Sunday, March 21, 2010

1961 - GOLD OF THE SEVEN SAINTS, modest western, nice photography, decent script

Howard Hawks was supposed to follow up Rio Bravo with this film, he supervised the script which was written by one of his favorite writers Leigh Brackett.  Hawks apparently lost interest in the project and wanted to film  Hatari instead.  Warner Brothers didn't want to make Hatari, Hawks left, and Warners filmed Gold Of The Seven Saints with one of their studio directors Gordon Douglas and two of their TV actors Clint Walker and Roger Moore.

Gold of the Seven Saints is nothing special for the most part.  The story was filmed on location in and around Monument Valley,  Arizona, the photographer Joe Biroc did a nice job with the black and white Cinemascope image.  Monument Valley looks like the desert hell hole it probably is. 

Gold Of The Seven Saints is about two trappers who strike it rich  and are then chased throughout the desert by various groups who want their gold.  The story is laid out in a way that has a certain precision and logic to it. The acting is not to bad.   Clint Walker looks like a trapper.   Roger Moore has some sort of bizarre Irish accent and for a pretty boy he does pretty well with his part as well.

It's hard to know why Howard Hawks lost interest in this project.  Hawks could usually take material like this an redeem ii by adding humor to the story and getting good performances out of the actors.  Maybe Hawks didn't think the story was special enough to warrant his involvement.

A quick ninety minutes for people who enjoy westerns.  You could do a lot worse than Gold Of The Seven Saints but you could really do a lot better.

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