Saturday, April 24, 2010

1955 - THE KENTUCKIAN, actors probably shouldn't direct and produce as well

Not very much to say about this film.  Burt Lancaster was the star, director and producer for what is supposed to be a "slice of Americana."

The story is about a frontiersman from Kentucky who along with his son are traveling to Texas.  They have a series of almost interesting adventures.

Burt Lancaster did all the right things as producer, he hired a good photographer, Bernard Herrmann composed the music and he shot a lot of it on location in Cinemascope.  Lancaster also hired A. B. Guthrie Jr, who was a specialist in writing stories about the American frontier.  Guthrie had written Shane but his work on The Kentuckian wasn't up to the quality of that film. 

Lancaster probably took on more that he should have for this film.  His direction is pretty uninspired, none of the scenes blend together very well.  Lancaster put together a good cast but he didn't seem to know how to get good performances out of anyone.  Everyone is a little to broad and hammy with their acting and the stilted dialog they had to recite didn't really help. 

Lancaster must have known he had no talent for direction, he never tried it again.

104 Americana minutes.

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