6.6/10
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21 user 19 critic

Posse (1975)

An unscrupulous politico marshal and his deputies chase a gang of train robbers whose leader proves that every man has his price.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Howard Nightingale
...
Jack Strawhorn
...
Wesley
...
Harold Hellman
...
Krag
...
Pensteman
...
Pepe
...
Mrs. Cooper
...
Mr. Cooper
...
Carla Ross
...
Wiley
William H. Burton Jr. ...
McCanless (as William H. Burton)
Louie Elias ...
Rains
Gus Greymountain ...
Reyno
...
Telegrapher
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Storyline

A tough marshal with political ambitions leads an elite posse to capture a notorious criminal. He succeeds, but instead of cheering him, the public turns against him. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"Posse" begins like most Westerns. It ends like none of them. It will knock you off your horse.

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 August 1975 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

La brigade du Texas  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.77 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was the first role for James Stacy following his 1973 motorcycle accident in which he was hit by a drunk driver, resulting in the loss of his left arm and left leg. Kirk Douglas created the role especially for Stacy. See more »

Goofs

Supposedly set in Texas yet the train passes many saguaro cacti which do not grow in Texas. See more »

Quotes

Jack Strawhorn: Every day above ground is a good day.
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Soundtracks

I've Been Working on the Railroad
(uncredited)
Traditional
The first line is sung during Nightingale's speech
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User Reviews

 
Yet another western, though it is made watchable by a few new story angles.
4 May 2005 | by (Todmorden, England) – See all my reviews

Kirk Douglas had already directed the somewhat terrible Scalawag in 1973, but that previous flop did not deter him from having a second stab at the directing job a couple of years on. Fortunately, Posse is a much more accomplished film than Scalawag in every way: Douglas's own direction is more assured, the script by Christopher Knopf and William Roberts is very literate and clever, and Fred Koenekamp's cinematography has a good, professional look about it. By 1975, one would have thought that there would be little mileage left in the western genre. It seemed that nothing new could be done, but this one comes up with a fresh twist by having the "hero" gradually revealed as an unlikable and ambitious social climber.

Marshal Howard Nightingale (Douglas) publicly announces that he will bring in infamous railroad bandit Jack Strawhorn (Bruce Dern). Although Strawhorn is a criminal of considerable notoriety - and definitely a man who belongs behind bars - Nightingale has an ulterior motive for apprehending his man. For the good Marshal has decided to run for the Texan senate, and believes that if he can nail Strawhorn - painting himself as a hero into the bargain - he will win over plenty of voters. Gradually, more and more people begin to see through Nightingale's selfish and egotistical political plans. His own posse have their doubts about how they will figure in the Marshal's future schemes; a news editor named Hellman (James Stacy) expresses distrust over the Marshal's ludicrously self-important opinion of himself; even Strawhorn eventually realises what his sly adversary is up to. Ultimately, Nightingale loses his posse and his public favour, with a little clever intervention from Strawhorn, and sees his political dreams left in tatters.

The critical response to Posse was much more favourable than Douglas's previous directing attempt, and deservedly so. The western action in the film is good, solid stuff, not too violent (as was the trend in '75), but certainly tough enough to satisfy genre addicts. Douglas gives a strong performance as the absurdly self-obsessed marshal, and Dern is even better as the charismatic, even likable, bandit. The subversive nature of the plot (hero gradually turns out to be villain, villain gradually turns out to be hero) is intriguing and fairly fresh, and helps to add interest to the film. While Posse has occasional lulls, and a few noticeably amateurish performances lower down the cast list, it remains a fresh, interesting, and intriguing addition to a virtually exhausted genre.


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