Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Director: William Keighley
It's 1865 and Robert E. Lee, in a last-ditch bid to turn the tide of war, wants the West. Lafe Barstow's task is to get it. He leads a band of Confederates to California to enlist insurrectionists. But another war roils th... more »
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A small scale, small budget movie, and a very good one, too.
C. O. DeRiemer | San Antonio, Texas, USA | 09/06/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Says Lafe Barstow, captain in the army of the Confederate States of America, about his command: "Six rattle-headed kids and an old man...Kip Waterson, the baby-faced heir to a plantation...Pierre Duchesne, from French Louisiana...Pat Dennison, an old man, really, but a hard, reckless fighter who never gave ground while he lived...Kay Rawlins from the Mississippi steamboats, a rough and friendly man as the Indians now found out...Jimmy Wheat, a little red neck cropper who could fight like a wildcat with hydrophobia, who carried a useless little dog for 2,000 miles...Jonas Weatherby, the Texan, a seasoned plainsman at 18...Plank, another real plainsman, hard and bitter, with chain gang scars on his legs at 22..." They've come 2,000 miles with orders to raise an army among the Confederate sympathizers in California in a last-chance effort to draw the Union armies away from Lee. It's 1865. Even if we don't remember our history too well, we know Barstow's command is probably not going to end well. Please note that elements of the plot are discussed.
During the next three days we're going to get to know quite well Captain Barstow (Errol Flynn) and his men. They're holed up in the Nevada Mountains vainly waiting for promised assistance from a California renegade. They've rescued a stage driver and a woman passenger, the fiancée of a Union officer, from an Indian attack. They've tricked and captured a Union patrol. And they know Shoshone warriors are gathering in force to wipe everyone out.
This was the last western Flynn made. Warner Brothers put as few resources into the making of this movie as they could get away with. There are a handful of actors, with only Flynn being a name, and perhaps 50 extras on horseback. It was shot at one location outside Gallup and on what looks like just one studio set. It's in black and white. The screenplay is workmanlike, but in the best sense of the word; there are requisite memories of Jimmy Wheat, just 16, designed to hook us with sympathy; there's a little Barstow backstory about his cotton plantation, his fiancé who is now dead, his weary acceptance of duty for a cause he believes in; and there is no hint of emerging attraction between Barstow and Johanna Carter (Patrice Wymore). She loves her Union officer even if she becomes more sympathetic to what Barstow and his seven men face. The dialogue is efficient. Unless you're a great writer (and even if you are), that's solid praise. About a third of the movie is shot at dusk, night or early morning when a lot of set deficiencies can be covered up. In fact, Rocky Mountain is probably the smallest scale movie Flynn ever made.
It's poetic justice that Rocky Mountain turns out to be a very good film, especially because of its small scale. The movie didn't have the budget to screw things up by trying to turn the story into something bigger than it was, or Flynn into a wooing hero. Flynn plays Barstow as a man with burdens. There's none of the Flynn charm and easy smiles. With the exception of Miss Carter, Flynn's interactions are all with other men, those under his command and those who might shoot them.
As Barstow's options dwindle he faces reality with none of the Hollywood posturing that takes place in bigger budget movies. To accept the situation and take action is something he and his men simply shrug their shoulders about and then get on with it. "I never thought it would end this way," Johanna Carter says to him." "There never was any other way," Captain Barstow tells her. "We just put it off awhile." Rocky Mountain, in its small-scale way, is a good movie"
Great little western
Girvan Paterson | Melbourne,Vic. Australia | 07/26/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"'Rocky Mountain' is Errol Flynn's last big screen western, probably had the smallest budget of any of his westerns, but arguably, could be his best!
Still handsome at 40, just before the decline set in, Flynn is a born leader, and a tough one when called for, their mission is futile, they know it, but duty means they must press on regardless, in the end it's a case of, can they save anyone from the maurading indians, closing in all around them? Featuring some magnificent scenery in New Mexico, it could have benefited by color, but apart from that, this is one fine western, with a surprise ending, that makes it all that more real!"
A Good Western With A Sad Ending
Dufus | Arizona, USA | 02/22/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"THe previous reviewer did a great job reviewing this film. I would only add that Flynn is not as energetic as he could be because of his personal lifestyle. I think that shows in all his later films.
Having said that, the ending was NOT what I expected and actually brought a tear to my eye. IMO, the ending makes the movie. Enjoy!"