Derek Winnert

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This article was written on 02 Mar 2014, and is filled under Reviews.

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Hombre **** (1967, Paul Newman, Fredric March, Richard Boone, Diane Cilento, Barbara Rush, Frank Silvera, Martin Balsam, Cameron Mitchell) – Classic Movie Review 860

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Director Martin Ritt’s 1967 Western is a tense, intelligent, suspenseful movie, only maybe a little bit too obviously message-strewn for its own good. It reunites the star, the director, the writers and cinematographer of the 1963 triumph Hud.

Hombre’s literate, liberal-minded screenplay by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank Jr is based on a novel by thriller writer Elmore Leonard. But it so clearly runs very much along the lines of John Wayne’s 1939 classic Stagecoach it seems like an homage to it.

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Paul Newman gives a highly athletic, exciting performance as John Russell, an Apache-raised white man, forced by his prejudiced companions to travel on the stagecoach not inside it, then having to defend a coachload of bigots (Fredric March, Diane Cilento, Barbara Rush) against some ripe outlaw villains (Richard Boone, Frank Silvera).

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It’s Newman’s film – and one of his best – but there are fine star turns also from March as Favor (who turns out to be an embezzler as well as a racist), Boone, Martin Balsam and Cameron Mitchell.

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Plus there’s steady, well-balanced and carefully controlled handling from director Ritt, with beautiful filming in Arizona by ace cinematographer James Wong Howe.

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The poster conveniently explains that ‘Hombre means man’ – though quite what they thought ‘Paul Newman is Hombre’ means is anyone’s guess. Well, it was the Sixties and everyone was on drugs!

, aged 83.

aged 87.

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http://derekwinnert.com/hud-classic-film-review-230/

© Derek Winnert 2014 Classic Film Review 860
Chexk out more reviews on derekwinnert.com

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