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Monday, July 23, 2012

Charley-One-Eye (1973)

  • Richard Roundtree
  • Roy Thinnes
  • Nigel Davenport
  • Jill Pearson
  • Aldo Sambrell
Westerns are sometimes westerns by default. Horses, men with guns, barren, sun-baked landscapes, American "Indians"... To most of us, these ingredients add up to one thing and one thing only: a "western." A genre film. (An "oater," if you will; a "shoot-'em-up.") But all is not always as it may seem. THE BALLAD OF GREGORIO CORTEZ, for instance, while a "posse" movie, is hardly a "traditional" western. Unlike many of the John Ford or Howard Hawks westerns, it wasn't "storyboarded" by Fred Remington (or would that be "production designed" by?). BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID was a more traditional "chase" film, but far superior to most thanks to brilliant writing and direction (not to mention the performances by two of the Big Screen's most stellar stars). Although it, too, is a "chase" film, CHARLEY ONE-EYE is about as unconventional and as stark as they come. The storyline is sparse but nonetheless compelling; it unravels slowly but realistically, with men pitted both against the elements and one another. Beautifully shot and directed, CHARLEY ONE-EYE rates a look.


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