Ride In The Whirlwind & The Shooting

Koukol
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Koukol
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July 13th, 2015, 7:32 pm #1

These two Monte Hellman films have been given a great BD treatment by Criterion.

Besides the great locations it's the dialogue that really sets these films apart from most American Westerns.I have no idea how authentic it might be but it definitely worked for me.The dialogue is so unusual and the accents are so thick I needed to watch these films with the subtitle options on to understand everything.
This film also marks the beginning of Harry Dean Stanton's new approach to acting by "not acting"..a true American legend.It was also great to see other actors like the guy with the teeth in the saloon from MY NAME IS NOBODY who has the line "lucky sh*t!"Plus...I think this is Cameron Mitchell's best performance and the supporting cast ring authentic unlike a Tarantino film.Millie Perkins gives a truly convincing performance of a young woman who has never experienced anything outside her 18 years on a remote settlement...truly vapid.
THE SHOOTING is more experimental exposing the filmmakers as young Mavericks willing not to conform to an audiences expectations.It's the ending that really throws one off.
Ending Spoiler*
I watched the extras so I'm not alone in not understanding the ending.It's reassuring that the director doesn't know as well.
It reminded me of something that David Lynch uses a lot.I thought this "doppelganger" mindf*ck was first used in Bava's KILL, BABY KILL! but now I'm wondering if this came first.Anyways, I suppose THE STUDENT OF PRAGUE beat them both.
However, I should add that the ending did leave me with a sense that it was made by Art students and not a master like Tarkovsky or Bunuel.
An explanation of the ending (if one wants to project) could be the desert trek had our troupe hallucinating by the end.
I'd love to hear what others think of this ending and whether they have projected any meaning to it.
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Latarnia
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July 15th, 2015, 5:28 pm #2

Never seen these.

Mirek
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Koukol
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July 15th, 2015, 5:48 pm #3

Latarnia wrote:
Never seen these.

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Are you guys gonna make me miss Richard?
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John Bernhard
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July 15th, 2015, 7:53 pm #4

Both great American westerns right before the commercial revisionism period kicked in ( late 60's ).  
The fact they were basically ignored when made is a testament to the fact they were ahead of their time & no one knew what to do with them until the post Peckinpah early 70's when they at least got some distribution ( mostly on the back of Nicholson's rise to fame ).

I love the Criterion BD, really great extras and the films look so nice.   Agree on WHIRLWIND & Cam Mitchell, he's really good in that role, and the film has an almost Peckinpah like reality to it.
SHOOTING makes more sense when you have seen it a few times, but it is a tad to arty for it's own good at the end of the day.  Still, performances and imagery make it an eye grabbing view.
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ryanbrennan
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July 16th, 2015, 4:12 am #5

I saw The Shooting with a sneak preview of The Battle of Neretva.
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Koukol
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July 16th, 2015, 5:35 am #6

ryanbrennan wrote:
I saw The Shooting with a sneak preview of The Battle of Neretva.
What did you think, Ryan?I personally feel it's not on par with RIDE and definitely not CHINA 9 LIBERTY 7
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ryanbrennan
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July 20th, 2015, 3:25 am #7

Koukol 5 wrote:
ryanbrennan wrote:
I saw The Shooting with a sneak preview of The Battle of Neretva.
What did you think, Ryan?I personally feel it's not on par with RIDE and definitely not CHINA 9 LIBERTY 7
Koukol 5 wrote:

ryanbrennan wrote:


I saw The Shooting with a sneak preview of The Battle of Neretva.

What did you think, Ryan?
I personally feel it's not on par with RIDE and definitely not CHINA 9 LIBERTY 7
You're right, Koukol, The Battle of Neretva doesn't compare.

