This underrated 1964 film directed by Martin Ritt (Sounder, Norma Rae) features Paul Newman in a story influenced by the classic multiple-perspective film Rashomon, with an American spin. Newman (The Hustler, Hud) plays a Mexican bandit in the Old West accused of raping a frontier woman (Claire Bloom), but conflicting stories from the bandit, the woman, her husband, and others soon complicate matters and make finding the truth elusive. Newman has fun with his daring, over-the-top portrayal, and Ritt's socially conscious streak is in evidence here as he investigates whether the truth is left up to whoever defines it. The Outrage is a chance both to see a terrific cast of classic actors and yet another prime example of the influence of great international films. --Robert Lane
Top Customer Reviews
The film succeeds best in the framing sequences featuring Robinson, in one of his best roles, as the con man who keeps score and philosophizes about human nature. James Wong Howe's exceptional black and white photography deserves special mention, and Newman's over-the-top Mexican bandit almost convinces.
major aspects of the plot are never fully explained. The acting
is tedious and confusing. Also, the colorized version is terrible. Stick with black and white.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Martin Ritt directs and James Wong Howe is cinematographer of a most unusual western. With a fine script and superb cast-- this one is a standout!
Paul Newman's next significant picture after "Outrage" was HARPER (1966).
Laurence Harvey may be best-remembered for his portrayal of Raymond Shaw in THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962).
Claire Bloom co-starred with Richard Burton in Martin Ritt's classic THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD (1965).
Edward G. Robinson is excellent as king of poker players Lancey Howard in THE CINCINNATI KID (1965).
William Shatner's finest screen work was in Roger Corman's racially-charged THE INTRUDER (1962).
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 viewer poll rating found at a film resource website.
(6.2) The Outrage (1962) - Paul Newman/Laurence Harvey/Claire Bloom/Edward G. Robinson/William Shatner/Howard Da Silva/Albert Salmi/Thomas Chalmers/Paul Fix
The takes place in a western town known as the Silver Gulch. The preacher (William Shatner) awaits the train during a storm at the train stop. Arriving at the stop is the prospector (Howard Da Silva) who wants to know why the preacher is leaving town and tries his best to have him stay.
The preacher came to the town to change the lives of people for good but he's disgusted after a trial which he and the prospector have been discussing. It appears the preacher feels that the town has become a town full of sin and the murder trial has brought the worst in people. And thus, he wants to leave feeling he failed.
But in comes the con man (Edward G. Robinson) who learns the story of what transpired at the murder trial frmom the two men.
You start to learn that on the day of the murder, the preacher was coming into town and saw the Col. Wakefield (Laurence Harvey) and his wife Nina (Claire Bloom) riding in their carriage. That was the last time he saw of them.
As for the prospector, he was the man who discovered the dead body of Col. Wakefield and went to report it to the sheriff which lead to a manhunt. During the manhunt, an outlaw Juan Carrasco is found near the murder and he is handcuffed outside the sheriff's office while the whole town watches the trial about the murder and alleged rape of his Col. Wakefield's wife.
The sheriff (Albert Salmi) gives his story of how they came to capture Carrasco. Then Carrasco gives his story about what happened. In his story, he was resting and while resting, he sees the Wakefields coming by. He goes to them and tries to sell them an ancient Aztec object with a green stone. And in his story, he robs the Wakefields, ties up the husband and rapes his wife. But then his wife says that Carrasco should give him the right to fight for his pride since she lost everything and thus the fight ensues between Carassco and Col. Wakefield and Carassco grabs his knife and kills him.
Sounds like a believable story since Carassco is a feared desperado but just when everything looked as if Carassco was guilty. Col. Wakefield's wife Nina has her turn during the trial to explain what happened and her story is completely different from the story Carassco gave.
Then an Indian medicine man (Paul Fix) who came across the body gives his account of what happened to Col. Wakefield during the trial.
With three entirely different stories of how Col. Wakefield died, who is telling the truth? But during the discussion between the preacher, the prospector and con man, it is learned that one of them knows the real truth of what truly happened that day.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"THE OUTRAGE" makes its first appearance on DVD and is presented in black and white. The picture quality is good for a film released back in 1964 but I did notice a few scratches and dust. But overall, people who have waited for a DVD release for so long will enjoy the quality of this film.
If there was one thing that fans should be happy is that "THE OUTRAGE" is presented in black and white and not in it's colorized version.
As for audio, the film is presented in mono.
There are no special features. I wished there was a trailer or something included.
"THE OUTRAGE" is part of the Paul Newman Film Series and Warner releasing Newman films that have yet to be released on DVD (or on video). So, reading on the Internet and seeing how many people have awaited for a DVD release, finally fans of this film will get their wish.
What one will have to remember is that this film was released in theaters back in 1964. Despite being based on "Rashomon", it's probably best not to think of "Rashomon" at all and think of this film as its own film and respect what Martin Ritt brought to this film, a screenplay by Michael Kanin that definitely has its twist and turns, and a performance of Paul Newman playing an ethnic role.
It's quite unusual to see how humorous this film turned out to be and to find out the truth of what happened that day between Carassco and the Wakefields. Unfortunately where Rashomon was a film that was dramatic and deadly, "THE OUTRAGE" just showed the worst in human motivations. As much as I hoped for a fantastic reveal, unfortunately the film falls flat.
If anything, I felt that William Shatner did quite well playing the preacher and to see his interaction with the prospector and the con man captured the drama, while watching the different fight scenes between Newman's Carassco and Harvey's Wakefield was quite enjoyable as their characters have a gunfight, go over a waterfall, and eventually their battle to the death.
Overall, "THE OUTRAGE" is not a bad film, it's just a film that seems that it had a lot of potential but somehow it just misses its mark.
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