Do you remember the first CD you ever bought? I do. Of course, for me it was a big deal because I come from the LP era. I didn't get my first CD until I was in college. It was Jerry Goldsmith's Rio Conchos, bought in person on my first visit to Intrada, best soundtrack store ever. It was the first CD I ever bought, and I didn't even own a CD player yet! Made a tape of the album off a friend's CD player so I could listen to it that way. It's still one of my favorite Goldsmith scores, and I've listened to it hundreds of times.
I've wanted to see the movie forever, but, never managed to catch it on TV when I had TV, and it's still not out on DVD to my knowledge. But, tonight, lo and behold... Netflix suddenly has it available for instant viewing! This being the month of Nano, finding procrastination of such a calibre is an opportunity not to be wasted! So, naturally, I just spent two precious writing hours watching it.
1. There's a reason Richard Boone is one of my top ten favorite actors of all time.
2. There aren't words powerful enough to describe how much I love Jerry Goldsmith's music.
3. If there were no movies left on the planet but Westerns, I'd be perfectly content.
I was not disappointed in this movie, and if it ever comes out on DVD, I will probably buy it. Story's interesting and has plenty of action. It's quite violent, but not gruesomely so. But really, I was watching for Richard Boone. He just makes me grin and grin. He's perfect in roles like this. He plays a great character here. A Confederate Major who comes home from the war to find Apaches have tortured and murdered his wife and daughter. Sinks into hate and a bottle and revenge. Almost a cliche, but in Boone's hands the character becomes quite complex. His acting rounds the character out, gives him depth where another actor might not have. He lets you see his character's pain behind the flippancy and his inhumanity, and then, his remembered and regained humanity and honor. He gets the best of the dialogue throughout, and the best scenes. His character goes through a subtle redemption arc, and his scene with the dying woman and baby really got me. Really, he's the only character in the film who gets to do anything meaty, but I don't mind that.
Stuart Whitman plays the sort of upstanding hero. Sort of. (After all, it's his character's mistake that puts the rifles into the bad guys' hands.) I like Stuart Whitman, I do (Comancheros!), but really, does he ever do anything in any of his films? Jim Brown is quiet, but where Whitman is a bit flat, Jim Brown always has presence, and he gets a few nice moments. Edmund O'Brien -- hee! He's always solid, particularly playing whackos. Speaking of whackos, Timothy Carey sneaked in, in an uncredited role. in this one. But the guy is instantly recognizable, and while he's not playing a dangerous loony in this one (in fact he was surprisingly normal and low key), he's still has that loose cannon quality that always makes him a bit freaky. Every time he pops up in a film where I don't expect him, I kind of sit on the edge of my seat waiting to see what he's going to do. 'Cause you just don't know with him.
So, I'm happy, and I've nicely avoided writing tonight. Which is okay, as I wrote a bunch of notes this morning before work and I'm still digesting the new direction I want to take the story.
Though, I can't tell you how weird it is watching a movie for the first time when you know the score inside out and backwards but nothing about the movie. Always a bit surreal.