Okay, just being a smartass, sorry. Answering seriously, it's been a long time since I've seen the The Shooting and Ride in the Whirlwind. I remember liking Ride better than The Shooting. My memory says that The Shooting seemed a bit too coy, enigmatic if you like. Ambiguity in a film or characters doesn't bother me as it does most people, in fact, I think it often adds something, so don't know what my thinking was back then. I also have a memory of being annoyed by Millie Perkins' character. In short, I really need to see it again and appraise it from a modern day perspective.

China 9 Liberty 37 I've only seen in a terrible home video version, pan and scanned, cut, and with horrible sound. In that state it hints at being a greater work than in evidence in its current condition. Jenny Agutter's character didn't quite seem to gel. I'm starting to wonder if Hellman didn't know what to do with women?

I like Hellman's Two Lane Blacktop and Cockfight a lot.  But in both films the women are just kind of there.  They don't count for much.  Hellman seems to have firmer grip on his existential male characters.  Several of these films seem like Westerns set in different milieus with the men challenging each other to various sorts of duels.


  
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Koukol
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July 20th, 2015, 4:30 am #8

"I'm starting to wonder if Hellman didn't know what to do with women?"
It's interesting that you think this as I believe the opposite.
Of course you're going by memory but In the SHOOTING... Millie's no-name character was meant to be annoying which apparently worked for you as it did me.
The story was written by a woman and woman had a major role in it...that's unheard of in a Western at that time...no?At least it wasn't typical.
I highly recommend these films with their restorations to see the quiet beauty of them along with how great and original American films can be outside the Hollywood system.
I'll have to revisit TWO LANE since I remember nothing about it.
 
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ryanbrennan
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September 11th, 2015, 7:08 am #9

Koukol 5 wrote:
"I'm starting to wonder if Hellman didn't know what to do with women?"
It's interesting that you think this as I believe the opposite.
Of course you're going by memory but In the SHOOTING... Millie's no-name character was meant to be annoying which apparently worked for you as it did me.
The story was written by a woman and woman had a major role in it...that's unheard of in a Western at that time...no?At least it wasn't typical.
I highly recommend these films with their restorations to see the quiet beauty of them along with how great and original American films can be outside the Hollywood system.
I'll have to revisit TWO LANE since I remember nothing about it.
 
Yes, you're right, women were a rarity in the Western genre.  However, there were two exceptions, and in big ways.  One was Clair Huffaker, who wrote Western novels and screenplays to some well-known films, the other Leigh Brackett, who had three Wayne scripts to her credit.  Just off the top of my head I can think of a few Western films where a woman figured importantly like FORTY GUNS, HONDO, ANNIE OAKLEY, THE BIG COUNTRY, JOHNNY GUITAR, GIANT (a Western of sorts), and SHANE.  But, yeah, not usual in the genre.
I've acquired a copy of Hellman's BACK DOOR TO HELL which I hope to watch soon.  Might even screen BEAST FROM HAUNTED CAVE again.  That would leave FLIGHT TO FURY, IGUANA, and  ROAD TO NOWHERE of his narrative films to watch.  Don't know that there's much to learn from re-watching THE TERROR, SHATTER, and AVALANCHE EXPRESS, none of which can rightfully be called Hellman films.
  
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jjonathanbarnett
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September 12th, 2015, 4:51 pm #10

It's been years, but I enjoyed all three of Hellman's Westerns. It's a shame that Jack didn't get to collaborate with Monte at the peak of stardom. Warren Oats is one of the undervalued American treasures. For some reason, RIDE was the easiest to enjoy. It is one of Hellman's more accesable movies. "It's gonna be a long day". Got a laugh from me while watching it. It's was a random lull among the gun fighting. Hellman's movies do play like Art Movies set against America, a genuine alternative cinema (for lack of a better phrase) to traditional story presentation. I still have yet to see TWO LANE BLACKTOP. I suspect it's the kind a movie a young man would love.

As much I'd love to catch up with his westerns I think I'd rather see his other movies that have remained elusive like COCKFIGHTER.

fYI, I really enjoy THE TERROR. I love how its a assembled, it's like a movie made out of scrap footage.
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