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The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976, English)

Director: Clint Eastwood (135 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (94%), IMDB (7.9), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Watch online: YouTube.

Similar movies: western.

Summary: Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood) is a stoic man of few words who lets his pistols do the talking. He is aggrieved because his home was burnt down and his family was killed by soldiers of the Union during the American Civil War. To seek revenge, he joins a band of outlaws who continue guerrilla style warfare against the Union. A price is placed on his head. Soon, soldiers of the Union (the victorious party in the Civil War) and bounty hunters are chasing him. So Josey Wales moves from town to town, riding his horse. In between such towns, there are vast plains inhabited by Native Indians who don't welcome white men because their lands have been taken away by the Union.

As the movie progresses, a small community builds around Josey Wales: a native Indian chief, an Indian girl, and a mother and a daughter from the North. Eventually, they settle down near the Comanche Indians. But the Comanches, whose lands have already been taken away by the Union, don't want such a settlement.

The high point of the movie is a powerful scene between Josey Wales and a Comanche chief called Ten Bears. In this scene, the two warriors strike a peace accord. Most of the movie is about fighting and killing. But this one scene changed the complexion of the whole movie for me. It has great dialogues, especially by Ten Bears. On YouTube.

This movie is classic Eastwood: in faceoffs with bad guys, Eastwood has the superhuman ability to fire four to six shots in quick succession before any bad guy gets a chance to even pull the trigger. But I like this movie for its storyline: Josey Wales changes from an outlaw who simply seeks revenge to a protector of people around him.

 

1 Jan 2013
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