The screenplay, actors, music, photography, the Old Southwest location, is absolutely superb! The screenplay expands the story and adds more detail to each persona. Newman, the bandido Carrasco, speaks English and Spanish which is common, and pulls the 'race card' at his trial. Edward G. Robinson, the 'Con Man', scoffs, mocks and laughs every time he hears a new version. In the final scenes, Claire Bloom's brilliant performance puts us in the mood of a live Broadway play by Tennessee Williams. Notice the expressions of The Prospector, Howard Da Silva, when the Con Man finds him out. William Shatner's part, The Preacher, is minimal. Laurence Harvey's character, The Husband, expresses loathsomeness, scorn and disdain for his wife verbally and on his face. The camerawork, ethereal ( notice the blur when Carrasco is sick and falls off his horse and the scene around the dead man), close ups, long shots, overhead, upward spiral, and the location in the Arizona desert and scenes by the waterfall are so picturesque. One can see James Wong Howe's camera influence from 'Rashomon'. The musical compositions and orchestrations of Alex North are wonderful ! There are only a few sections in the film where music is played, which is effective in maintaining the silence and solitude of the desert. Festive Mexican dance music, with harp, flutes, tambourine, drums, violins, starts when Carrasco takes a siesta under a giant cactus as the couple passes by. The music continues as Carrasco gallops after them through the giant cactus desert and is reminiscent of "The Cisco Kid". Later, a lovely theme for the wife that modulates into an eerie, spooky theme, dark harmonies orchestrated with bass clarinet and low alto flutes when she is accosted at the waterfall by Carrasco on his heavily breathing horse, which puts emphasis on the lecherous looks he gives to his victim. Also, the haunting sound effects and surrealistic photography when she plunges into the river. Hollywood can not be 100% politically correct and please everyone. Even though this film may seem 'politically incorrect', it is not. There are many Mexicans that do look like Paul Newman we call 'rubio', meaning 'fair'. Anthony Quinn already got an Oscar as a Mexican revolutionary, "Zapatista", in Viva Zapata (with Marlon Brando playing Zapata). Why would Quinn take a role like 'Carrasco' ? If you really want to keep it real, how about the bandido in "Treasure of Sierra Madre'', Mexican actor Alfonso ( "We don't need any stinking badges" ) Bedoya to play the role? The Apaches complained about 'Geronimo' being played by Cherokee actor Wes Studi. Give me a break! There must be 'box office attractions' to play the roles. Great cast. To me, casting is everything. Edward G. Robinson is at his best. I really enjoy Newman's performance with his 'Wallace Beery like raspy voice' and how the screen writers are historically 'politically correct' when Carrasco mentions the way Mexicans, 'greasers', are looked down upon by 'gringo's and how they took away his territory, and would be found guilty of alleged past, present and future crimes anyway. I know the post civil war history of my family from the Old Southwest. (Many settlers from Spain and Old Mexico lost their Spanish land grants and were then treated like Negro slaves.)
The most recent edition of 'Rashomon' has a commentary that takes us through each step of the story, purpose of camera angles, effects, etc. Also, interviews with the cameraman, set director and others in the making of it. I have watched 'Rashomon' and 'Outrage' several times. Each time I see something new. I recommend others do the same. I absolutely love this film and will place it with my other favorites of all time, such as Casablanca, Rashomon, Seven Samurai, and the 'original' Around The World In 80 Days by Michael Todd.
Some films that were neglected like Orson Wells' "Touch of Evil", is now considered one of his best (Charlton Heston is a Mexican in this one). I hope you enjoy this film as much as I do and that someday "Outrage" will have a commentary and interview with William Shatner in the making and give this film the credit and recognition it deserves. Thanks for reading this.- RP