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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Non redux
Clint Eastwood appears - looms - in this gritty Western in the cowboy tradition of High Noon and Shane. Eastwood also directed Pale Rider, a movie in which he's known only as Preacher, because when he appears in town, he's wearing a clerical collar. Hard for the beleaguered miners (who are being terrorized by a smarmy land-grabbing tycoon and his band of local baddies) to...
Published on Oct. 5 2003 by Peggy Vincent

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Eastwood Western is hurt in comparison to Shane
Pale Rider is worth watching, but unfortunately, it draws too heavily on George Stevens's classic western Shane, which just might be the greatest western ever made. It is well-acted and nicely shot, but it really can't hold a candle to Shane.
Three stars.
Published on Sept. 29 2003 by Jamie Cooper


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Non redux, Oct. 5 2003
By 
Peggy Vincent "author and reader" (Oakland, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pale Rider (VHS Tape)
Clint Eastwood appears - looms - in this gritty Western in the cowboy tradition of High Noon and Shane. Eastwood also directed Pale Rider, a movie in which he's known only as Preacher, because when he appears in town, he's wearing a clerical collar. Hard for the beleaguered miners (who are being terrorized by a smarmy land-grabbing tycoon and his band of local baddies) to figure out at first is whether Eastwood is a good guy or a bad guy. There's the requisite pretty woman and adoring child who belong to one of the miners, and it gives Eastwood to prove his intensions are high-minded.
Classic Eastwood, classic cowboy, classic classic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Jan. 28 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I love clint Eastwood and my favorites are the "spaghetti westerns". In my opinion these are the quintessential Clint Eastwood movies.
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5.0 out of 5 stars mythic tale excellent done..with good subplot, Oct. 27 2012
By 
Anthony Marinelli "marilread" (toronto on canada) - See all my reviews
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One reviewer found this tale dull and pretentious as the writer turns to myth in his tale like a religious story
where we dont know anything about person who comew to town not even his name but just preacher. They know that by his behavior, he has a religious sense to him, that is missing in others. Here we have a tale of a gold mine where the homesteaders are not being dealt fairly by a group known as hood(or something like that) so the problem heree is not rich against poor but as in myths the nature of a group of people who have appropriated the law to achieve their ends, means justifies ends. The characters are not really well rounded and we dont know that much about them, just a young girl and her mother and Eastwood rarely talks. One scene with the young girl she tries to seduce hum but he puts her off and she talks of love, and he tells her she needs to further understand that word, she wants some kind of physical relationship. He then says your MOTHER is a fine woman and when he rescues her from a gang assault and brings her to her home, dishevelled and at wits ends instead of hugging her mother she hugs the preacher. A later scene has the mother making a pass at the preacher but he leaves, and isn't interested in her, then she decides to go back to another man, she knows he's leaving town...and says to her husband he's a fine man. A little story about the meaning of love and relationships, and the preacher surmises the young girl needs to experience love in the
outside world. Reviewers may not like characters set up as types but this is the terrain where Eastwood goes in this film and others, looking into moral natures, and even the towns and everything are nameless, perhaps planetless.
I film which admittedly borrows from Shane and High Noon, but its a cogent piece of work since he goes elsewhere and here the preacher and the film is well set up. The rest of the tale is well written of in a high noon ending..and his westerns are different and not localized, much more deeply layered, and here he examines a family unable to love, these types of stories should not be explained since everyone takes from it what his life leads him to find there..I've just mentioned a few things I've not seen...I recall this film from years ago and enjoyed it again...
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5.0 out of 5 stars great, Dec 22 2011
totally enjoy this movie, amazon did a great job of having this in stock and getting it out to me .thanks RICK
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5.0 out of 5 stars an homage to clint westerns, July 16 2004
By 
brainwhistle "brainwhistle" (Westlake Village, CA United States) - See all my reviews
yes the story is similar to shane (although the preacher was
(likely) dead before the film starts, compared to shane who
was (likely) dead as the film ends)
but if anything this was more like a retrospective of clint's
western characters, with a hint of Dirty Harry thrown in
for good measure
the parallel with High Plains Drifter is obvious; the ending
where LaHood gets shot is straight out of Joe Kidd. the character
of the preacher is a pastiche of the man-with-no-name; the way
the last deputy is dispatched looks like a scene from Hang 'Em
High (and after all, by then he had fired 6 shots -- or was it
only 5?)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Eastwood Western is hurt in comparison to Shane, Sept. 29 2003
By 
Pale Rider is worth watching, but unfortunately, it draws too heavily on George Stevens's classic western Shane, which just might be the greatest western ever made. It is well-acted and nicely shot, but it really can't hold a candle to Shane.
