Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Outlaw Josey Wales

A southern farmer joins a group of Confederate bandits after his family is slaughtered and finds himself on the run after he is betrayed by the leader of his group. While violently ducking Union soldiers, he teams with a Cherokee Indian and a group of settlers while preparing for the onslaught that is certain to come. "The Outlaw Josey Wales" is an early directorial effort from Clint Eastwood, and one that sought to replicate the success of his Dollars Trilogy of a decade earlier. Instead, and as a result of poor, simplistic screenplay by Phillip Kaufman (who was initially slated to direct), we are given a saccharine, hokey version of The Man with No Name in what is still a pretty violent western (Eastwood did a better job with this task a few years prior in "High Plains Drifter"). I did want to note that John Vernon (Dean Wormer) has an excellent turn as Eastwood's reluctant betrayer. "The Outlaw Josey Wales" is a film of noble intentions and one not without merit, that gets bogged down by the limitations of its screenplay.