Wednesday, 13 January 2010

(500) Films of Empire - Day 120

219 - The Outlaw Josey Wales - 4 stars
Eastwood proved that he had picked up a lot from working with Leone by delivering a truly great Western with understated direction that allows the story to flow nicely.
Josey Wales is almost like Unforgiven in reverse, as a man becomes a cold blooded killer to avenge the death of his family by Union soldiers slowly regains his humanity and sense of place in the world as he assembles a rag-tag group of followers whilst being hunted for being an outlaw.
Has a mix of terrific fight scenes, stand-offs, memorable supporting characters and a multi-layered central performance by Eastwood.
Best western I have watched on this list so far.

352 - Unfaithfully Yours - 1 stars
Uh oh, Preston Sturges could be joining Bob Fosse on the list of directors whose films I just can't seem to like.
This film is about an orchestra conductor who believes his wife is cheating on him. During a concert, inspired by different pieces of music, he dreams up several scenarios to dispose of his wife.
It is an interesting concept but the film ultimately fails due to the central characters being unsympathetic, and the director trying to use a light screwball comedic tone to what is a dark subject matter. It doesn't help that it descends into (what I assume to be) farce at the end with Rex Harrison's conductor proving to be a bumbling oaf incapable of carrying out a murder. Although there was a gag about being unable to find a pair of gloves that fit that made me think of OJ Simpson.
In order to see an example of great black comedy about murder, rent Kind Hearts & Coronets instead.

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