Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Man Without a Star (1955)

Director: King Vidor

Writers: Borden Chase, D.D. Beauchamp, Dee Linford

Composers: Hans J. Salter, Herman Stein

Starring: Kirk Douglas, Jeanne Craine, Claire Trevor, William Campbell, Richard Boone, Jay C. Flippen, Myrna Hansen, Mara Corday, Eddy Waller, Sheb Wooley, George Wallace, Frank Chase, Paul Birch, Roy Barcroft, William 'Bill' Phillips, Jack Elam

Tagline: His home was his saddle...and his only friend...a six-gun!

Plot: A drifter working as foreman for an iron-fist female rancher must chose sides between his attractive employer and the other neighboring settlers who are mistreated by her.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Nah.

Geez, I'd sure like to have seen this in widescreen but them's tha breaks sometimes.  I like Kirk Douglas but here he plays it a little more enthusiastically and over the top than necessary.  He's at his best when he pulls back a little, at least in this picture.  William Campbell, Kirk's new found young friend, over does it as well.  Outside of that the acting is solid.  Some of the dialogue is forced and goofy like when Dempsey (Douglas) freaks out whenever someone talks about barbed wire.  It's another example where he goes to far in the performance.  There are little things like this that bugged me a little.  Boone makes a fine baddie but he's not given much to do.  I guess it's enough if you consider this isn't some character study and it's all about a starring vehicle for Douglas where he gets to fight, shoot his pistol, love on some dames and crack wise...all in glorious Technicolor.  He covers the gamut in this picture.  He did everything but cry.  I did like how Dempsey and Reed's (Crain) relationship took a turn in the last act.  I didn't see that coming.  It's funny how much is made about having an indoor toilet yet they never show it, only Kirk's wild eye reactions to seeing one for the first time.  I guess it would be a while before that was allowed.  Unbelievable.  If you don't like Douglas then stay far away from this one but if you do then you'll be lightly entertained for an hour and a half.

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