Robert M. from DURAND, IL Reviewed on 9/18/2012...
great western movie i enjoyed it very much
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They don't get better this!
AbeStreet | Mayfield Heights, OH United States | 07/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this film when I was 12 back in 1981 on tv and was captivated and emotionally saddened as with few other films, especially western films. This film begins with a teenagers dream of becoming a cowboy and tears it down as the youth realizes what being a cowboy is really about. In many ways the film UNFORGIVEN by Clint Eastwood does the same thing only with gunfighters instead of cowboys. THE CULPEPPER CATTLE CO. is a much better film. It moves faster and has better characters. For years I have tried to rent or buy this movie. Almost no stores have it or have even heard of It. I finally found it at a video store that was liquidating its previously viewed films. I am so glad Amazon is now offering it. I hope that it ends up on DVD soon"
Against the Grain
Douglas Doepke | Claremont, CA United States | 05/09/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an unduly neglected work that sank quickly into audience oblivion - the Vietnam seventies were not a good time for Westerns. True to the iconoclasm of the period, the producers set out to debunk the mystique of the cattle drive, and in the process take a big swipe at that arch-romancer of the Old West, John Ford. They only half-succeed. Put simply, their stab at realism is undone by too much gunplay, too much blood, and way too much conventional violence. Staples of the ordinary Western, their presence here only serves to reinforce the usual cliches. Much better when the story-telling cowboy refuses Geoffrey Lewis's challenge by quitting the drive, saying a gunfight over trifling matters makes no sense. That's certainly no cliche.The role reversal at movie's end is stunning, given what Hollywood has led us to expect. Nevertheless, it works by bringing out a latent code of honor that at times can guide even the most brutal among us. Here Ford is trumped by Kurosawa. There are many fine touches in the movie. Billy "Green" Bush is totally convincing as the ruthless trail boss; Gary Grimes, appropriately callow; and the four gunsels, alternately abusive and sullen, while Geoffrey Lewis's cold-eyed stare bespeaks a lifetime of casual cruelty. Not the best of anti-Westerns, but deserves consideration."
Tough, dark and bloody exciting
Gary Cross | Auckland New Zealand | 04/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a cracker of a western - certainly one of the best of the "tell it like it was" batch that came out after The Wild Bunch. Sure, it's got its faults - the narrative doesn't really flow smoothly but instead is made up of a series of incidents, and the final battle at the Mormon camp, while thrilling, doesn't quite jell with the rest of the movie - but it's always been a personal favourite with me. It's your basic coming of age tale with Gary Grimes signing on for a cattle drive and watching all his friends die through a series of violent incidents. And what a band of companions - some of the best western character actors doing what I feel is their best work. Geoffery Lewis, Bo Hopkins and Luke Askew are great as the supposed good guys who aren't above killing unarmed people in cold blood, while John McLiam has never been nastier as the land hungry cattle baron who causes Grimes and his cynical sidekicks to make a final stand to protect the beleaguered Mormons. The music (composed in part by Jerry Goldsmith) and the sepia cinematography help to create a sense of what I guess the west was really like. And even though that final gunfight seems tacked on, it's still one of the best shoot-outs you'll see in a western (I'd rate it up there with the final bloodbath of The Wild Bunch and the Northfield raid in The Long Riders). Get it. It's good."
Outstanding sleeper of a western. One of my all time faves.
Benito Vasquez | Naperville, Il | 04/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie as the add on to some main feature at the local outdoor theater when it came out. Funny I can't remember the name of the main attraction, but I never forgot this one. I'll never forget how excited I was when it finally came on TV for the first time, as it wasn't a ratings blockbuster when released, nor quick to hit TV. Like the DVD release, it just kind of lingered looking for an audience. Well, the DVD release should indicate it has found just that. This movie is a raw, bare bones western that's filled with all the ingredients that make classic western movies, the least of which being an absolutely solid cast which at the time were mostly no-name character actors. Many would soon find themselves regulars in the western movie circuit, I'm sure based largely on their solid performances in this movie. The most notable actor ironically was Gary Grimes, who starred as the lucky recipient of a grieving Jennifer O'Neal in "Summer of 42", but whose career slowly faded into the proverbial sunset following this movie (as well as "Class of 44," "Summer of 42's" less than satisfying sequel). Though he plays a focal role, he's regarded as one of the lesser characters within the context of the movie, though in the end all are sympathetic ones. Other faces to look for, though they're sure to be recognizable after a few minutes: Patrick Campbell, for example, plays the leader of the religious group near the end of this movie and will ring bells to fans of Clint Eastwoods award winning "The Unforgiven." Luke Askew, Bo Hopkins, William O'Connell, Geoffrey Lewis and Wayne Sutherlin (to name only a few) are all standard western regulars in future years and form a fabulous ensemble cast to this gritty western that poses no sophisticated plot except to tell the simple story of a cattle drive, bearing the unglamorouus side that Hollywood rarely if ever shows, and all the problems that can arise in it- that it's not something men rushed to do, but rather did merely to survive. And this movie is all about survival in a variety of circumstances that only the old west can pose. Billy Green Bush plays the title character and though I can scant recall him in any other roles, he's solid as Frank Culpepper in this one. As for the quality, The DVD release, though not stellar, greatly improved the quality of this picture which like many early 70s movies had a certain graininess to it, particularly the VHS edition. The version I've seen on the dish over recent years is also good, enough to enjoy this fabulous, tragic heart breaking movie about men living as best they could in a time where they had few options, and living by their wits and pride was a matter of life and death. If you love quality western, you'll love this movie."
"This unerrated movie encapsulates the Western. Initially creating the "stock" feel of a cowboy movie by immediate immersion in worn stereotypes, the film quickly cuts them down and redefines what a real "man" was in the West. Maltin calls it unnecessarily violent, but in comparison to "The Long Riders" and later Eastwood films, the sparing violent acts ring true, though painful. A beautiful, troubling, searching movie which can be read at face value for fun, or delved into as deeply as one could want. After viewing it, no Western is ever the same."