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Pale Rider (1985)
Good movie? Yes. Great movie? No.
I won't labour the point about the plot; this has been done to death in other posts, so please refer there if you want to know the story.
For me, PALE RIDER will always be the movie that HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER would have been if it had been made for TV. Yes, it has a good finale - but even that feels watered down, lacking the drama of its predecessor. Where is the terror? Where is the fear? Where is the suspense? Stockburn's men are supposed to be cold-blooded killers - yet they stroll casually around the town as though on a Sunday School outing, waiting to be picked off. Hardly edge-of-the-seat stuff. And the whole is not enhanced by the score - straight out of Hart to Hart or Murder She Wrote.
While HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER was a genuine morality tale, PALE RIDER is really not much more than a revenge caper. Rollicking good fun for a couple of hours, and no-one's going to be too disappointed - but ultimately it's the sort of movie that you can leave playing in the background while you go to crack open another beer.
The real standouts in the whole movie (other than a more-sensitive-than-normal Eastwood performance) are the supporting performances of Michael Moriarty, Carrie Snodgress, and, in particular, Sydney Penny. Penny is superb and fully deserving of the awards she won for this performance.