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High Plains Drifter
High Plains Drifter
Actors: Jane Aull, Walter Barnes, Verna Bloom, Paul Brinegar, Richard Bull
Genres: Westerns
R     2009

Clint Eastwood's second film as a director (and his first Western) is a variation on the "man with no name" theme, starring Eastwood as the drifter known only as "the Stranger." He rides into the desert town of Lagos and i...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Jane Aull, Walter Barnes, Verna Bloom, Paul Brinegar, Richard Bull
Genres: Westerns
Sub-Genres: Westerns
Studio: Universal Studios
Format: DVD - Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 02/27/2009
Release Year: 2009
Screens: Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 10
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

One of the best and most original westerns of all time.
GMAT (nonameSingh8@hotmail.com) | Amherst, MA, USA | 08/23/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

""High Plains Drifter" (1973) is one of the best and most original westerns of all time. It is also of of the best films that Clint Eastwood has ever made. It was only the second film that Eastwood ever directed, yet it is a western masterpiece, as it funnels all of the violent, harsh, and brutal images and themes that were first seen in the Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns (which made Eastwood an international star) into one picture. No other film blurrs the lines of good and evil like this one. No other film has humor that is so dark and so black. No other film tests and re-defines the nature of screen heroism, as Eastwood plays his darkest and most enigmatic character ever. This film strips the western to its most brutal, raw, violent, and merciless essence, revealing the old West to be a truly immoral and corrupt land. Eastwood's compulsive, surrealistic imagery is both haunting and powerful, and it works in pefect tandem with Dee Barton's eerie score. Filmed around Mono Lake, California, the hellish locations of the film add to its haunting atmosphere. The western town, constructed by Henry Bumstead out of raw wood is a classic, and helps to reveal the mean-spirited hypocrisy and vicious economic determinism of the townspeople. The film has an unexpected, spontaneous, and completely anarchic quality that eliminates the western's typical predictablity and simple cliches. It is extremely challenging, unnerving, apparitional, allegorical, and curiously memorable. This is Clint Eastwood at his most daring and outrageous, as both an actor and director, testing the audience to see if it will support this most radical of anti-heroes. "High Plains Drifter" is my favorite film of all time, and it is not to be missed! END"
High Plains Drifter - Another great Eastwood western!
K. Wyatt | St. Louis, MO United States | 04/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In this classic western, Clint Eastwood performs admirably as producer, director and of course starring in the lead role. High Plains Drifter is an excellent tale that highlights Eastwood's talents in this genre, whether it's his "Stranger" type aura or the clipped but poignant lines. This great western has a superb script and exceptional performances by Eastwood and the other actors. Its surreal style, unexpected plot twists and great camera angles serve well to enhance this movies overall appearance. I do not normally comment on the soundtrack for films however, in this case I feel compelled to because I felt the soundtrack for this one is a perfect accoutrement to the overall feel of the movie!The premise:A lone stranger rides into town and is immediately set upon by some of the locals. Unfortunately for these rough locals, they've picked the star of the movie in Clint Eastwood to aggravate and they receive his quick six shooter justice for their efforts. The locals, being a cowardly bunch, eagerly set out to appease him in every way in order to secure his loyalty and protection from a group of criminals who are soon to be released from the territorial prison.The "Stranger" agrees to be their benefactor and immediately sets out to do so in some strange ways. Through humiliation, misogyny and the threat of immediate "justice," he begins to prepare the town for return of the criminals. As a surreal side note, the Stranger and some of the locals are having waking nightmares about the brutal killing of the former marshal by the criminals who are expected to return. What follows is a western that is one of the best and a benchmark for all westerns to follow.I highly recommend this great Eastwood western to any and all die hard or casual fans of the genre or the actor. It is a classic western that deserves a spot on the DVD rack.Special features:Not unlike many of the other movies of the time, this one isn't jam packed with special features because there just aren't many to throw in. It does have a great trailer and some production notes that are quite interesting to read through on the screen. {ssintrepid}"
Hell On Earth
Interplanetary Funksmanship | Vanilla Suburbs, USA | 07/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

