Perhaps it is because westerns aren't really my thing but I just never really could get into this movie. It's long, mostly consists out of just talking back and forth and is lacking in adventure, action, true excitement and than some more.

Guess you could still say that the movie is good, just not great. Even though it was lacking a lot, it wasn't a movie that I hated watching, simply because it's a far too well made one for that. Howard Hawks and John Wayne are obviously at ease within the genre, I just wished that the story had more to offer.

It takes literally almost 90 minutes into this movie for the 'conflict' to finally develop but that doesn't mean that the movie takes off after that point. It's one that more puts its focus on its characters, rather than its story. That's fine of course, as long as the characters are interesting enough and the actors that play them are good in their roles. But no, John Wayne wasn't exactly the best actor that ever lived, which also shows in this movie and Ricky Nelson was also distractingly poor in his role. What the movie is further more lacking, when it comes down to its characters, is a good strong villain. Of course they still found room for a love-story to get thrown in, which just isn't something I'm waiting for when I'm going to see a western. It still is good and fun to see a young Angie Dickinson in this, as Wayne's, almost 30 years younger, love interest.

Because the characters aren't really that compelling, the dialog of the movie also falls sort of flat. And the dialog is really something the movie its script had put its emphasis on. This is the foremost reason why the movie tends to feel a bit overlong and slow. I kept waiting for a good stand off or the moment that they got on their horses and ride off but it just wasn't that kind of western. So yes, maybe I was expecting a different movie but I was also certainly expecting a better one.

Sorry to say but this movie just never surpassed the level of 'just good' for me.


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About Frank Veenstra

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