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(Review originally written at 4 January 2010)

Thing that I like about the western genre is that the movies often show that with simplicity you can still make some great movies. Here we have a movie with only 5 characters in it and a story that takes them from point A to B.

Of course there is much more to the story of course but in essence it still remains a movie with a simple, though effective, concept. It's a movie that builds on its characters. The movie shows human nature when a bunch of unlikely allies capture a criminal with $5000 on his head.

I don't know but I also sort regard this movie as an adventure movie in which the main characters travel and every now and then come across new problems. It certainly is different from most other westerns since this movie is not action-driven. It's a more classy movie really, that is made for entertainment but also still has some, Oscar nominated, great writing.

The movie of course gets also uplifted by its actors. Since it's a character driven movie casting was a real important aspect for this movie. James Stewart appeared in quite some westerns throughout his career, such as also John Wayne's last movie "The Shootist". It shows that James Stewart was quite a versatile actor who could handle different genres. Early in his career he did mostly comedies, than drama and with Hitchcock he later made some thrillers as well. It's also one of the few westerns in which the female character does not feel obsolete. She serves a significant purpose in the movie and she is not made to look like the innocent, weak lady. The female pat is played by Janet Leigh, who of course also was a more than capable actress. The rest of the cast members aren't as well known but they simply were great in this and well cast within their roles.

A great movie to watch that is not only well written and constructed but also entertaining to watch, mostly due to its original approach.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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