Veteran cowboy actor Scott is on the trail again, but this is not the standard shoot-'em-up. The story has more suspense than most, and the whole film moves along at a brisk pace with elements of both comedy and drama. Scott is captured by Boone and his thugs, who have also kidnapped
newlyweds O'Sullivan and Hubbard. Boone and his boys want to rob a stagecoach, but the slimy Hubbard, in an attempt to save himself, tells them that O'Sullivan comes from a wealthy family, and it would be easier to get money by holding her for ransom. From there, the tension builds as Scott plans
to outwit their captors.
This film has received a fair amount of critical analysis in recent years, particularly in light of the interest paid to genre films. Burt Kennedy's script and Budd Boetticher's direction have been applauded as solid in this psychological western which makes use of modern adult themes and depicts
the struggle between good and evil as a complicated one--too complicated, in fact, for a black-and-white presentation. Rather, the viewer is shown how elements outside humans' control can influence the struggle and make clear-cut conclusions impossible. Scott is the strong-willed, laconic
representation of the (pre-Eastwood) Western man pitted against an equally strong-minded, laconic villain. The struggle between Scott and Boone is depicted as a delicate balance of power in which Scott, the force of good, is not necessarily stronger--or even better in all aspects of his life, he
is merely more wily in the end. THE TALL T, like the Leone westerns to follow, used the American West as the perfect setting for an eternal struggle, the outcome of which is always a crap shoot.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Veteran cowboy actor Scott is on the trail again, but this is not the standard shoot-'em-up. The story has more suspense than most, and the whole film moves along at a brisk pace with elements of both comedy and drama. Scott is captured by Boone and his th… (more)