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The Kentuckian

An occasionally brutal, but generally plodding western from Lancaster (his first as a director), who fails to pump much life into the anemic script, giving the cast little to do. In his film's leading role, Lancaster journeys off for a better life in Texas with his son (MacDonald), but gets involved with a pair of feuding families. The best scene has an unarmed Lancaster pitted against a leathery Walter Matthau (in his first role), who viciously beats him with a bullwhip. A superb score, as we have come to expect, is provided by Bernard Herrmann.