Joe Kidd (Clint Eastwood) is a former bounty hunter and all-around tough-guy in the American southwest. When a band of Mexicans find their U.S. land claims denied and all relevant records destroyed in a courthouse fire, they turn to force-of-arms. Luis Chama (John Saxon) is their charismatic leader, spouting revolutionary rhetoric and demanding land reform. A wealthy landowner with interests in the disputed area, Frank Harlan (Robert Duvall), decides to settle things his own way. He hires a band of killers and wants Joe Kidd to help them track Chama. Initially, Kidd wants to avoid any involvement, until Chama makes the mistake of stealing Kidd's horses and terrorizing his friends.Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
When Harlan's gang returns to Sinola, Roy tells the desk clerk at the hotel that there are eleven of them. However, in the gunfight, we see the deaths of seven (including Harlan) and the surrender of two more. Two have disappeared. See more »
Walk a straight line through a cow pasture you gotta step in some cow pies, but you get where you're goin'.
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Clint Eastwood plays the title role in Joe Kidd a former bounty hunter and tracker hired by big rancher Robert Duvall to bring in John Saxon. Saxon's a local hero among the Mexican population in this southwestern based film for standing up to the Anglo ranchers like Robert Duvall who've robbed them of their lands both gunfighters and with bought justice in the courts.
It doesn't take Clint long to decide he's made a big mistake as Duvall's hired bully boys intimidate the local Chicano population. The last straw is when Duvall and company ride into a pueblo, have the local priest Pepe Hern summon all the villagers, where he announces the next morning he'll shoot five people if they don't surrender Saxon or give him information where Saxon is. The sort of stuff the Nazis did in their occupied countries. Duvall anticipates Clint's change of mind by taking his gun and locking him up as well. But of course there's no way that's going to stop Clint Eastwood.
Not that Saxon is anything to write home about. He's a bit of a lout himself, especially in the way he treats his girl friend Stella Garcia. As he so eloquently puts it, all he wants her for is something to keep warm with on those cold nights on the prairie and he's not interested in her opinion. Talk about your alpha male on the prairie. Still he's one of the good guys for better or worse.
I don't think Joe Kidd measures up to Clint Eastwood westerns like The Unforgiven or Pale Rider or The Outlaw Josey Wales. But it's one of the most entertaining he ever did. I'm not bored by one second of it and I do love that climax where Eastwood makes use of that locomotive in a creative fashion. Joe Kidd is definitely an Eastwood film for the ages.
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