Marty Lakewood is a reporter forced to leave Chicago and his family because he had uncovered too much police corruption. He returns to his small home town on the California coast to his ... See full summary »
An ex-boxer is drifting around after escaping from the mental hospital. He meets a widow who convinces him to help fix up the neglected estate her ex-husband left. Her Uncle talks them both... See full summary »
Franck Poupart is a slightly neurotic door-to-door salesman in a sinister part of Paris' suburbs. He meets Mona, a teenager, who's been made a prostitute by her own aunt. Franck would like ... See full summary »
A Mafia boss is enraged when he is suspected of smuggling a heroin shipment into San Francisco. He dispatches his nephew, a hotshot Anglo-Sicilian lawyer, to identify the real culprit. The ... See full summary »
A lonely widow hires a young woman as her companion. What she doesn't know is that the woman and her boyfriend are extortionists, who are planning on making her their next victim, then killing her when they get her money.
After a catatonic episode on a railway station platform, Jacob Horner is taken to "The Farm", a bizarre insane asylum run by Doctor D. After being cured, Jacob takes a job as an English ... See full summary »
Everyone figures Lou Ford, a small-town, Montana, deputy sheriff, to be a normal, good-old-boy kind of regular Joe. But no one knows about "the sickness" that drives him to kill. Written by
Keach excellent in interesting psychological drama
Based on one of Jim Thompson's best novels, this sleeper went largely unnoticed in the mid-70's despite an excellent lead performance by Stacy Keach as Lou Ford, mild-mannered Montana deputy-sheriff whom everybody in the small town of Central City likes. An upcoming election, angry miners, and a hooker on the edge of town stir up trouble within the town and Keach.
The relationship between Keach and Susan Tyrrell as the hooker is one of the more intriguing cinematic couplings, made even more so in light of their recent work as a pair of drunks in Huston's "Fat City". Their actions are anything but predictable. Western-vet Burt Kennedy handles the direction chores ably, though the film is obviously constricted by a low-budget. Location work helps, and cinematographer William Fraker captures some nice "big sky" shots. However, several other scenes are poorly lit, with one straining to find the principals in the darkness and shadows. Considering the pro background of Kennedy and Fraker, I wonder if this was a comment on the characters' dark, shadowy personalities ... Another minor complaint is the music score, which seems wrong and intrusive at times.
The film has several veteran character actors, among them Royal Dano, John Carradine (in a nice scene with Keach toward the end), John Dehner, and Keenan Wynn. Best of all though is Don Stroud as Elmer, perhaps his quintessential beer-swilling, hot-headed, good ol' boy role. He balances his character's violent tendencies with a fair degree of bawdy humor (some would seem to be improvised), and would simply walk away with the picture if it were not for Keach being so strong and interesting in the lead. Certainly worth a look for the performances and subject matter.
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