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Monday, May 14, 2018

Firecreek (1968)

A mild mannered farmer (James Stewart) is the titular sheriff of a sleepy town in the middle of nowhere. When a group of thugs headed by an outlaw (Henry Fonda) terrorize the town, everyone seems to sit back and let it happen. Directed by Vincent McEveety (HERBIE GOES TO MONTE CARLO), this western is not without interest but is it ever predictable. As a western, it offers no surprises, it's more or less a riff on HIGH NOON. I even guessed way in advance which character would fire the last shot in the movie. Stewart is a bit long in the tooth for his character and while Fonda is a couple of years older, his character could fit the age. This was the second western villain Fonda played in 1968, the other one was the superior ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST. However, the "romance" (although it's really a one night stand) between Fonda and a young widow (Inger Stevens) isn't remotely believable and comes across as contrived. The nondescript score is by Alfred Newman. With Dean Jagger, Gary Lockwood, Ed Begley, Barbara Luna, Louise Latham, Jack Elam, Jay C. Flippen and Jacqueline Scott.

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