Friday, May 6, 2016

The Law and Jake Wade (1958)

Director: John Sturges

Writers:  William Bowers, Marvin H. Albert

Composer: ???

Starring: Robert Taylor, Richard Widmark, Patricia Owens, Robert Middleton, Henry Silva, DeForest Kelley, Burt Douglas, Eddie Firestone

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Filmed in Color amid the grandeur of the High Sierras!

Plot: Outlaw Clint Hollister escapes from jail with the help of Marshal Jake Wade, because once Clint did the same for him. Jake left Clint just after, but Clint finds him back and forces Jake to lead him to a loot Jake buried one year ago when he quitted Clint's gang.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  Probably not.

While it's not a great film, it's a good one.  The performances are good but it's a little weird seeing Widmark and Silva as cowboys.  Robert Taylor feels a little stiff as he's almost always got a stone face about him.  The charisma on screen is mostly Widmark.  It's neat seeing DeForest Kelley in anything non-STAR TREK but he doesn't have much to do despite being in the film for most of the picture.  The biggest reason to watch this, though, is for the stunning location!

WOW!  The ghost town was great, too.  Loved it.  They get a lot of use out of that place.  The story is fine but there's not much too it.  I suppose there doesn't have to be.  The much varied traveling shots are gorgeous and there's a lot of dialogue coming out of Widmark's mouth which is fun.  In the end it's a satisfying experience but there's not as much meat to it as you'd like.  There's plenty of action (especially at the end with an Indian attack and a showdown) that hits a lot of the beats you'd expect from a Western from this period.  I can see how it's not on anyone's list of must-see Westerns but it does deserve to be seen for the reasons cited.  The Warner Bros. DVD has a great looking anamorphic widescreen print and the only extra is the theatrical trailer (anamorphic widescreen).

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