In 1864, due to frequent Apache raids from Mexico into the U.S., a Union officer decides to illegally cross the border and destroy the Apache, using a mixed army of Union troops, Confederate POWs, civilian mercenaries, and scouts.
Rich Hawaiian pineapple grower and US Senatorial candidate Richard Howland tries to control everything and everyone around him, including his headstrong sister, Slone. Howland learns the ... See full summary »
Will Penny, an aging cowpoke, takes a "line-rider" job on a vast cattle ranch requiring him to keep trespassers and squatters moving until they're off the property. Ironically, he discovers that the mountain cabin reserved for the line rider has been appropriated by Catherine Allen and her young son, Horace, whose guide has deserted them en route to Oregon to join Catherine's husband. Too soft-hearted and ashamed to kick mother and child out just as the bitter Rocky Mountains winter sets in, he agrees to share the cabin until the spring thaw. But it isn't just the snow that slowly thaws; lonely man and woman soon forget their considerable dissimilarities and start developing a deep, if awkward and unstated, love for each another. Beyond this, Horace finds in Will the father he's never known, and Will finds in Horace the son he's never known he's wanted. The trio's little refuge is then invaded by Bible-quoting preacher Quint and his murderous family of "rawhiders", who'd earlier ...Written by
The hat that Charlton Heston wore in this movie and in about four westerns in total was a treasured item of his that got stolen. See more »
When Will Penny is attacked and knifed by the Quint family he is left for dead with no clothing whatsoever other than his long underwear and his hat. A short time later after recovering in Catherine's bed in the line shack he is shown fully clothed, chopping wood with his arm in a sling. Only much later when he prepares to take a bath, while also still wearing his previous wardrobe, he asks Catherine, What do I wear? She tells him he can wear her husband's clothes. How could he possibly have his previous wardrobe when after the attack he was left with only his underwear and hat?
It is however very possible that there was a change of clothes left by the previous occupant of the cabin, so this cannot be considered a goof. See more »
[Preacher forces Catherine to take up with one of his sons]
I need some time. It's a very hard choice to make.
Of course it's hard. I'll give you two days. That's fair, two days. Now, pick over all the fine points. Rafe there is smarter but he's meaner, and Rufe there, he's stronger but he's dumber. If the good Lord had seen fit to put them both together, they would have made a perfect man.
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Will Penny is an absolutely superb film. I find no flaws in it. A story about rough men and hard times, its plot and characters stand on their own merits, not the cowboy setting. The scenery is perfect; the great west during a harsh winter after a long cattle drive. We feel like we are there.
The initial pace of the screenplay is slow and plodding. But this is intentional. It gives us a feel for the dreariness of a common cowboy's bleak life in the late 19th Century. Later the pace picks up.
Charlton Heston is convincing as a tired, aging, wrangler who really doesn't have much to show for his life. Joan Hackett is just plain enough looking to be real but attractive enough to become the love interest. A great actress, she passed away prematurely.
Donald Pleasence and Bruce Dern are frighteningly convincing as a homicidal religious zealot and his psychopathic son. They personify the cults of violent people that occupy the back recesses of society and only come out to work evil on the rest of us. These two are very scary.
Heston and Hackett's love is believable and so is the gun play. Yet there is no gratuitous sex or violence.
Will Penny is well produced and thoroughly entertaining.
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