Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Kirk Douglas, Bruce Dern, Bo Hopkins, James Stacy, Luke Askey
Director: Kirk Douglas
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Robert S. from ROCK SPRINGS, WY
Reviewed on 3/2/2017...
This is exceptional. A political oater without rightwing hoohah. Bruce Dern at his best, waving a railroad engineer cap, grinning his rabbit grin, while riding a stolen locomotive past the posse. What else could one wish?
Razor-sharp cynicism in a Western--a rare combination
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 11/09/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of the truly unique American Westerns, Posse finds Kirk Douglas as a pompous U.S. marshal--fittingly named Howard Nightingale (he's great at singing his own praises)--doing everything he can to drum up support in his bid for Senator from the great state of Texas.
Key to his campaign is the capture of Bruce Dern's infamous Jack Strawhorn, a cucumber-cool, sharpshooting robber whose bad luck in finding a gang worthy of his own smarts is echoed by Nightingale's great fortune at having a posse who never fails him.
Or so he thinks....
When Strawhorn is captured, the whole town cheers, but this is offset by Wesley, one of Nightingale's best posse guys, having a go with the mayor's wife...and with two other posse members finding love, as it were, with two younger members of the female gender in the town. Seems Nightingale's boys aren't too shy.
Things come to a head when the tables are turned, and the ending is a total shock for those expecting things to turn out the way they "should" in a Western which, let's face it, is supposed to typify the core of what's good and true in American civilization. The editor of the local newspaper, a former soldier now missing an arm and a leg, is intriguingly similar in his perspective to Strawhorn; this comes out in some subtle and not so subtle ways.
Douglas himself directed this piercing look at American greed and lust and acquitted himself admirably. One of the better entries in the American Western canon, Posse is all too close to political reality even today.
Sharp, witty post-Watergate Western that's still relevant
William Timothy Lukeman | 09/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here's a perfect example of a small, quietly subversive film, obviously created in a specific time, whose message hasn't dated in the least. It's produced, directed by & stars Kirk Douglas as a Texas lawman with his sights on the Senate, perhaps even the Presidency. He travels in a special train provided by the railroads, whom he'll represent once in office; he has a handpicked posse to help him in his pursuit of train robber Bruce Dern, whose capture will assure a successful election. Douglas' lawman also travels with a photographer, who makes the most of every photo op, such as his early capture of outlaw Dern.
As this was made in 1975, it's very much a post-Watergate film. And as such, it's still quite relevant today. For example, when Douglas makes his big speech to the town after capturing Dern, invoking God & goodness & appealing to the pre-programmed traditional beliefs of the townspeople, you realize that by changing just one word in that speech -- by substituting "terrorists" for "criminals" -- it's the same empty rah-rah speech we hear so often today.
However, Dern doesn't want to hang, and he definitely doesn't want to be used as an election prop. I won't give away what happens next, but it's quite satisfying. The film also stars James Stacy, who had recently lost an arm & a leg in a horrendous motorcycle accident, as the town's newspaper man, wary of Douglas & of any ambitious politico. He obviously represented Vietnam vets at the time; now he'd just as easily represent maimed veterans returning from Iraq, or any war, sacrificed for the personal ambitions of a smarmy would-be leader.
The performances are excellent, and even the minor background characters are given fine moments of characterization. The dawning realization of some of the townspeople that they are being used is played for sadness rather than easy mockery, as they understand that they've agreed to their use (and abuse). All presented in a tidy 92 minutes! Highly recommended."
If you ever rooted for the bad guys...
batman2068 | Islip, ny USA | 08/13/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"then you should get a kick out of this one! fans of the offbeat and bruce Dern should like this western.this movie plays out like kind of a chess game between pat garrete and billy the kid,with whole trains and towns as pices. kirk douglas plays the railroad backed 'all guns, guts, and glory'marshal Nightingale who at a closer look reveals a darker side.his ambition makes him even worse than pat garrette.all he really cares about is winning a election to become a powerful U.S. senator.Evidence of this is in the way he makes arrests;his professionism is thrown out the window-He uses a Janet Reno style method to catch outlaws,taking no prisioners,caring little about taking them in alive,or recovering robbery mony. The two people who see through him the most are Dern,and a local journalist,who having lost limbs in war hates railroads and ambitous people.Kind of like the old Hamilton vs Jefferson;Hamilton represnting big banking and progress-while others dont like it they know its the way of the future.Many people dident like RxR's either. Bruce Dern is the outlaw Strawhorn,with a great understanding of human nature.Evidence of this is in the scence where just after shooting someone,in front of a horrified crowd,he shuts up a barking dog by throwing him a pice of meat.always trying to cloud good and evil,one of his most memorble quotes is when he tells Nightingale:'honest men only stay honest til it stops paying,thats why your a liar and Im a theif.' Nightingales' plan is simple:elimiate strawhorns gang, and to get elected-capture Strawhorn himself- simple plan but he finds it not as simple to carry out. After a member of Nightingales own posse ponders his future because he is an indian(Indians were often hired by the white man often performing beyond expectations but once the mission was over they were left out to dry)sets the scence to the climatic ending-its Stawhorn vs Nightingale: a chess match playing itself out to the end! Another quote I liked was 'what do we pay taxes for?' If you never saw this movie before try starting it 105 minutes into the movie then watch it again. Another offbeat Kirk Douglas western I would recomend is 'Lonely are the brave' with walter Mathau as sheriff."