A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.
As the film opens on an Oklahoma farm during the depression, two simultaneous visitors literally hit the Wagoneer home: a ruinous dust storm and a convertible crazily driven by Red, the ... See full summary »
Joe Kidd is a former bounty hunter and all-around tough-guy in the American Southwest. When a band of Mexicans find their U. S. land claims denied and all relevant records destroyed in a courthouse fire, they turn to force of arms. Luis Chama is their charismatic leader, spouting revolutionary rhetoric and demanding land reform. A wealthy landowner with interests in the disputed area, Frank Harlan, decides to settle things his own way. He hires a band of killers and wants Joe Kidd to help them track Chama. Initially, Kidd wants to avoid any involvement, until Chama makes the mistake of stealing Kidd's horses and terrorizing his friends. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
The custom Savage 99 that Frank Harlan carries is a left hand model. See more »
When Harlan's gang returns to Sinola, Roy tells the desk clerk at the hotel that there is eleven of them. However in the gunfight, we see the deaths of seven (including Harlan) and the surrender of two more. Two have disappeared. See more »
Do you know it's against the law to hunt on Reservation land?
Well the deer didn't know where he was, and I wasn't sure either.
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Fighting for what you believe in doesn't always come easy.
Joe Kidd is discreditable ex-bounty hunter who's facing a couple days in jail, but a well-known big flier landowner Frank Harlan pays his fine hoping that he would join his group of hunters in tracking down the revolution leader Louis Chama. Who's upset about the treatment his people have received in the land reform policies and he goes into town to show he and his group mean business. But Kidd has nothing against him so he declines, but that all changes when he finds out Chama and his outlaws stole his horses and touched up his carers. So after that, Kidd decides to join in the hunt, only to discover that maybe he's on the wrong side.
How many times have we seen it, don't mess with Clint! After the highly significant cop thriller "Dirty Harry", he returned to the western foray with not-so forcible results. "Joe Kidd" is what you can call, one of Eastwood's lesser westerns, but I actually enjoyed it. Maybe that's because I knew very little about it and I wasn't expecting anything revolutionary, but I found this little slam-bang western to be an earnest vehicle for Eastwood, which has a capable supporting cast in Robert Duvall, Don Stroud and John Saxon and in the director's chair is John Sturges. With those names involved it could have been much more, but it's not all a waste.
I thought that it started off unusually and far from your typical Eastwood western. It's quite unpredictable and it's laced with a lot quick-witted humour, but when it gets into its groove with the journey part of the story. Then it falls into a systematic pattern. There's nothing overly dynamic about it, but since it's quite a short flick it goes by quick enough without any meandering sequences. We get an even amount of humorous wisecracks, sturdy action set pieces and a steam-rolling climax for the undemanding. The performances are extremely good as the main characters are very egotistical. Eastwood provides his causal persona in the lead role, although this character seems to have a little more spruce and morality in his actions than that cynical edge we come to love. Duvall is influentially striking as the snaky villain Frank Harlan. Saxon is a superb character actor and that translates into his minor performance of Louis Chama. Don Stroud, Paul Koslo and Stella Garcia were more than decent too.
The consciousness story by Elmore Leonard is rather weakly drawn-up with very little in the way development and little to pushy in it's unjustifiable moral high ground. Although I loved the ironic judge, jury and executioner symbolism that fate has in-stored for the main villain. Sturges' direction won't blow you away, but it was a competent display and he manages to incorporate the sublime backdrop of the High Sierras with on spot, open location photography. There are many well-placed angle shots and leeway in its execution. Another facet that was surprising was Lalo Schifrin's distinctively, pulsating score that's never over-powering, but it was always there.
You might forget all about this western after a day or two, but with these class people involved in this production, just expect some captivating, light entertainment. I found it satisfying enough, but Eastwood would go onto better things a year later with the cruel, spell-binding "High Plains Drifter".
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