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Larry Mullen Jr.,
" I told you before, I Ain't never been to Cincinnati "
In this day and age when the genera of the true Western movie is becoming a rarity, it's difficult to see any which are memorable. Some good examples are 'High Plains Drifter, The Wild Bunch and Unforgiven' where a gunman is remorseful of his past. To that group is this new addition called " Dawn Rider." Growing up I remember the same title on another movie, but nothing as memorable as this offering. Director Terry Miles who also co-wrote the story relates the western tale of a man (Christian Slater) who returns home to his father who unfortunately is killed in a hold-up. His son, being a former Pinkerton detective, silently ponders who might have been responsible. At the same time the son is tracked by a shadowy, but persistent lawman (Donald Sutherland) and his posse who have an outstanding though dubious arrest warrant for him. In addition, the rider has set his eyes on a woman (Jill Hennenssy) who becomes a nurse and friend to him, unaware she is set to marry another man. The rider has a persistent problem in that a group of cowboys in white masks is making themselves known as a ruthless band of killer robbers who are planning for their final confrontation with the law, while the rider remains vaguely unaware how close the danger really is. The movie appears to have been hewn from an authentic western photograph. Indeed, the rustic town is rough-cut, thread bear with all the black and white images of early Americanna, complete with colorful names for the citizens and multiple uses of buildings. The movie itself is believable in mannerism, costumes and even dialog. Slater does well to carry the film to it's inevitable conclusion with Donald Suttherland giving a convincing performance with a surprise ending. Excellent Film. Recommended. ****
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