Friday, 16 October 2009
THE BRAVADOS (1958)
The Bravados (1958)
Run time: 93 mins
Screenplay by Philip Yordan based on the book by Frank O'Rourke.
Directed by Henry King
Gregory Peck as Jim Douglass
Joan Collins as Josefa Valverde
Stephen Boyd as Bill Zachary
Albert Salmi as Ed Taylor
Henry Silva as Lujan
Lee Van Cleef as Alfonso Parral
Jim Douglass rides into the town of Rio Arriba just to see four men hang. After taking a look at the men who he doesn't really know he meets up with an old flame, Josefina, and they have a meal together. She is looking after her father's ranch but as soon as Jim tells her he has a daughter Josefina seems to lose interest. Later, though, she gets the whole story and she gets interested again.
Enter the hangman who joins Jim for a drink and they while away their time together. When it gets dark and everyone has gone to church the hangman goes into action. He stabs the lawman who shoots him dead but the four men get the keys and escape.
Jim Douglass becomes a part of the posse because he wants the four men dead for the rape and murder of his wife.
One by one he catches up with them and disposes of them until only Lujan is left. But when Jim catches up with him he finds out that everything is not as it had seemed to Jim.
This film has a plodding start but was worth staying with once the men escaped from jail. Most of the revenge killings are hinted at rather than shown. Each time he meets up with an outlaw he shows them a photo of his wife but he doesn't get the message that they have no idea of who she is.
This film may not appeal to everybody but worth, at least, a look.
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The Broken Trail Rider rides again. Cool.
I was fortunate to have read the novel years before I ever saw the film. In my opinion it is one of O'Rourke's best Westerns. My favorite by the author is "A Mule for the Marquesa" which was also made into an excellent Lee Marvin/Burt Lancaster film called "The Professionals."
Agree - a great book and a great film
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