A gunfighting stranger comes to the small settlement of Lago. After gunning down three gunmen who tried to kill him, the townsfolk decide to hire the Stranger to hold off three outlaws who are on their way.
It is neither dumb nor smart enough to be fun, and spends way too much time with its boring human characters.
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Yes, that includes the Dollars Trilogy and the best picture western Unforgiven. The story was more exciting and focused. I loved the music and film techniques from the camera angels, locations, choreography of the action scenes and editing. Ahead of its time and so is the chilling music and film techniques that feel very Hitchcockian.
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Oh yeah for sure that's fun! Great directing, funny jokes, everything is great with this handsome cowboy. So great that when he rapes women they love it and want more. This movie is not about rape or revenge but manhood. And that's my problem. I had a great time watching this movie. And that's my problem. Not Clint Eastwood fault it was a time where no meant yes. A time where men were supposed to stand for themselves protect their property. But in 21th watching this kind of movie seems dangerous. So despite the great pleasure I had watching this remarkable western, I keep a despicable aftertaste.
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High Plains Drifter is Eastwood's second effort in the director's chair which effectively is a cross between the Magnificent Seven and High Noon. Whilst it starts out well, it sadly doesn't keep this up throughout its running time...Here are the many problems with this film;EASTWOOD'S CHARACTER; he's the stranger with no name in this film and he was also known as the man with no name in Sergio Leone's A Fistful Of Dollars (which I'm sure isn't a coincidence). It's clear that at this point in his career that Eastwood had a fondness of Sergio Leone (and why wouldn't he as Leone clearly made Eastwood a huge star). Whilst this film has the feel of many a Sergio Leone western it certain doesn't have the enjoyment value of many of his Westerns. The truth here is that Eastwood has made his own character far too unlikeable and cruel for me to really care about him; he rapes women and then seemingly has them falling at his feet - Eastwood seems to turn this into some chauvinistic ego-trip; why would these women like him let alone want to sleep with him??? His cruelty to the townsfolk is potentially explained in the context of the story, but a lot of what we see here is quite extreme and doesn't make for a particularly pleasant viewing experience. The issue here is that you want to cheer on Eastwood and the gang and hope that they overcome the returning villains but the problem here is that you can't; why would you want to root for a mean-spirited rapist?? THE STORY; OK; so the gunfighters that the townsfolk originally hired get killed by Eastwood's character so the townsfolk have to rely on Eastwood to protect their town. This bit I was OK with, but then things start to get ridiculous... The townsfolk offer Eastwood a free reign on the town on the assumption that he will defeat the 3 returning villains... although Eastwood's return possibly has supernatural connections to it I still found a lot of the plotting to be rather preposterous and far-fetched. What exactly was the significance of painting the town red? Maybe I missed something here...The female characters are poorly used and seem to exist as little more than play things for Eastwood and pretty much all the acting from the male cast is horrible (with the exception of Eastwood whose tough talking performance through gritted teeth is just about enough to carry the picture)Other than that this is a horrible film where Eastwood seems to use the narrative to set himself up as some kind of supernatural god (albeit of chauvinism and pig-headedness). It's an arrogant, smug and self-indulgent film that lacks much of the likability of many of Eastwood's other westerns.
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"You've had your face in the dirt for too long/Sweet revenge long overdue" ~Marc Almond, Hell Was a CityEastwood the Goth is at it again: the mysterious stranger that shows up out of nowhere and goes back to nowhere, the scars, the dreams, the nightmares, the doppelgangers and MY GOD - THE RED TOWN. There are more expensive productions today, there are green screens and anything could be made, but I've hardly seen anything as effective as this. It's not just the production design, the whole film is a dreamy mixture of comedy, western and Gothic horror. It's like the director's invitation to join him on a trip to hell and back. And you gladly accept!