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Old friends Rock Hudson and Dean Martin find themselves on opposite sides of the fence
I take issue with the negative reviews that have appeared so far about "Showdown". This is an excellent western.
The story is a very rich and satisfying one. It comes across as natural. It's consistently interesting. It allows for several pursuit sequences, ample fresh interactions among its principals, bad guys in several flavors, a fair amount of natural humor, and character development. The acting is excellent. The cinematography (Ernest Laszlo) is outstanding, done on great-looking locations.
It's a 70s western and what that does is remove somewhat the feeling of "classic", and that's because there is some tendency to modernize the characters and make them a bit more contemporary. This makes the film a bit more anachronistic. There is some of that here.
Rock Hudson and Dean Martin have once had a ranch together. Hudson married Susan Clark and this caused Dean eventually to leave. He's involved in a train robbery but he doesn't know that Rock has taken up the position of sheriff to add to his meager income as a farmer. Rock has to pursue Dean and the gang. Dean's a good bad guy; the others are much worse. Dean heads for Mexico. The gang splits up and squabbles, with one member being killed. But then the pursuit takes on richer dimensions when Dean circles back to Rock's ranch and Rock catches up with him.
I see no reason why western fans won't thoroughly enjoy this western, especially in the terrific-looking widescreen print that's available.
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