Friday, June 30, 2017

Billy Two Hats (1974)

Director: Ted Kotcheff

Writer: Alan Sharp

Composer: John Scott

Starring: Gregory Peck, Desi Arnaz Jr., Jack Warden, David Huddleston, Sian Barbara Allen, John Pearce, Dawn Little Sky, Vince St. Cyr, Henry Medicine Hat, Zeev Berlinsky, Anthony Scott, Vic Armstrong

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Against the Law...Against the Odds...Against the Land Itself

Plot: After a bank robbery, runaway Scottish outlaw Arch Deans and his young half breed Kiowa partner Billy Two Hats develop a father-son relationship but Sheriff Henry Gifford is determined to capture or kill them.

My rating:  6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

Wow.  I dug Gregory Peck for a change.  Normally I dig the guy but he often plays stoic good guys that sound like they'd bust out in a noble speech at any given moment.  In this one he's a bank robber with a Scottish accent and he's playing it cool.  It's a nice change for this cat.  I loves me some Jack Warden and it's always a treat to see him at work.  I like that the picture has you rooting (sort of) for Peck and you want him to get away with it but at the same time, you might also find yourself, as I did, understanding that Warden is just a sheriff doing his job.  Warden's not a bad man but he's a lawman going after a couple of dudes that are very sympathetic despite having killed a man (a while before the movie begins) during the bank robbery.  Peck and his sidekick Arnez Jr. get into a few little adventures before the film comes to an end.  There isn't really any humor in the film but the picture does offer some serious themes and situations without getting too heavy.  I liked it enough.  Why not a higher score then?  It's missing something.  Maybe part of it is the insistence of Jr. becoming a man (you know, by having sex with a married broad even though the sympathy is with her because she was a mail order bride who is married to a physically abusive husband but that's alright because the husband is killed by Indians miles away and probably just before Jr. and lady do the deed so that kinda, maybe makes it OK in someone's eyes?).  The movie puts in a variety of set pieces and ideas and maybe keeping the picture more focused would've helped...but then the name of the movie is Jr's character so it's ultimately about his journey.  What the hell do i know.

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