Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lawman (1971)

Director: Michael "DEATH WISH" Winner

Starring: Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan, Lee J. Cobb, Robert Duvall, Sheree North, Albert Salmi, Richard Jordan

More info: IMDb

Tagline: He gave the West justice right up to its neck...then rammed more down its throat.

Plot: A lawman from Bannock arrives in Sabbath to arrest all the cattlemen whose wild celebration the year before resulted in the accidental death of an old man.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yeah.

Not content with watching one badass Burt Lancaster Western this week, I had to watch the other one he made the same year as the excellent VALDEZ IS COMING. This one's got Burt determined to arrest or kill (always in self defense) each of the men responsible for killing of an old man earlier in the Spring when some cattlemen got liquored up and shot up a town. His character and acting is different than that of VALDEZ but with some similarities. He's determined to exact justice and he's unstoppable. It's just a no-smilin', strictly business role that leaves little room for distractions. I like that kind of focus to one's goals.

The acting's very good especially from Lancaster and his main adversary played by Lee J. Cobb. Cobb is fantastic. He's genuinely interested in settling this matter with Lancaster but realizes at one point that's not going to happen. His heart is heavy but not as heavy as his need for revenge. Robert Ryan is great as usual. He's got an interesting character and I really dig how he's quick to stand up to the man who's been treating him like a dog for years, all because it was the right thing to do. There are lots of familiar faces like William Watson who I recently saw in STINGRAY (1978) and plenty of other pictures I've seen over the years, Richard Jordan who also appeared in VALDEZ, not to mention the great Robert Duvall.

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