Three stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better than "Unforgiven"!!!, July 30 2003
This Clint Eastwood western got little attention in 1985, but it still holds up well today, with Eastwood playing the man with no name mantra, it starts out with many outlaw cowboys terrorizing mountain settlers who they are trying to run off because of possible gold that could be there, we discover that the town's owner wants the mining expedition all to his self & will do anything to acquire it, this is where Eastwood comes in, in which he helps the settlers keep what is theirs, with Michael Moriarty(Law & Order) as the settler's leader & Sydney Penny(T.V.'s All my Children) as his stepdaughter who developes a fixation on Eastwood, we learn he is a priest or so we think who has sort of a mysterious past & not much is known about him, when the town's owner realizes they have outside help, he attempts to bribe him to join his cause, when that fails he then hires a ruthless sherriff & his 6 deputies who uphold whatever law there is to the highest bidder, a sherriff which Eastwood has a past with, but not much is revealed about their past, in which they have a showdown towards the end, this movie has many subplots in it that really work & the look on the shrriff's face when he realizes who he is up against is creepy, I am not sure if Eastwood was trying to make a sequel to "Outlaw of Josey Whales" or what, but it sure plays on that theme as if the sherriff was one he missed in that one, or vice versa, & is better than "Unforgiven" which in some ways could be a sequel to this one, but this one stands out & could be a stand alone movie, it should be noted that Eastwood directed all 3 films, & might have had that intension all along, I used to like "Josey Whales" the best, but this one is the better one I think!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars "...and it's rider's name was death", June 24 2003
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
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The situation is familiar enough, previously dramatized in another film, Shane (1953): A stranger appears and becomes involved with good people who are being tormented by a powerful adversary as they struggle to eke out a living as miners camped along a river. Eastwood has duly acknowledged several similarities with Shane while explaining that he wanted to create his own version and commissioned a script based on that basic situation. As for the film's title, as she was reading the Bible with her mother (a widow, played by Carrie Snodgrass), Megan Wheeler (played by Sydney Penny), comes upon this passage: "And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and its rider's name was death, and hell followed him." Soon after, a lone horseman (Clint Eastwood) dressed as a preacher, rides into camp. His name is never revealed, nor is his background, but the miners soon realize that the Preacher is probably much handier with a gun than he is with holy scripture. Of course, the confrontation with LaHood and his hired gunmen (led by a man named Stockburn) is inevitable. There is a vague but inescapable implication that the Preacher may have once ridden with Stockburn. There is no doubt that they once knew each other.
To his credit, Eastwood underplays any Biblical implications. In fact, most of the action occurs slowly. Opportunities to develop a sub plot are rejected, probably because Eastwood wants to sustain the focus on the conflict between decency and mendacity. Although the widow is obviously "taken" with the Preacher and he feels at least some attraction to her (as was also the case with Shane and Marion Starret), the Preacher rides off as the film ends, as does Shane. Hull Barret is Joe Starret's counterpart. Both are willing but neither is equal to the challenge of saving their friends from oppression. Shane and the Preacher become involved because they care about the good folks, of course, but also because (it is implied) their destiny is to confront and eliminate evil, then depart. Stockburn is a contract laborer, as is Jack Wilson in Shane. Literally, a hired gun. Nothing personal, although Stockburn (as portrayed by John Russell) seems to me somewhat world-weary whereas Wilson still seems to enjoy killing whomever he must to complete an assignment.
