Edgar Buchanan

Edgar Buchanan

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Ride The High Country Review


Excellent
More westerns have been made than almost any other kind of movie (beginning with the first narrative film ever made, The Great Train Robbery in 1903) but there are not that many great westerns. (To be fair, there aren't many bad ones either -- they're all about par.) A few classics -- The Ox-Bow Incident, Shane, High Noon, Fort Apache, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance -- are almost the only standouts in a genre which, at least for most of its history, was focused on myth-making and honoring traditional entertainment values, not breaking new trails.

At least, that was true until Sam Peckinpah came along in the 1960s. Peckinpah loved and respected the western genre enough to try to reinvent it, injecting much more violence and moral ambiguity. He was criticized for going too far in his later films, but their toughness and realism now seem natural and appropriate.

Continue reading: Ride The High Country Review

Texas Review


Excellent
With a name like Texas, one expects a grand, sweeping film about the old west, one of those epics about settlers and claim stakers and, ah, you get the drift. Texas is really none of that. At its core it's a relatively straightforward genre movie, and a small one: Two ex-Confederate soldiers (Glenn Ford and William Holden) head to Texas to make their fortune, and soon they're on opposite sides of the law. (The plot eventually revolves around a cattle drive, a corrupt beef baron, and a plot to derail the whole thing.) Throw in Edgar Buchanan as the town dentist -- also of questionable morals -- and you've got a tiny hit that's surprisingly very, very funny. On purpose.

Ride The High Country Review


Excellent
More westerns have been made than almost any other kind of movie (beginning with the first narrative film ever made, The Great Train Robbery in 1903) but there are not that many great westerns. (To be fair, there aren't many bad ones either -- they're all about par.) A few classics -- The Ox-Bow Incident, Shane, High Noon, Fort Apache, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance -- are almost the only standouts in a genre which, at least for most of its history, was focused on myth-making and honoring traditional entertainment values, not breaking new trails.

At least, that was true until Sam Peckinpah came along in the 1960s. Peckinpah loved and respected the western genre enough to try to reinvent it, injecting much more violence and moral ambiguity. He was criticized for going too far in his later films, but their toughness and realism now seem natural and appropriate.

Continue reading: Ride The High Country Review

Shane Review


Excellent
When a reformed gunslinger looking to mend his evil ways stumbles upon a conflict between peace-loving sodbusters and ornery cattle ranchers in the middle of the old old West, trouble is bound to happen. And trouble is what Shane gets, as our title character (played by Alan Ladd) soon finds out as he returns to some of his rough-and-tumble ways as he tries to defend the homesteaders. Earnest and exciting, even if it's a bit white hat/black hat (Jack Palance even makes an appearance here as an evil gunman who wears, you guessed it, a black hat), Shane is one of the great westerns, a film that inspired many which would follow it.
Edgar Buchanan

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