser known names, which adds credibility to this movie, making it a film to be taken seriously and not just a gathering of famous faces.

This film's perhaps strongest asset is the excellent screenplay by Ernest Tidyman, the Oscar-winner for "French Connection" and it is probably the best screenplay ever written for an Eastwood-directed western. The storyline never ceases to surprise and is full of suspense and great dialogue. As always, Clint knew who to pick. As always in the Clint films, this movie is not about love. Clint and Bloom's affair almost results in love, but it never gets the chance to develop. The surprise ending adds a great touch. This film really is a delight for fans of Clint Eastwood and unusual, film-noirish westerns.


33 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The reason you're all arguing about the rape scene. leapgirl16
Painting the town red? jonathan1956
'It's what people know about themselves inside that makes them afraid.' Gonsaro
oh so its not rape? then why would she try to shoot him the next day! jme90
'High Plains Drifter' remake: what would they do differently? lou-114
Interpretation of a quote mrnoonmaths
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