Now With More Than 3600 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 3600 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


More than a decade before he acquired Oscar-worthy respectability, Clint Eastwood helmed & starred in this end-of-the-Civil War Western, a Janus-faced career move that looked back at his anarchic past and ahead to his violence-with-consequences future. Yet, the film is neither awkward transitional work nor unsatisfying compromise; the spirit is still untamed, the style still happily slips to vulgar, the outlook still too cockeyed for critical esteem, but with a new, rigorous control. For many, it was then, and remains now, his best Western. In the opening scenes, Eastwood loses his wife, son & homestead, then spends the rest of the film hunting down the Union renegades responsible. First with a Southern outfit, and after the war, on his own. Or, rather, in splendid accidental partnership with Chief Dan George’s loquacious ‘Civilized’ Indian. Scripter Philip Kaufman, originally set to direct, brings a wide-ranging tone that leapfrogs from heavy drama to character comedy, forcing Eastwood’s hand as director into fearless directions that push him to his technical limits and beyond. (Some of the action staging misses the old Don Siegel clarity.) But with its satisfying ‘rhyming’ plot arcs, excellent cast, fine Jerry Fielding score and handsome Bruce Surtees lensing, the film more than holds up, it’s improved in the can.

SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY/DOUBLE-BILL: There’s a lot of John Ford’s THE SEARCHERS/’56 in here, but the parallels aren’t pushed too hard. A decade on, Eastwood tried harnessing his PALE RIDER/’85 to George Steven’s SHANE/’53, adding a Messianic complex to drab & dreary result.

No comments: