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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Hombre (1967)

A white man (Paul Newman) raised by Apaches from a child returns to the white man's world to sell the lodging house he inherited from the white man who tried to raise him before he returned to live among the Apaches. But a stagecoach ride with a varied group of passengers proves fateful. Based on the novel by Elmore Leonard (3:10 TO YUMA) and directed by Martin Ritt in his sixth film with Newman. This is a beauty of a western. Newman's star presence has never been put to better use. His character doesn't talk much at all but you can just feel his presence in every scene he's in and with the most passive of gestures, he's able to communicate all we need to know about this man. The film is pro-Native American but the screenplay by Harriet Frank Jr. and Irving Ravetch keeps the lecturing to a minimum. The sparse Arizona locations are given the James Wong Howe treatment (and what movie could ask for more?) and there's a minimalist score by David Rose that's every effective. The excellent cast includes Fredric March, Richard Boone, Diane Cilento, Barbara Rush, Martin Balsam, Cameron Mitchell, Margaret Blye, Frank Silvera and Peter Lazer. 

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