Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Movie : High Plains Drifter

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A lone rider comes riding out of the shimmering heat.  He rides into a desolate town, Lago and makes his way down the main street.  The town folk, which there aren’t many, watch the stranger do his slow ride.  He hits the bar,  has a drink and then goes to get a shave from the creepiest barber in the west.  Three gunmen follow him to the barber shop where the stranger guns all three down.  He makes his way to the hotel but has a run in with a nasty woman who he pulls into a barn and rapes.  This all happens in the first few minutes.  He gets a room, has a nap and dreams of a man (him?) being whipped by three men.  The dream is engulfed in fire.

He awakes from his nap and is approached by the sheriff to take the job of protecting the town from three killers who are being released from prison and who are heading back to Lago for revenge.  The Stranger turns him down but then he’s offered “anything he wants”.  He takes the job and takes full advantage of the deal.

The three killers are released and make their way back to Lago.  We find out that the town is hiding a couple of nasty secrets and has reason to fear the retribution coming their way.  The story plays out up until the final confrontation with the Stranger exposing the part that everyone plays in Lago’s dark secrets.

CB loved this flick ( one of Eastwood’s best).  It has a lot of the elements of a traditional western.  Stranger rides into town, town folk scared, bad guys coming back for the big showdown (High Noon).  But there are some twists and differences that separates it from the mainstream.  For one it is really violent.  Being whipped to death is pretty nasty.  Rape is as violent as it gets.  The usual gun play.  But it’s the presence of the Stranger and who he really is that has the towns people feeling the guilt and secrets they’ve been carrying.

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Clint does a good job behind and in front of the camera.  His performance doesn’t stray too far from the iconic character he invented.  It’s perfect for this film.  The supporting cast runs the gamut of your western characters.  They are all uniformly good.  Verna Bloom, Geoffrey Lewis, Mariana Hill, Mitchell Ryan, Anthony James (His usual creepy), William O’Connell (worlds best comb over) and others get the job done.  Billy Curtis as ‘Mordicai’ deserves special notice.  Lots going on in his performance.  Bruce Surtees’s cinematography puts you in the environment.  You feel you’re there.

Lots of memorable scenes.  Painting the town red, flash backs to the whipping. The Stranger collecting on anything he wants. CB was strapped in for this one.

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So if you feel like a duster with a bit of a twist catch ‘High Plains Drifter’ it’s like “The Devil himself has rode into Lago”

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16 comments on “Movie : High Plains Drifter

  1. 1537
    April 16, 2017

    A top 10 film for me, easy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 16, 2017

      Eastwood made a good one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 1537
        April 16, 2017

        It was the first time I ever saw a film and understood that the stories they told didn’t have to be straight forward, or naturalistic.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        April 16, 2017

        I agree. Clint is a bit bent and I like that side of him.. I really like the choices he made here. Plus he knows how to cast (The ‘comb over barber’ is my hero). I think we both like it. I’d be interested in a few more of One Five Three Sevens top flicks.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 1537
        April 16, 2017

        Off the top of my head:

        Kes (damn I wish it had a different ending!)
        Cool Hand Luke
        Warlock (sometimes my #1 film)
        La Gloire de mon pere
        The Artist
        The Sting
        In The Heat of the Night
        Amelie
        My Name is Joe
        Short Cuts
        Swingers
        Amores Perros
        La Haine
        Withnail & I
        A Room With a View
        Populaire
        Goodfellas / Godfather films
        The Wild Bunch
        Sometimes a Great Notion

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        April 16, 2017

        What a great list! I have and will be doing takes on some of your choices that I’ve seen. The best thing is I have some new flicks to watch. Thanks for that. Very much appreciated! I think the first or second film scene that CB did was from ‘Kes’ The soccer game. Just watched ‘Amores Perros’ a while ago. Great flick. Thanks again for this.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 1537
        April 16, 2017

        Haha, no problem – I’ve already thought of about 15 I missed out …

        Rosemary’s Baby
        Annie Hall
        etc. etc. etc. etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        April 16, 2017

        I’ll be hitting you up for a refresh in a couple months. I’m already penciling a few of your choices in for “Movie Night”. My Name is Joe will probably be first up.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 1537
        April 16, 2017

        Made me cry, that one.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        April 16, 2017

        CB is a big suck so he will probably bust out some tears. I seen a few foreign flicks on your list (I will be checking out). A few good ones I’ve watched lately. La Promesse, Le Havre, The Ascent. A re-watch coming up for Downfall.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. yeahanotherblogger
    April 16, 2017

    CB, it’s a “crime” that I’ve missed so many of Clint’s movies. Never saw this one.
    So, changing the subject a bit: I thought that Gran Torino was a fabulous picture. And the most recent picture he directed, Sully, was very good I thought. Did you see those?

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 17, 2017

      It’s funny Neil, it sounds like we are on the opposite ends of Eastwood’s career. I haven’t seen his latest stuff. He went on that run after ‘High Plains Drifter’ and it was real hit and miss for me. I quit paying attention. I got curious again and watched ‘Unforgiven’ quite a few years after it was released and liked it. ‘Mystic River’ and ‘Letters from Iwo Jima’ were the last two that I saw and liked. Hows that for a long winded answer.

      Like

      • yeahanotherblogger
        April 17, 2017

        You know, Clint has had a long and admirable career. He’s well into his 80s, I think, and still making movies.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        April 17, 2017

        He is a very good filmmaker and I think an underrated film actor. Some of his films are favorites of mine, ‘Drifter’ being one. I have nothing but respect for him in those capacities. I know you said you hadn’t seen ‘Hombre’ either. Well you have two treasures to watch. They both hold up well. (I still have your recommendation for ‘Moonlight’. It has grabbed my interest and will be watched).

        Like

  3. dcw0731
    April 21, 2017

    Love the fuck out of this movie CB. I must watch it three or four times a year. Love the man with no name movies. Great choice.

    Liked by 1 person

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