Saturday, November 28, 2009

1973 - THE TRAIN ROBBERS - another late career John Wayne film

Pretty mellow, laid back western probably a little more mellow and laid back then is should be. 

Duke is the leader of a group of gunfighters who are hired by a widow to bring back some gold that her dead husband stole from Welles Fargo.  Wayne and his gang head to Mexico pursued by another gang of outlaws determined to get the gold from them.  

Burt Kennedy was the writer/director and his specialty was this type of small scale western.  Kennedy had written the best of Budd Boetticher's Randolph Scott westerns so he knew how to take a basic story and situation like this and spin it with a few different variations. 

The cast was pretty good starting with Rod Taylor and Ben Johnson as Wayne's old civil war cronies.  Ann Margaret played the widow and she looks kind of weird with her Las Vegas hooker/showgirl makeup and hairstyle.  She's supposed to be the focus of the story but she really doesn't have much to do and at times it seems like she's barely in the film.  Wayne does his usual good job playing his typical western character.   

Probably the best thing about The Train Robbers is the photography by William H. Clothier.  The film looks very good and a lot of the compositions are really stunning and clear.

92 comfortable minutes.

No comments: