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Bandolero

02 Feb

Bandeolero – Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen. Western. A jailbreak, the abduction of a beautiful woman, a chase through Mexico badlands, brother against brother. 106 minutes Color  1968

* * * *

Really curious how appealing Dean Martin remains after all these years – even in a Western. He was a man whose languor required him to be out of place everywhere but in a nightclub and even then only at three in the morning. He has no sense of period style. But still there is something inwardly graceful, kind, humorous, and sadly sensual about him that makes him acceptable, as though it were the settings themselves that were miscast and he not. One roots for him. And of course one roots for Jimmy Stewart, even when, as in these later films of his, he is playing curmudgeons and cranks and hard-hearted dudes and where his character does not hold the romantic reins – in this case leading to the sex-witch Raquel Welch, who is herself humanly appealing aside from her flabbergasting figure. George Kennedy moons over her, and early on she has a great scene where she describes how she was sold as a child into prostitution by her father, and then sold again. A very well written scene, and worth watching for the writing and for the way Welch plays it. The filming is strong, a mixture of sound stage and stark out of doors Southwest. Stewart once again rides his beloved horse Pie. At the time it came out I was not watching Jimmy Stewart films any more; I had turned to Brando. Visiting them for the first time now, I find them better than I would have expected.

 
 
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