Charley-One-Eye (1973) Poster

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poe42623 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Westerns are sometimes westerns by default. Horses, men with guns, barren, sun-baked landscapes, American "Indians"... To most of us, these ingredients add up to one thing and one thing only: a "western." A genre film. (An "oater," if you will; a "shoot-'em-up.") But all is not always as it may seem. THE BALLAD OF GREGORIO CORTEZ, for instance, while a "posse" movie, is hardly a "traditional" western. Unlike many of the John Ford or Howard Hawks westerns, it wasn't "storyboarded" by Fred Remington (or would that be "production designed" by?). BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID was a more traditional "chase" film, but far superior to most thanks to brilliant writing and direction (not to mention the performances by two of the Big Screen's most stellar stars). Although it, too, is a "chase" film, CHARLEY ONE-EYE is about as unconventional and as stark as they come. The storyline is sparse but nonetheless compelling; it unravels slowly but realistically, with men pitted both against the elements and one another. Beautifully shot and directed, CHARLEY ONE-EYE rates a look.
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zanegoldy28 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
What an overlooked gem this film is. This is a great movie, for a few reasons. One is the acting, when you start this movie you may think god, this acting is atrociously over the top with the characters laughing hysterically for seemingly no reason and the less than natural dialogue. But Ben is just a free soul on the run who is lovable in every way. And the Indian starts as a stoic, cold character then becomes free willing and funny character, the arc is beautiful. This film's plot isn't the best but it gets the job done but it's really about the characters. The villain in this film is great, bringing a new layer of creepiness and intensity to this movie, which amazingly segwayed from a fun, sometimes dark movie to an all out melodrama. As soon as he cocks his gun at the church door, you know this won't end well. Without giving anything else away this is a fantastic diamond in the rough and is DEFINITELY worth a watch.
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British Western with a good cast and completely set in the sunny desert of Tabernas , Almeria , Spain
ma-cortes3 August 2017
An African-American deserter (Richard Roundtree , known for Shaft) and and his crippled American Indian hostage (Roy Thinnes , known for The invaders) form a strained comradeship and partnership in the interests of surviving against enemy attacks . A bit later on , they take on the advancing threats of some Mexican bandits (Aldo Sambrell , Rafael Albaicín) and later on , there appears a ruthless bounty hunter (well personified by Nigel Davenport) who attempts to reckoning on the escaped soldier . Somebody told the black man he wasn't a slave anymore , somebody told the red man this land was his, somebody lied , somebody is going to pay.

The flick has undeniable tendencies to symbolic events that overkill the nimble developing of the story . The film is slowly paced and spite of setting on exteriors , it feels itself some claustrophobic . The plot is plain and simple with a few roles , a strange duo faces off neighboring bandits and a racist , brutal bounty hunter . Director copes well this thrilling Western helped by the Spanish desert from Almeria where in the 60s and 70 were shot lots of Pasta/Chorizo Westerns . The picture draws magnificent acting from Richard Roundtree as the black , Union Army deserter and Roy Thinnes as the Indian outcast , both of whom encounter common ground in oppression eventually incarnated by Nigel Davenport as a cruel bounty hunter . Furthermore , brief appearances from Spanish actors as Aldo Sambrell and Rafael Albaicín , both of them usual to Spaghetti/Paella Westerns . This one results to be a British Western film along with ¨Hunting party¨ by Don Medford , ¨Catlow¨ by Sam Wanamaker , ¨Eagles's wing¨ by Anthony Harvey , ¨Shalako¨ by Edward Dymitryck , most of them starred by great players and shot in Almeria .

The motion picture was well directed by Don Chaffey , though results to be a little bit boring . Don began directing in 1951 , often working on films aimed at children , as he directed various kiddies films as ¨Magic of Lassie¨ , ¨Greyfriars Bobby¨, ¨The horse without head¨, ¨3 lives of Thomasina¨ , ¨Pete's dragon¨ , ¨Ride a wild Pony¨. He branched out into television in the mid-'50s, turning out many of the best episodes of such classic series as ¨Danger Man¨ (1960), ¨The prisoner¨ (1967) and ¨The avengers¨ (1961). Although he worked in many film genres , such as Romance/drama : ¨The gift of love¨ , ¨Four wishes¨, Prehistorical : ¨Creatures of the world forgot¨ , ¨One million years B.C.¨ , Thriller : ¨Casino¨, Comedy : ¨Dentist in chair¨ , ¨A matter of Who¨, his best work is generally acknowledged to be the crackerjack fantasy ¨Jasón and the Argonauts¨ (1963). On the other hand, he was also responsible for the lugubrious, box-office disaster ¨The viking queen¨ (1967), one of the few productions from Hammer Films that lost money. In the late 1970s Chaffey traveled to the US and worked primarily there, often in made-for-TV movies .
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More Drama than just Western
noisyb16 January 2004
Warning: Spoilers
An Indian and a deserted Soldier (africa-american) meet in a desert (probably in Mexico) and both are trying to get something like a new life. They become friends and want to start a farm or something like that. The Indian goes to a nearby town to buy some chickens. In his absence the deserted soldier is stoned to death by mexicans who seem to hate everything american. When the Indian returns he seems to fall apart.

However, I highly recommend this movie.
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The American Indian
Oslo Jargo (Bartok Kinski)28 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
*Plot and ending analyzed*

Charley-One-Eye (1973) is one of those odd films that come across the TV late at night. I really enjoyed it, since it was a new take on the Western. It has a black man, of recent from the Union Army, now a deserter, and his injured American Indian hostage. I didn't recognize Roy Thinnes as the Indian and Richard Roundtree as the black man. Richard Roundtree shot some Union officer and seems to be on the run. A mean-spirited Bounty Hunter is on his trail, played by Nigel Davenport (Sands of the Kalahari (1965), A Man for All Seasons (1966)).

There's a lot of oddness in the interaction between the black man and his injured American Indian hostage, who are fighting for survival in the desert. It was filmed in Almería Spain, the locale for so many Spaghetti Westerns in the 1960's.

It is interesting to note how the relationship develops when they are by themselves are threatened by an outsider group. The ending was very melancholy. There is also a similar film, Eagle's Wing (1979) , where Sam Waterston plays an American Indian. Grayeagle (1977) also has Alex Cord as an American Indian.

Charley-One-Eye, like Eagle's Wing (1979), were both British productions.

Charley-One-Eye is a chicken that the American Indian has taken a fancy to and perhaps is symbolic of how American Indians were treated.
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