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The Outlaw Josey Wales (With Golf Book)
The Outlaw Josey Wales
With Golf Book
Actors: Samuel Bottoms, John Chandler, Royal Dano, Bruce M. Fischer, Erik Holland
Genres: Westerns
NR     2006     2hr 15min

Josey Wales is a farmer turned fugitive in the post-civil war south who is chased by the law after he avenges the murder of his family and friends.


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Movie Details

Actors: Samuel Bottoms, John Chandler, Royal Dano, Bruce M. Fischer, Erik Holland
Genres: Westerns
Sub-Genres: Westerns
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 05/23/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/1976
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1976
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 2hr 15min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Clint Eastwood's best movie: an American Classic
Ryan Harvey | Los Angeles, CA USA | 03/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Although Clint Eastwood gained his greatest critical acclaim as a director for 1992's "Unforgiven" and 2003's "Mystic River" -- both of which are incredible pieces of American cinema -- his best film remains this perennially popular Western from 1976. Here's Eastwood's own take on it: "I do believe that if I'd made that picture in 1992, in place of `Unforgiven,' it might have received the same amount of attention, because I think it's equally as good a film. I think the subject matter of `Josey Wales' is timeless." Orson Welles himself named it one of his favorite movies!Yet critics at the time completely dismissed it as just another Clint Eastwood Western-Revenge flick. On the surface, the plot might give you that illusion: Missouri farmer Josey Wales loses his family to marauding Union cutthroats during the civil war. In retaliation, he joins Qunatrill's raiders in the guerrilla warfare that flames across Missouri. When the war ends, Wales refuses to surrender. He flies west across the country, chased by his former leader Fletcher (John Vernon in a great, sympathetic performance) and Terrill, the Union captain who murdered his family (Eastwood regular Bill McKinney). It seems Wales has no future except to stay alive long enough to get his revenge.But...that's not at all what movie ends up being about. Gradually, Wales finds himself at the center of a growing community of outcasts from many different backgrounds: an old Cherokee named Lone Watie (Chief Dan George, in the film's most unforgettable performance), a band of Northern settlers (including Sondra Locke in her first role with Clint), a girl from another Native American tribe, the residents of a dying Texas town, and a red bone hound. Gradually, "The Outlaw Josey Wales" turns into a story about forgetting revenge and a fixation on death, and instead about embracing life and rebuilding a community. "Dying is easy for men like you and me," Wales says to a Comanche chief (Will Sampson) in one scene. "It's living that's hard." It's one of the most unexpectedly uplifting and moving films ever made. And, let's make no mistake about it, it's also an action-packed, tough, and exciting film.Strangely, the film came out of extremely difficult circumstances and rough beginnings. Eastwood purchased the rights to Forrest Carter's novel "Gone to Texas," only to discover that the author was actually Asa (Ace) Carter, who had worked as a speech writer for George Wallace supporting racial segregation and had once created a subgroup of the Ku Klux Klan. Upon meeting Carter, Eastwood and his producer Robert Daley found the man to be a borderline sociopath (he drew a knife on one of Daley's secretaries at a restaurant). Regardless, Eastwood loved the beautiful story too much and pushed on with making the film. He hired Philip Kaufman to both write and direct the movie, now re-named "The Outlaw Josey Wales." Kaufman (along with Sonia Chernus) wrote a stunning script, but after only a few days on the set, it became obvious he wasn't working out as a director; his style clashed with Eastwood's. Eastwood quietly removed him as director and took over the job himself. As Eastwood's biographer notes, "Kaufman was to a degree the victim of Clint's growing confidence in his own abilities."Despite this confused beginning, "The Outlaw Josey Wales" turned into a magical piece of Western cinema and a huge hit with audiences. It gets better and better with each viewing: a thrilling adventure when you first see it, its many layers of beautiful subtlety emerge each time you go back to it. Bruce Surtees's photography is astonishing, Jerry Fielding's music exciting and unusual for a Western, and every performance top-notch. Few films are as all-around well done as this American classic.The DVD offers the film in a glorious widescreen transfer with a new 5.1 sound mix, but there are no extras. Considering the history behind the making of the film, this disc really ought to sport some fascinating commentaries and documentaries, but alas, nothing. Still, I can recommend few films higher than "The Outlaw Josey Wales.""
Lawyeraau | Balmoral Castle | 08/09/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"As I am not ordinarily a fan of westerns, I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed this film. It was an engrossing and entertaining movie, and, unlike others in this genre, it is an intelligent and well thought out film.The film tells the story of a Missouri farmer who, towards the end of the Civil War, finds his home overrun by renegade union soldiers who set fire to his homestead, kill his wife and son, and leave him for dead. After burying his family, he joins a group of confederate guerillas who have suffered similar tragedies. Ultimately, the war ends and their leader brings them in for surrender, except for Josey Wales, who watches their surrender from afar. Good thing he did not join them, as their surrender turns into an execution by the very same men who had pillaged his home and killed his family.Wales escapes only to be relentlessly hunted down by the very men who had wronged him, as well as by bounty hunters who want that five thousand dollar reward offered for his capture. Wales rides on to escape them, and along his travels acquires a motley entourage whom he befriends and who befriend him. What happens on his journey is classic Eastwood.Clint Eastwood plays his role as a stoic man of few words, while Chief Dan George is an absolute delight as part of Wales' entourage. The rest of the cast is uniformly excellent. Of course, Sandra Locke, as Eastwood's real life main squeeze at the time, got star billing, even though her role was one of the smaller ones and her performance the least impressive of the supporting cast. This remains one of the more entertaining films in this genre. It also made Hollywood sit up and take serious notice of Eastwood as a major force in the film industry."
The Outlaw Josey Wales - One of the genres finest!
K. Wyatt | St. Louis, MO United States | 03/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As stated above, "The Outlaw Josey Wales" is one of the genres finest films to ever grace the silver screen and the home theater! This Western masterpiece deserved a great DVD with as much on it as was possible to have and that goal was achieved! I wanted the DVD but also more or less had to replace the VHS copy I had due to the fact that this fine film is quite well worth repeated viewings and the good old VHS tape just didn't hold up! Off additional note with this DVD is the widescreen format. Obviously I've watched this classic many times, but with this DVD I was highly impressed seeing it for the first time in this format. It "almost" gives one the impression of seeing it for the first time.Not only is this film blessed with Clint Eastwood in the lead role, due to differences in opinion with the original director, it is directed by him as well. Clint Eastwood, who is inarguably one of the best in the genre, fills both roles flawlessly! Along for the ride and to counterbalance Clint Eastwood's role as the gruff gunslinger is Chief Dan George. His character brought comedic relief and a more realistic portrayal of a Native American, which wasn't done often in films produced at the time this one was. One thing is for certain when viewing a Clint Eastwood western, you the viewer are always in for a great ride!The premise:Clint Eastwood plays Josey Wales, a poor Missouri farmer who is trying to make a living and take care of his family while the Civil War rages on. Unfortunately for his character the war comes to his front door when Kansas irregulars known as the "Red Legs" brutally attack and kill his wife and child as he bears witness. Not long after burying his wife and child he meets up with other southerners who form a guerilla group. They immediately head off to start guerilla type attacks against northern troops. Of course the south loses the war and these groups are ordered to turn themselves in. Josey Wales chooses not to turn himself in and his fear of doing so bears out. What follows from this point is, as stated above, one of the finest westerns to ever grace the silver screen.Special Features:Of all of the special features available on this DVD there are a couple that are quite worthy of extra mention. The 1976 Documentary "Eastwood in Action" and the 1999 Documentary "Hell Hath No Fury: The Making of The Outlaw Josey Wales". Both are quite well done and highly informative.I highly recommend this film to all who are into this genre or those who are looking for something different and quite genuine! Most westerns aren't a western without Clint Eastwood! {ssintrepid}"
One of Clint's Top Westerns
James Koenig | Minnesota | 09/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"While he was still a star and hero on the long-running TV western Wagon Train, Clint Eastwood emerged on the Hollywood scene in western-theme movies, specifically his trio of "spaghetti westerns" with director Sergi Leone, the best being "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly".
After establishing another remarkable character in Dirty Harry, Clint returns to his western "roots" as the vengeful Josie Wales, in "The Outlaw Josie Wales". This is Clint's 31st film and his fifth as a director. Actually, the film was started with a different director, Philip Kaufman of "The Right Stuff" fame. After numerous and intractable arguments over the interpretation of the film, Clint fired his director a week into shooting and took over directorship himself. We will never know what sort of film Mr. Kaufman would have produced, but Eastwood's final product is a true gem in western filmmaking.

