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The Sundowners
The Sundowners
Actors: Robert Preston, Robert Sterling, Chill Wills, Cathy Downs, John Litel
Director: George Templeton
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns
NR     2005     1hr 23min

This compact little western, from the legendary western novelist Alan LeMay ("The Searchers"), has Robert Preston and Robert Sterling portraying two brothers who find themselves on opposite sides of the legal fence. Ste...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Robert Preston, Robert Sterling, Chill Wills, Cathy Downs, John Litel
Director: George Templeton
Creators: Winton C. Hoch, George Templeton, Jack Ogilvie, Alan Le May
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns
Studio: Vci Video
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 03/29/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 23min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
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

Fine Western....good print
B. Cathey | Wendell, NC United States | 08/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"THE SUNDOWMERS (1950) was a Alan LeMay/Templeton production, via Eagle-Lion, which competed briefly with some of the larger releasing studios in the later 1940's early '50s. Until VCI's release I'd never seen a good print of it, either on VHS or DVD. The VCI technicolor print is very good, and purchasers will not be disappointed. The film boasts stellar performances by an underrated Robert Preston and, in a sometimes comic role, Chill Wills. Robert Sterling is fine as well, but Preston steals the show. A young John Barrymore, Jr., plays the younger brother to Sterling and Preston. Eagle-Lion followed THE SUNDOWNERS with a sequel, HIGH LONESOME, starring's an okay film [VCI has it out as well, in another fine technicolor print], although Barrymore lacks the panache of a Preston. Still, at the inexpensive price asked, worthwhile investigating....
As an earlier reviewer commented, the liner notes mix up Preston and Sterling, but this should in no way deter you from purchasing THE SUNDOWNERS, an enjoyable film and very welcome. Extras include cast bio's and scene selections. Our thanks to the adventuresome folks at VCI who contine to do great work in releasing good prints of some B (and A) level Westerns, classic horror, film noir, adventure films, and serials!"
DaViD Pasadena Australia.
DaViD | Pasadena Australia | 09/11/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"VCI should check their marketing notes before release. We are informed on the back cover that Robert Preston is the hero and Robert Sterling is the villain, this is completely wrong. Try the other way about. Also their description of the story line is inaccurate. For the most part the transfer from a technicolor print is very good to excellent. The sound is always audible but has some distortion at times. Enjoyable western with all players in good to top form, the only let down is the direction which lacks cohesion. Over all I was pleased with my purchase, and a good copy on dvd is rare."
Charles J. Garard Jr. PhD | Liaocheng University, China | 08/04/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Like many Americans, I grew up with westerns, usually seen on the screen of my father's small-town theatre in western Illinois.

Robert Preston chews the scenery as the heavy in this 1950 melodrama, and John Drew Barrymore (or John Barrymore Jr.) makes a token appearance as a kid brother. In HIGH LONESOME, supposedly a sequel to this film, he is the top-listed star. The Amazon description has Robert Sterling listed as the villain, but, in fact, he is the good guy, while top-billed Preston gets to play the sneaky villain who will even steal his brother's gun to commit a murder. His role is not unlike the one he plays opposite Robert Mitchum in the Robert Wise film noir western BLOOD ON THE MOON. Chill Wills shows us what he looked like at this time, as does the lanky and distinctive Jack Elam, playing against his usual type.

At the beginning of the film (remember when film credits were shown at the beginning of a film instead of at the end when the audience is walking out or ejecting the DVD at home?) we are told where the film was photographed, and the appropriate ranchers are thanked for the privilege of allowing the production to be made on their property. Interesting. Informative.

What is equally interesting is being able to see a film on DVD in near pristine quality, thanks to the Technicolor original that has survived since 1950. One almost feels as if he or she is somehow back there, visiting the set by way of a time machine. Since that approximate time, however, we have been forced to watch films lensed in Ansco-color (Metrocolor), Eastmancolor, Warnercolor, DeLuxe Color, Movielab color, Trucolor, and other two-strip variations. Maybe this is why only black-and-white films still look good after all these years, unless, of course, a three-strip negative happened to be stored away in a vault. I suppose it is too much to ask that we return to the days of Technicolor, even with the services of a Technicolor consultant on the scene; I guess that privilege is only reserved for certain Chinese filmmakers. For a while, only Paramount held onto Technicolor, producing some of the most beautiful color motion pictures shown on the big screen.

Except for seeing some of our supporting characters in earlier roles, nothing is particularly remarkable about THE SUNDOWNERS, not to be confused with the Robert Mitchum film set in Australia. It is a standard western that reveals little about life in 19th century America. It is not as much fun as watching such multi-starred frontier dramas as WARLOCK or THE BIG COUNTRY or GUNFIGHT AT THE OK CORRAL. Those films had something to say about morality in the west, or, like 3:1O TO YUMA, offered a psychological examination of the people who often made their own laws in a lawless time and place. THE SUNDOWNERS is what might be referred to as a matinee western, a B-western programmer. People argue, they shoot each other, and good triumphs over evil. Okay. Good moral lesson, but nothing unusual or striking here. Just a good color transfer that makes one long for Technicolor.

So set your time machine, with its nostalgia button installed, for another trip down memory lane. It will remind you of a time when movies were made by actors and actresses how knew their craft and gave good performances for your matinee dollar -- or yuan -- not ex-sports stars or rock singers or news-occupying, no-talent celebrities.

Maybe this is just another western, but if you like solid westerns that provided solid entertainment, check out THE SUNDOWNERS (1950)."