• The Rare Breed

    The Rare Breed

    ★★★½

    “I’m not taking that knobhead anywhere!”

    The Rare Breed (or Rancho River) is Andrew V. McLaglen’s typical formula for a Western - a joyous atmosphere supported by cutesy characters and dialogue, and an urge for keeping to the old ways of the Golden Era Western. It’s that very decision that lead to many of his sixties efforts feeling dated and before their time, but I imagine both John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara had a blast working this way as neither…

  • 3 Bad Men

    3 Bad Men

    ★★★½

    It seems three bad men weren’t really that bad at all.

  • Bad Day at Black Rock

    Bad Day at Black Rock

    ★★★★

    “I thought the tradition of the Old West was hospitality.”

    Mysterious, villainous, chilling and surely one of the brightest sparks in John Sturges’ impressive career. Bad Day at Black Rock is one of those movies with a distinctive plot and atmosphere that’s timeless and forever engrained in memory. It tells that traditional Western tale of a stranger wandering into town, but this time with a different temperament and an endless amount of suspicion and drama; so much so, that it…

  • Man Who Cried for Revenge

    Man Who Cried for Revenge

    ★★★

    Another case of the amnesiac cowboy, and this time it’s Anthony Steffen playing Davy Flannigan, an ex-Civil War soldier accused of deserting his position and therefore burdened with a bounty on his head. With the exceptional William Berger in tow. 

    It seems this storytelling theme is much more common (and possibly overused) than I ever originally acknowledged, and especially in Euro Westerns.

  • Citizen Kane

    Citizen Kane

    ★★★★

    Of course, it still holds up. 

    Instead of spewing what’s already been said about it, perhaps I’ll share a little known fact here to anyone interested in the cast’s dealings. Both long time collaborators, Welles and Cotton crossed over into European films for a time, and each starred in a Spaghetti Western (Welles in Tepepa and Cotton in The Hellbenders).

  • Banana Joe

    Banana Joe

    ★★★

    Bud Spencer is dearly missed.

  • The Outlaw and His Wife

    The Outlaw and His Wife

    ★★★½

    Victor Sjöström surely doesn’t get enough credit for his early contributions to cinema. The Outlaw and His Wife isn’t just one of the most stylish and carefully crafted Westerns of the silent era, it’s also one of the best examples of cinematography of the early 20th century. 

    To begin with, the structure is a little slow and far too minimalistic in places for my personal taste in silent cinema, as it doesn’t quite hold a candle to some of my…

  • Crime Busters

    Crime Busters

    ★★★½

    Terence and Bud starring in a buddy cop movie was inevitable, and it’s just as much fun as you might expect.

  • The 39 Steps

    The 39 Steps

    ★★★½

    One of Hitchcock’s finest pre-American features, and one that he didn’t ever dare to remake. It’s a good job too as Robert Donat’s dynamic performance couldn’t have been matched.

  • The Possessed

    The Possessed

    ★★★★

    “They say it was an accident, but it wasn’t.”

    The Possessed is the giallo in it’s most stripped state - representing a bite size mystery that still feels as though it’s been plucked from the pages of a pulp fiction novel. It’s even drained of colour. And whilst it’s by no means an “essential” example of the genre, it’s definitely worth rooting out, especially if you have a love of pulpy Italian cinema or at the very least the early…

  • The Rolling Stones: Havana Moon

    The Rolling Stones: Havana Moon

    ★★★½

    The iconic concert that meant so much to the Stones and their fans in Cuba - something that would never have happened in the decades prior. It’s just a shame this documentary doesn’t show it in full; I suppose the runtime would’ve been pushing it had they added the entire show in at the end. But I’d have been much happier if they had, and this would’ve been a much cooler document of such a historic event. 

    At least the…

  • Un attore contro - Gian Maria Volonté

    Un attore contro - Gian Maria Volonté

    ★★★½

    Tasty tribute to one of Italy’s greats! It actually came as a suitable companion piece to my Blue Underground release of A Bullet for the General.

    It’s quite ironic that he lead such a politically driven life, and just happened to give one of the best performances of his acting career in Sergio Sollima’s political masterwork, Face to Face. Still get chills from that one.