Sunday, October 2, 2016

Seven Up

Seven Men from Now (1956) completes the trilogy of Budd Boetticher/Randolph Scott westerns. It moves pretty fast. By the time the first scene is over, it's down to five men.

Randolph is a lone rider coming from Silver Springs, where there was a bank robbery that resulted in some deaths. He helps out a young couple of greenhorn pioneers, Gail Russell (The Uninvited) and Walter Reed. She is beautiful and he is admittedly out of his depth. Reed asks Scott if they can tag along with him, presuming on his kindness. Together, and against the advice of the Cavalry (who are riding the other way), they head through Arizona to Flora Springs.

As usual, Boetticher's themes are honor, courage, and masculinity. This is the first of his Scott pictures. It was intended for John Wayne, who was tied up doing The Searchers. He wound up producing and suggesting Scott for the role. He is amazing in it, much better than I imagine Wayne would be. Wayne's schtick has always struck me as a little knowing, self-conscious. Scott is dead serious.

Like The Tall T, this was filmed in the beautiful Lone Pine area. The budget was small but the look is big. Any other favorite Westerns we should look at next?

No comments: