Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Day of the Outlaw|
Actors: Robert Ryan, Burl Ives, Tina Louise, Alan Marshal, Venetia Stevenson
Director: André De Toth
Genres: Westerns, Comedy
Studio: Tcfhe/mgm Release Date: 05/13/2008 Run time: 92 minutes Rating: Nr
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Superb film, Western "noir"
B. Cathey | Wendell, NC United States | 03/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Robert Ryan is not usually thought of as a Western actor, but his credits in that genre are numerous and uniformly excellent, from HORIZONS WEST to THE PROUD ONES and the HOUR OF THE GUN, not to mention THE WILD BUNCH. THE DAY OF THE OUTLAW, in stark black and white, is one of his finest, and perhaps the finest directed by the underrated Andre De Toth. Burl Ives makes a superb "baddie," almost along the lines of Donald Pleasants. Set in the snowy high altitudes, the film exudes a superbly shaped "coldness" that is also reflected in the lean dialogue. All in all, a very worthy film, well worth owning."
Underrated Classic Western
Frank Tarzi | 03/17/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film was never even released on VHS, this great western is finally being released by MGM with a few other westerns like MAN OF THE WEST, THE WESTERNER, NAVAJO JOE, but this one is easily the best of the bunch. This rare gem stars the great Robert Ryan and Burl Ives and is directed by the great Andre De Toth (Play Dirty)... also highly recommended."
Robert Ryan and Burl Ives are outstanding in this bleak, aus
C. O. DeRiemer | San Antonio, Texas, USA | 06/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Now listen," says Jack Bruhn (Burl Ives), renegade former captain in the U. S. Army, to the frightened men and women of Bitters, population about 20, four of them women. It's deep winter and Bruhn and his men have just barged into the saloon as rancher Blaise Starrett (Robert Ryan) was about to gun down farmer Hal Crane. "Do as you're told and you can go about your business just like we're not here, almost. But we are here so it's best you know with what you're dealing. Pace here gets pleasure out of hurting people. Tex, rile him and you're going to hear some screaming in this town today. Denver, half Cheyenne. Him hate white man. He doesn't feel half so badly about white women. Vause, bones covered with dirty skin but even half drunk he's the fastest draw in Wyoming Territory. And Shorty. We soldiered together. The young fella, well, he's a fresh recruit but he's learning fast."
For the rest of the day and through the night Bruhn by force of will is going to control his motley, dangerous gang. He'll deny them liquor, deny them the town's women, and undergo an excruciating operation by the town vet to extract a bullet from a lung. They're on the run with $40,000 in gold in their saddlebags. The U.S. Cavalry is on their trail. Bruhn is a complex man with an odd sense of honor. He was responsible for a massacre by soldiers under his command. His justice is ruthless. His authority is complete...as long as he lives. Right now he is the only one capable of keeping his gang of killers from tearing up Bitters by its roots.
And that includes Blaise Starrett, an angry rancher...angry at being rejected by Hal Crane's wife, Helen (Tina Louise), angry with Crane for the barbed wire that Crane will be putting up next to his land, angry at the farmers moving into the town and the territory that he cleaned up and made safe. That showdown with Crane that Bruhn interrupted would have been no more than murder. Crane wore a gun but couldn't use it well, and Starrett was purposely goading him. And in this complex, austere western both Starrett and Bruhn are going to find in themselves a capacity for surprising decisions. For Starrett, it will mean the realization that killing Crane won't solve anything, the realization that Helen Crane will not leave her husband for him, and the realization that the only one capable of outfoxing Bruhn is Starrett, himself...by leading Bruhn and his killers through a way out of town in the deep winter that will most likely kill them all. For Bruhn, he survives the operation. He's given a little morphine. He's back on his feet...and he's starting to cough. Let's just say Bruhn knows what's going to happen
All the while in this achingly cold western, snow is on the ground and the weather is frigid. When Starrett leads the gang out of town there is freezing white mist in the air and the snow is nearly up to the horses' bellies. The last 30 minutes of the movie are exhausting, with the horses struggling through the deep snow, with the wind blowing too hard to start a fire, and with men dying.
It's no spoiler to say that Blaise Starrett survives. It might be a spoiler to say that while he may no longer be the angry man we met at the start of the movie, he'll probably be just as lonely.
You could flip a coin to decide who holds this movie together more impressively, Robert Ryan or Burl Ives. Ryan brings all his impressive presence to his role. Ives, however, by force of acting and authenticity, makes his ability to impose his will on this gang believable. It's a first-rate performance. But, oh, if only this movie could have been made without the women. Two of the four actresses can't act, and those two are ones the story lingers on. Tina Louise as Helen Crane is completely out of her skill range. Her lack of acting ability severely undercuts the notion that a man like Blaise Starrett, especially when played by such a fine actor as Ryan, would ever carry a torch for her. Tina Louise's Helen Crane is too dull to lust after. And while all the men look like they seldom see a bar of soap more often than once a week (and in the case of Bruhn's gang, once a month, maybe), all the women look as clean and groomed as if they'd stepped out of a Sears Roebuck catalogue. Some of their tidy polish gets rubbed off, however, at one of the most ominous dances in a western. Bruhn has decided that the women will dance with his men to lower their resentment over being denied whiskey and assault. Bruhn keeps control during the dance, but these leering, groping villains take advantage of the four women every chance they get, and the women dare not do anything about it. It's a nasty, uncomfortable, well-staged scene.
Day of the Outlaw is a corny title, but even with its flaws the movie is engrossing. I almost put on a sweater while I watched it. It's one of the bleakest, coldest looking movies I've ever seen.
The DVD transfer looks fine. There are no extras."
Cold and Nasty
Chris Gibbs | Fanwood, NJ USA | 05/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a grim, taught film, almost more noir than Western, with surprisingly little gunplay but plenty of wide-open nature. The town looks like another blizzard would blow it away, and the snow and the cold do much of the work, e.g. Tex and Starret at the end. The dance sequence is brilliantly violent sexuality barely kept in check, almost a rape sequence. The acting is uniformly excellent, with Ryan and Ives leading, but the henchmen and the townspeople are perfectly presented. Excellent pacing, real tension. First rate."