Wednesday, 20 May 2009


: The good people of Warlock need a decent marshal after Ricky Widmark (who looks likes a grown up Peter the goad herd off of the '70s, German version of Heidi) et al enjoy too much of the thug life and send the previous incumbent packing. Henry Fonda and Anthony Quinn turn up to do the right thing. The goat herd, sorry, Ricky W then decides he wants to reform and then the two 'goodies' start twisting our minds too (are they good, bad or mixed up?).

Ooh, and the lady from the stage with the cherries on her hat knows Henry Fonda.

Lots of moral complexity in this one. Spectrums of good and bad in each character highlighting the choices we make and the consequences they have. Back to existentialism? I haven't read the chapter in Sartre on ethics but I'm sure he says lots about this. Not Warlock, but, you know, good and bad and stuff.

I liked the symmetry between Ricky W and his woman with her past and vengeance ishooz and Henry Fonda and his virginal, innocent lady friend who confesses to only having ever tasted whisky once (pah! the wuss). You see, Ricky has reformed and we see his difficulty in trying to do good cos he doesn't think his bad mates are any good any more. Then on the other hand we've got Henry F who has had checkered past to say the least but has somehow ended up being a symbol of decency.

The other interesting thing about this film is the relationship between Henry F and Anthony Quinn (Javier Bardem's long-lost, silver-haired father). Deffo some homoerotic action going on here. Not in an overt, sexual way, but in a we've-been-there-for-each-other-forevah kind of way. End of the film is ace, with Henry shooting his old mate, laying him out on a roulette table then setting him on fire. Best friends forever, right?

Also, look out for DeForest Kelly (you know, that one from Star Trek) as one of the baddies. He's not very convincing, being about as camp as a row of tents.

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