Thursday, July 02, 2009

Fabulous Movie Review©

Nevada Smith
Released: 6/10/1966
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Length: 2 hrs 8 mins
Genre: Western
Starring: Steve McQueen, Karl Malden, Brian Keith, Arthur Kennedy, Suzanne Pleshette
Directed by: Henry Hathaway
Cinematographer: Lucien Ballard
Editor: Frank Bracht
Producer: Joseph E. Levine
Writer: Harold Robbins, John Michael Hayes
I can't say that this was my favorite western or my favorite Steve McQueen movie or my favorite Steve McQueen western. I can't even say that I really liked it, which is too bad, because I wanted to. I was put off by the fact that a 36 year old McQueen is supposed to be portraying a teen aged boy, and not very well I thought. Besides not looking particularly young, he was trying to act like a kid, but it came across, to me anyway, like he was mildly retarded. I fully expected him to say, "I know you are but what am I" or "I'm rubber you're glue..." at some point, but he didn't. It pretty much soured me on the whole movie. Anyway, that was in the first part of the film, after which the "boy" thankfully "grows up".

I had other issues with the movie too, but are mostly blamed on the era the movie was made in. You may disagree with me, but American westerns made in the mid 1960s are hit or miss. They can't decide if they want to be a John Wayne western or a Clint Eastwood western. Either is fine with me (although, I obviously prefer the latter), but make a choice.

How would I have made this movie better? Simple. The movie starts with our hero already out on the trail some where searching for the men who killed his parents. The back story of the parents being killed is shown in flashbacks with an actual teenager as the actor. Or, keep the movie exactly how it is, as a linear story, but use an actual teenager in the beginning. Then fast forward a few years and use McQueen for the rest of the movie.
6 out of 10 (OK)

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