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Monday, October 3, 2016

Cowboy (1958)

A young desk clerk (Jack Lemmon) in a Chicago hotel talks his way into becoming partners with a cattleman (Glenn Ford) by loaning him money for a poker game. The cattleman reluctantly accepts but the young greenhorn has a lot to learn about life on a cattle drive. Based on the book MY REMINISCENCES AS A COWBOY by Frank Harris and directed by Delmer Daves. This is probably my least favorite of Daves' 1950s westerns. It's not a bad film at all but although it attempts a realistic look rather than a romanticized look at life on the cattle trail, today it just comes across as one of the better episodes of the RAWHIDE television series. Ford had done several westerns at this point in his career and he's a natural in the saddle but even though he's playing a greenhorn, Lemmon just doesn't feel right in the role. There's just something too contemporary about him, it's an ill fit. On the plus side, there's Charles Lawton Jr.'s nice color lensing and a robust score by George Duning.  With Brian Donlevy, who's potentially the most interesting character in the film and given such short shrift that I wonder if his part was cut. Also with Anna Kashfi, Dick York, Richard Jaeckel and Vaughn Taylor. 

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