""How do you know what the world is like? Do you know the world is a foul sty? Do you know, if you rip off the fronts of houses that you'd find swine? The world's a hell."No, those lines are not from Clint Eastwood's 1973 masterpiece "High Plains Drifter." Actually, they were spoken by Joseph Cotten in Alfred Hitchcock's 1943 suspense movie, "Shadow of a Doubt." But no other words can better capture the essence of this darkest and bleakest of Westerns.Clint Eastwood reprises his most famous role, "The Man With No Name" that made him a household name in such Sergio Leone movies as "For a Few Dollars More" and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." Some people claim this movie as a "revisionist Western," but to me it is a little more complicated than that. "High Plains Drifter" is a harrowing admixture of elements from such disparate works as "High Noon," "Peyton Place," "The Count of Monte Cristo" and Dante's "Inferno."When the Man With No Name comes riding into the Texas hamlet of Lago, he immediately strikes fear in the hearts of the local townspeople. Hiding behind the facade of piety and the pioneer work-ethic lies a craven, dark secret which the town will keep shrouded at any cost.Peopled only by bullies and cowards, the town is immediately torn apart by Eastwood -- executing the local goon squad who try to rough him up, raping the town prostitute, setting neighbour against neighbour and exposing the town preacher as a craven, hypocritical fraud.It soon becomes evident to the town that the stranger has come to avenege the death of their marshal, who was bullwhipped to death in the town square as everyone watched, none of the men lifting a finger to help him or to stop the killers. So, when the stranger shows up, the Marshal's killers are about to be released from prison. The cowardly town Sheriff tries to hire the newcomer as a gunfighter to face down the killers, but Eastwood turns the tables on him and the town and soon has conscripted the town's spineless men in a local volunteer regiment to ambush the killers when they ride into town. This is a neat twist on "High Noon," in which Gary Cooper's Sheriff Will Kane had to face the men who swore to kill him alone, because no one in the town had the guts to help him; in "High Plains Drifter," no-one has the guts to refuse the Man With No Name, for fear _he'd_ kill them.What is so compelling about "High Plains Drifter" is Eastwood's complex portrayal of executioner and avenging angel: Unlike in "Shadow of a Doubt," Eastwood is no sociopathic murderer, as was Cotten's Charlie Oakley; Rather, the town of Lago *deserves* its violent demise, and -- as in "The Count of Monte Cristo" -- the Man With No Name icily exacts his revenge on the town ruthlessly, methodically.In ripping the facade of religiosity and respectability away from the town, he makes the only man with any courage in Lago -- the town midget, played by Bill Curtis -- the Mayor and Sheriff. The sets -- designed and built by Hitchcock set designers Henry Bumstead and George Milo -- play a key role in this movie. Like any other frontier town in any Western, the buildings are standard issue: General store, hotel, church, saloon, livery stable, etc. But, they are all constructed of bare wooden planks, without a drop of paint on them, save for the signs denoting their function. Clearly, these buildings are naked citadels of greed, earmarked for gouging every last dollar and squeezing every last penny out of their customers and parishoners. Only the mining office -- which hides the town's dark secret -- is whitewashed over to cover its sins. It's a brilliant example of Bumstead's minimalistic Expressionism.The Man With No Name takes note of this, and before the killers' return, he orders the townsfolk to paint it a shocking, scarlet red. The hotel owner protests, exclaiming "it's going to look like Hell!" Of course, all Eastwood does in response is squint and form an impish, ironic smile with his parched lips.The final scene is a brilliant deja-vu montage which recalls the Marshal's murder: On a pitch-black night, the stranger horsewhips one of the killers to death, and guns his two partners down in intensely emotionless vengeance. The stranger slowly walks away, finally cleansing Lago of its sin as the entire town burns in flames in a baptism by fire.I consider this movie to be Eastwood's greatest directorial effort, slightly above "Bird" and "The Unforgiven." Singular in purpose, relentless in its dark vision of humanity, "High Plains Drifter" is the ultimate revenge tale."
A Dynamic Western Story
Viking | 05/28/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Clint Eastwood's second film as a director, "High Plains Drifter," has to be one of the most dynamic Western stories ever to hit the big screen. With a cold, eerie, and ambivalent tone, the movie unfolds like a ghost story from the camp fire.Here is essentially the story: Eastwood plays the ghost of a U.S. Marshall who was whipped to death by three outlaws hired by the developing western mining town of Lago. The residents of Lago had Marshall Duncan killed because he was going to report the town's illegal mining activity on Federal property to the government. Duncan's grave was left unmarked to hide the murder. The three outlaws are eventually turned into authorities by the residents of Lago. Now, with the outlaws about to be released from prison to wreak revenge on the town, Duncan's ghost rises from the desert to punish Lago and the three outlaws who killed him. "The Stranger," as the people of Lago call him, do not realize this is the resurrected Duncan, and ask him to protect their town from the outlaws after witnessing his flawless shootout with local ruffians."The Stranger" paints the town red, and renames Lago, "Hell."This film is a must-see for anyone who loves Westerns or twisted plots. I am not a patron of Westerns, and yet I found this film remarkable for its great story and artistic quality. Eastwood demonstrated why he is a legend by directing an excellent and unique picture, and playing the dual role to perfection of the silent "good guy/bad guy.""