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When a lone gunman rides into the town of Largo trouble starts. He goes for a bath and shave and is followed by the three gun men and baddies of the town, he shots them dead and soon he has the town wanting his help. He is told how three people are going to be released from prison and will be back to Largo for revenge for them being arrested and they want him to kill them.
The stranger is talked into helping but he makes conditions and one being him making his only friend Mordeci mayor and sheriff of Largo! Stranger enlists the towns people to help defend themselves and starts training them. Will the people of Largo be able to defend their town and will they ever discover who Stranger is?
I have only given a brief plot summery of this film as I fell giving too much away will spoil the film for those who may not have seen this yet. There is a lot more to the story and the reveal of who Stranger in fact is was shown in a very good way and I loved how only we and two other knew who he was. The storyline was good and if not totally believable is was still a very entertaining watch.
Eastwood played the lead role of Stranger and he was great, he made his character very believable and I instantly liked him. He showed mainly a mean and moody side but we did get the odd little glimpse of another side to him and I liked how this was put across. He worked well with his horse and guns and looked comfortable with them. The other role which I really liked was that of Mordeci, played by Billy Curtis, he bought some fun to the storyline but he did not overdo it to take away from the seriousness of the storyline. There were a lot of other actors in the film including, Verna Bloom, Mitch Ryan, Jack Ging and Ted Hartley and they were all very good and brought different elements and a good mixture to the characters.
The film was set in the wild west in a small town and I loved how this was shown, we had the old wooden buildings and everyone got around on horses and carts. The sets were great and looked authentic and so too did all of the props. The horses and riders all looked comfortable and none of them were out of place. The costumes were very authentic for the year this was set in and I did enjoy seeing how people lived back them. For me though one of the highlights of the film was the views we got over the countryside. We saw some truly amazing shots of the desert and countryside and I loved how it all fitted into the film.
The special effects considering this film was made back in 1972 were very good, the gun fights all looked very real and so to did the brutal scenes we got in the dreams. I thought the deaths which came from the shooting were played very well and looked super. I did notice one or two badly added backdrops but taking the age of this film into account they can be forgiven. The music was another great part of this film and it was all very well made. It was very dramatic at times and helped with the moods and emotions of the storyline. I loved how it changed when different characters came on screen and we were able to use it to know when the bad men were coming.
The DVD which we have does not have any bonus features but this is no loss to me or hubby as neither of us are fans of them. The running time of the film is 1 hour and 41 minutes and I did find this to be quite long enough. The film has an 18 certificate and I do agree with this as we do get some brutal scenes throughout and they are hard to watch at times. I paid just £1.99 for this DVD from of all places Homebase! One thing which did annoy me about buying the DVD was that the very same night it was being shown on the TV!
This film is the second which Eastwood directed and I think he did an excellent job. This is not the sort of film which appeals to me but I did enjoy it and thought Eastwood played a great role. I would not suggest you buy the DVD as it is shown on the TV quite a lot. This film definitely deserves 4 stars.
Directed by Clint Eastwood and in a western he also stars in, High Planis Drifter was released originally in 1973 and I recently watched in on DVD and it was very good. I do like the westerns that Clint Eastwood has been in anyway.
The movie itself is a bit of an illustration of the way karma affects things. As in, what goes around comes around and everyone gets their just desserts in the end.
The start of the movie shows a scene in which a cowboy rides out of a mirage. He is known as the Stranger. The movie in essence is the story of the small town of Lago. I found it to be quite a brutal film that can be quite shocking at first. However, the violence is justified as it's for sins against one of their own that these people of this town resort to such acts of barbaric violence.
The story is simple enough as the Stranger rides into town and slays the gang who are make the inhabitants lives a misery and terrorizing everyone. He also gets paid and hired to get rid of a rival gang who are coming to cause chaos and bloodshed.
Clint Eastwood, of course, plays the title role with his now familiar scowl. There are great supporting performances from old Paul Brinegar and familiar faces Geoffrey Lewis, John Hillerman, Mitch Ryan, Verna Bloom , and Marianna Hill.
The music is by Dee Barton and evokes strong emotions and illustrates the feelings of the spaghetti western. I think the only problem with this movie is the low budget and some of the sets show this unfortunately.
