Ride the High Country

I just saw this excellent western this afternoon. A brief joke was enjoyed; when Gill Westrum (Randolph Scott) takes a gold dust deposit from a Belle Watley type, he comments, “You must have a good claim.”
She giggles, “Well, it is a gold mine. You should come see it sometime.”

I love this movie; one of the best kind of post-Western deconstructionist Westerns. Another brilliant movie, more of an anti-Western, is Delmer Daves’s Cowboy. Nasty, dark piece of work that systematically demolishes all the cherished myths of the Western mystique.

RtHC is indeed a magnificent movie, with one of the most beautiful closing shots of any film I know, and it’s a great precursor to Peckinpah’s masterpiece The Wild Bunch seven years later (the terrific Warren Oates is in both films). I love it particularly because it’s a film about aging and staying true to yourself as the world changes around you, starring two absolutely wonderful actors in one of their final films: Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott.

I can’t say I’m as big a fan of Cowboy, but that’s because I think Jack Lemmon is woefully miscast (though Glenn Ford, as usual, is spot-on).

This is the one with the almost-surrealist wedding sequence, right? What a great movie.