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Craig R. Baxley
In 1882, Joseph and Elizabeth Cooley head west to reunite with Elizabeth's family and are stranded in a logging camp just outside Tucson. Then, a wounded Indian stumbles into their camp and they must defend him against his would-be killer - Doc Holliday. Elizabeth considers Doc a stone-cold killer but, during the course of their tense standoff, she comes to find that this courtly, ailing man has a surprisingly well-honed sense of justice, frontier-style.Written by
The sepia-toned intro didn't bother me so much, I guess, but the gunfight did drag on. I guess that was supposed to be the OK Corral shootout?
Why dwell on such little points? Because they're portents of doom.
I got about 10-15 minutes into the film before giving up. It attempts to set the plot through dialogue that's badly written and has the characters carefully explaining the back story to each other. Ashley whoosis (Elizabeth) has a heart-sinking line early on, when she is asked if "Jack made it up from Texas"...she replies, in her best Valley Girl imitation, "He did, actually." Yessir, it's 1882.
Then there's Joseph, who declares in a conversation with Elizabeth that he "doesn't believe in firearms." But when we see a full-length shot of him in the kitchen a moment later in movie time, he's wearing a revolver on his hip. And another few minutes later, after the trio finds a wounded Indian, Joseph the humanitarian is arguing that they should leave him to die.
Back in the '40s, James Thurber wrote a short story satirizing the Erskine Caldwell/Tennessee Williams literary style and themes. It consists of 4-5 pages of dialogue (in dialect) among a Southern cracker family; suddenly Thurber breaks it off and ends the story by saying, "If you continue writing for a few more pages, you have a screenplay." Well, it doesn't always work. Continue this script and you still don't have a watchable "B" Western.
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