Existential - Whatever That Means
email@example.com | australia - a long way from France | 08/13/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This western has been called existential, a term liberally used in film reviewing, and I'm not sure I know the correct usage of the word. But I like this film a lot. Made by a colourfull man named Monte Hellman who hasn't made a lot of films, this is one of his most unusual. Made in 1967, back to back with another film, The Shooting (also worth checking out), Jack Nicholson, Tom Filer & Cameron Mitchell, are being pursued by a posse who have mistaken them for thieves. Hellman's film are often about characters who are aimless, well, maybe not aimless, but they end up going nowhere, and this is no exception, as they climb a hill/mountain that goes up and up....one of the characters remarks "Shame to do all of this walking for nuthin'". Damn straight. They discover a cabin, where a grown daughter (Millie Perkins) and her mother suffer in servitude to the old man. Odd things happen. The film is wonderfully odd, minimilist (not by choice), it was made on a low budget, but the minimilism adds to the often unsettling atmosphere. Film is full of great dialogue, such as "It's peculiar to sit here playing chequers while a bunch of men want to string us up" Wes replies "Why don't you put a tune to it?". Highly recommended for fans of Existentialism!"
Tough, laconic Western
LGwriter | Astoria, N.Y. United States | 03/31/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jack Nicholson wrote the screenplay for this little gem, and in the dialogue he captures the flavor of life at that time perfectly. While too much time is spent on the shootout in the first half of the film, the second half more than makes up for that, as Jack and Cameron Mitchell--two cowpokes unlucky enough to be too close to an outlaw gang--hole up in a sodbuster's cabin.The sodbuster, an old guy, lives with his wife and daughter, played by Millie Perkins, and as Jack says about her, "You don't talk much." True. In fact, nobody does in this film, but that's just fine. Because it's the atmosphere that counts here, and Monte Hellman, the director, gets that just right. I found Hellman's The Shooting somewhat pretentious and the ending was just plain weird. But Ride in the Whirlwind is the kind of Western that resonates a lot more--it FEELS like you're there; it feels like you can talk to these people. They won't say much, but what they will say counts for a lot.Nicholson is fine as Wes and Cameron Mitchell equally strong as his partner Vern. As Blind Dick, leader of the small outlaw gang, Harry Dean Stanton puts in another of his strong, straight-ahead performances. The shootout is between the outlaw gang and a vigilante posse that's out to get the gang after the latter have held up a stagecoach.One thing that makes this Western so strong is the small, dusty, lonesome life that all the main characters lead. The sodbuster and his family live in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. The cowpokes ride together, but they're removed from anyone else. The outlaw gang similarly hangs out in an isolated shack, and the vigilate posse, all men, ride wherever they think there's outlaws; one of them, seeing Abigail for the first time (Millie Perkins) mentions to his partner that she's a "cute piece" and that he'll be coming back to have a meal.This lonesomeness is what pervades Ride in the Whirlwind and what makes it so compelling. It's a short (82 minutes) film, but well worth watching, if not owning."
Ride the whirlwind
j. dresen | Netherlands | 08/25/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"wow ! i saw this movie years ago ! can't remember very well, but remember that it was one of the best performances of Cameron Mitchell ! (i am a big fan of him !) the movie is as far as i remember about friends who got fals accused for something and got hunted ! and about sacrifice ! watch it !"