Sunday, September 18, 2011

Red Skies of Montana (1952)

Director: Joesph M. Newman

Starring: Richard Widmark, Constance Smith, Jeffrey Hunter, Richard Boone, Warren Stevens, James Griffith, Joe Sawyer, Charles Bronson, Richard Crenna

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The "Smoke Jumpers" hit the screen in Red Skies of Montana

Plot: When a large forest fire breaks out in the mountains of Montana, a squad of 'Smoke Jumpers', the paratroop-corps of fire-fighters in the U. S. Forest Service, is flown to the scene from their regional headquarters in Missoula, Montana. The Forest Rangers, under Cliff Mason, put out the blaze, but several of the fire-fighters are killed. Ed Miller, son of one of the dead rangers, thinks he died because Mason was a coward, and sets out to prove it.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

#4 on Project: Badass Charles Bronson

LEVEL OF BADASSICITY (10 being the highest): 6

Well, it's better than I expected. I won't spoil it but the 'mystery' of what happened at the opening of the film that left all but Widmark dead was pretty compelling and a large part of that has to do with his skill as an actor. He's always great and he plays it well enough that you go back and forth between thinking whether or not he was a coward. Good stuff. Richard Boone is great, too. Love that guy.

But I know what you're thinking, "what about Badass Charles Bronson?" He's barely in it. Hell, I was getting discouraged well over an hour in that I either missed him or he might've been someone in a crowd or something until he finally showed up. You can probably count the entirety of the words he speaks on one, maybe two, hands. He plays a firefighter so that gives him a certain level of badassicity right there. Like all movies he appeared in during the 50s, if his skills had been utilized, you'd have a very short movie and most of the cast in the hospital for throwing him some sass. A hefty bar tab would've filled Bronson up with so much liquid he could've extinguished the fire by urinating on it, saving the lives of dozens of people. The survivors would have made an offering of their women (women who would have gladly offered themselves up anyway), Bronson would look at the camera and smile. Roll credits.

Richard Crenna was in this somewhere but I didn't see him. It's bad enough that you barely get to see Bronson. This might be Bronson's briefest appearance in a film. We'll see.

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