In Eastwood's western trilogy he was known only as "the man with no name", a loner who generously dispensed his form of western justice at the barrel of a gun (or two). There was not much character development. We don't learn what drives the man or what he feels inside. With Josie Wales, Clint plows new ground, as he plumbs the emotions of the vengeful Wales. He builds insights into the character and feelings of Wales, a man with a name AND feelings. This makes the movie more than a mere "shoot 'em up", and adds depth and meaning to the film. Eastwood does much the same and more, with his 1990 blockbuster (and his last western) "Unforgiven", with Oscar results.

Josie Wales can be viewed with interest and pleasure on several different levels. There is of course the "vengeful man" theme that is the movie's backbone. Then there is the multi-cultural theme, where instead of going it alone, one man against many, Wales has a collection of "family" that collects as the movie progresses: an old Indian Chief, a talkative Indian "Squaw", a grandmother and her granddaughter (Sandra Locke, whom Clint would have an affair with that would end his marriage to his wife Maggie), and finally a collection of townies from a dying silver mining town. Finally, there is the "healing" theme, namely, how does a man who suffers the violent loss of his wife, son, and home, deal with his vengeful anger, emotional loss, and begin to heal.

Mere trivia, but interesting: Clint Eastwood never once shoots and kills a Native American Indian in any of his western films. Instead of battling indians as do most of the other western film stars, Eastwood's charcters build alliances with the Natives, learning to live in peaceful co-existance rather than a state of perpetual war.

Clearly, this is Eastwood's best western up to this point in his career. It is definately worth a "look" and my guess is that it will become one of your favorite westerns.

Jim "Konedog" Koenig"