All eyes are upon a stranger as he rides into a small town... there are no sounds but for that of his horse as it grunts and gallops across the sandy terrain. A whip crash and he pauses to see where it came from, then off he goes again.
He hooks up his horse and enters the bar, still being studied with curiosity, fear and caution (or perhaps they see something familiar in the man?), his spurs now taking on the only sound as he walks.
The Stranger: Beer... and a bottle.
Barman: Ain't much good, but it's all there is.
Barman: You want anything else?
The Stranger: Just a peaceful bar to drink in.
Three desperados take an instant dislike to the stranger ("Flea-bitten range bums don't usually stop in Lago. Life here's a little too quick for 'em. Maybe you think you're fast enough to keep up with us, huh?") and follow him as he make his way to the town barbers, ordering a shave and a hot bath. A few more threatening words are spoken and the stranger ends up shooting them all.
Word gets around as to the stranger's skills with guns and the town folk of Lago ask him for his help as three men (Stacey Bridges, Bill Borders and Cole Carlin) are about to be released from jail for killing the town's last Marshall, and are going to head their way, their threat to burn the town down as they feel they were hoodwinked by the people of the town.
The gunslinger's payment for protecting them is 'everything he wants.' The gunslinger agrees to help and proceeds to take everything he wants, including making the town dwarf into the new sheriff and getting the towns folk to paint the town red. He also prepares them for the coming of Stacey Bridges and his crew... but some of the towns folk start to dislike this stranger and his gruelling and strange methods.
There is an air of mystery that surrounds the stranger, played superbly by Clint Eastwood - he also directed this movie. I guess there always is mystery for such characters played my Eastwood... from around 1965 and for a decade on he starred in several other such westerns (including Fistful of Dollars and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly), where he was known simply as the 'Man with no name.' But this mystery is more so in High Plains Drifter as the plot unfurls and we also see elements of the supernatural, which is also witnessed in his later film, Pale Rider.
The movie is wonderfully written by Ernest Tidyman, who also brought us Shaft in the seventies. The dialogue is superb, captivating and capturing the essence of all the movies of this genre - tough, clichéd, cheesy and intelligent.
It also stars Verna Bloom as Sarah Belding, Billy Curtis as Mordecai and Geoffrey Lewis as Stacey Bridges. It was released in 1973 and lasts for 105 minutes. The direction by Eastwood is pretty good, to say it was only his third venture into this field.
I caught this movie again recently and found myself instantly captivated. Although I have watched it numerous times, it has been a while since my last viewing. I found it had dated very little in the last thirty-five years. Not like his Dirty Harry movies - which are still good, but certainly dated. This may be due to the fact they are set in wild west, whereas the Dirty Harry movies are set in the early seventies, and look it too.
I was reminded on my teenage years and staying up late to watch it with my older brother, then going to school to talk to my mates about it. I am now on the look-out for more of his early westerns...
Also published on Ciao by me as 'Borg...'
"Welcome to Lago, you son of a bitch!" "High Planes Drifter" heralds the return to the western (minus the spagetti) of "The Man With No Name" and also marks the directorial debut of Hollywood master, Clint Eastwood. The stranger (Eastwood) rides into the small town of Lago and enters the saloon and orders a beer and a bottle. "Where there be anything else?" "Some peace to drink it in." Three troublesome trouble shooters then discover they are messing with the wrong bloke. From the outset, the feel of mystery keeps your attention going throughout the movie, right up until the very last scene. Who is the stranger? What will he do next? What will he expect next? "What did you say your name was?" "I didn't" The mining town of Lago has a problem with trouble-shooters and also with three soon-to-be-released trouble makers (not a strictly true definition but do you wan't me to spoil it for you?). The stranger is then given a free hand by the useless mayor and sherrif to "solve the problem" and an unusual seriese of events follow as a result. On the surface, it is a very simple plot, simple story - but you never know what happens next and it is testiment to Eastwoods directing skills that keeps you guessing everything right through to the very end. A top notch, highly enjoyable flick which has quite a few recognisable faces from other Eastwood movies.