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(Review originally written at 4 September 2006)

In no way "Lawman" is being an exceptional or memorable western but it still is made interesting and entertaining enough by its fine and solid acting main cast.

No western ever has had a complex or complicated story but this movie is rather easy, even for normal western standards. It's a typical 'revenge' tale. Only problem this time is that the revenge tale isn't exactly a sympathetic one. I just don't see why about a dozen cowboy's have to die just because they accidentally killed an old man, in a drunk state. It really doesn't help to make this movie the most subtle or engaging western around. It also doesn't help to make the main character, the marshal played by Burt Lancaster a popular or engaging one. At times you even feel sorry and cheer for the 'villains' but this is also probably mainly due to the fact that they are played by such fine and well known actors.

Lee J. Cobb and Robert Duvall are among the solid cast. together with some other famed '70's actors. The main cast is extremely solid and everyone gives one fine and effective performance. In that regard this movie still distinct itself from other genre movies from the same period and still help to make this movie an unique and recommendable one. Especially Lee J. Cobb is impressive in his role. And no matter how small his role in this movie is, Robert Duvall's talent is obviously showing in this movie. Unfortunately the supporting cast of this movie is not halve as good. It makes most of the humor feel awkward and also prevents the more dramatic and serious story lines to work out correctly.

The movie is well made, if not a tad bit formulaic. The cinematography and directing is mostly good and the musical score by Jerry Fielding is surprisingly good, for such a small and insignificant production. The movie is mostly filled with action, which helps to make this movie a perfectly watchable and well paced one. The movie ends with a genre formulaic shootout, that does not disappointed.

Obviously best watchable for the genre fans but everyone else will probably also still enjoy this simple movie, thanks to its solid acting and famous cast.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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