Director: Howard Hawks
Year Released: 1959
What a disappointingly overrated Western, considering the cast (John Wayne, Dean Martin, Walter Brennan, etc.) and director (Hawks)! The plot seems so familiar - Wayne throws a murderer in jail much to the dismay of his brother, who sends his henchmen to try to get him back. Meanwhile, there are two poorly written subplots: the first involves Martin's character battling with alcoholism that is both redundant and dull. The second is a 'gimme' ... it's about the 'relationship' between Wayne and Angie Dickinson that seems forced (what, do all Westerns have to have a love story?) and poorly developed. The film also runs way too long at two and a half hours - there are entirely too many scenes that go nowhere, and there really isn't much 'audience interaction' (the feeling of being 'drawn in') to keep one interested. Hawks seems to enjoy keeping the audience at a distance in this one, and since we don't get to know much about the characters - they seem to have stepped into the picture from other movies - it's tough to care. Quentin Tarantino once said that this was his favorite film of all time, and that if he were serious about a girl, he'd show her this movie and "she better like it." How many women out there like John Wayne and Westerns? Change your dating criteria.