Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Scalphunters (1968)

Director: Sydney Pollack

Writer: William W. Norton

Composer: Elmer Bernstein

Starring: Burt Lancaster, Shelley Winters, Telly Savalas, Ossie Davis, Dabney Coleman, Paul picerni, Dan Vadis, Armando Silvestre, Nick Cravat, Tony Epper, Chuck Roberson, John Epper, Jack Williams

More info: IMDb

Tagline: He'll stop at nothing to take back what's his.

Plot: Forced to trade his valuable furs for a well-educated escaped slave, a rugged trapper vows to recover the pelts from the Indians and later the renegades that killed them.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Yeah.

Burt Lancaster is a pretty solid actor and one that I'll watch in anything, especially Westerns.  The three Westerns he did after this one are all outstanding, tough and gritty.  Check 'em out...LAWMAN (1971), VALDEZ IS COMING (1971) and ULZANA'S RAID (1972). ULZANA is a real beaut and one of my favorites.  Well this picture has some great performances from everyone.  Davis, Winters, Savalas - all doing a great job.  And damn it, it took me until the end to finally figure out which one of Jim Howie's (Savalas) men was played by Dabney Coleman and it wasn't until the end when he had some lines did I recognize his voice.  I love that guy.  Bernstein's score is fun and upbeat to play up the light comedy but don't let that fool you.  The comedy isn't what you think.  It's light in tone but it's a serious picture.  There are a couple of bullshit moments like when Joe (Lancaster) suddenly pops up right behind Joseph (Davis).  Joseph would have almost walked right over him for that to happen.  Anyway, it's a minor complaint.  The back and forth between Lancaster and Davis is wonderful and they both pull it off beautifully. The Blu-ray just came out on 7/22/14 which sucks because I just watched this a couple of weeks before.  It's too fresh in my mind to buy it even for $17.  Years from now when I'm ready to watch it again and the price is closer to five bucks then it'll sit on my shelf in hi def. 

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