One final point: I have admired as well as enjoyed the development of Eastwood's skills as a director over several decades, beginning with Play Misty for Me (1971). I think there is much greater diversity in his selection and presentation of material as a director than there is as an actor. Some have characterized this as a "noir film" and in certain respects it is. The somber tone he establishes and then sustains in Pale Rider (1985) may well have contributed to the effectiveness of a comparable tone in later films, notably Unforgiven (1992). I am eager to see what new challenges he takes on in films yet to be directed but I am equally eager to see relationships of those films with earlier works such as this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Good, Though Cliched, Western. 3.5 Stars, May 5 2003
By 
Erik Morton "Erik Morton" (Carmel, CA United States) - See all my reviews
The late 70's-early 80's were not very kind towards westerns, and it was feared that the genre might be gone forever. But then, in 1985, Lawrence Kasdan's masterpiece "Silverado" blazed across the screen, and westerns were back again, unfortuanately for a rather short-lived comeback (until 1994, with the last great western: "Tombstone"). "Silverado" was not alone, however, because that same year Clint Eastwood also returned to the saddle after a nine-year period (his last, "The Outlaw Josey Wales", was back in 1976). And though not among his best, "Plae Rider" makes for worthy entertainment. The story concerns a group of prospectors who are constantly harassed by the neighboring millionare and his thugs, warning the miners to clear out or else. But the prospectors have held strong, though none of them are sure how long they can keep it up. One day, however, a mysterious stranger rides into town (sound familiar?) and decides to help them out. The whole film is basically nothing more than a rehash/merging of "Shane" and "High Plains Drifter" (Eastwood's first directorial western), with Eastwood repeating his signature role (no, not Dirty Harry) of the mysterious gunman without a name. I know that critics have declared Clint Eastwood one of the greatest actors who has ever lived (and I fondly agree), this is getting a little old, isn't think?! I mean, the man has played the part a hundred times over! "A Fistful of Dollars", "For A Few Dollars More", "The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly", "Two Mules For Sister Sara", "High Plains Drifter". . . . . . . the list goes on and on.
Okay, those were the cons, and now for the pros. However unoriginal the plot is, it has little sprinkles of the supernatural here and there, and the film possesses the dark, errie atmosphere that was found in "High Plains Drifter". And this time, the stranger is a preacher (or claims to be). And, like Eastwood's first western, you never really can tell: is the stranger just an ordinary man out for revenge, or is he a shadow of the past from beyond the grave? Whatever your opinion on it, the whole feel of it is really cool. As usual, Clint is at his squint-eyed best, and the rest of the cast does an overall great job as well. It's really nice to see John Russell ("Rio Bravo") back in a western again. Just that whole thing with the Preacher and the teenage girl I found weird, out of place, and simply pointless. The climactic showdown holds some suspense, but it's nothing to get excited about.
"Pale Rider" has been placed under the awesome Clint Eastwood Collection brand of DVD's. But it's a bit of a disappointment, especially after buying/viewing the CEC of "The Outlaw Josey Wales". While that western received a seamless remastering job as well as special features worthy of the title Special or Collector's Edition, this DVD's picture and sound quality are only passable. It's a bit blury, and the darks (especially during the night scenes) seem more blue than black. And all you get is production notes and a trailer. Oh well; I guess the better the movie, the better the DVD treatment.
Conclusion: If you're an Eastwood fan, buy it. If you're partial to originality, go get "Shane" or "High Plains Drifter" instead.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pale Rider - Melodramatic but very powerful!, April 20 2003
By 
K. Wyatt "ssintrepid" (Cape Girardeau, MO United States) - See all my reviews
After almost a full decade away from the western genre, Clint Eastwood was presented with the script for this melodramatic but very powerful western. Taking up his usual roles as producer, director and of course star, Eastwood handles each role admirably and ultimately put a classic western on the silver screen and the home theater screen. Of particular note is the score for the film, which but for the beginning and the end of the film is almost nonexistent but very ominous and powerful when present.
The premise:
Welcome to Carbon Creek California where a group of tin pan miners are demoralized and ready to quit due to the efforts of mining boss Coy LaHood (Richard Dysart) and his men. In what can only be described as prophetic, after the opening sequence, young Megan (Sydney Penny) is burying her dog, praying for a miracle and we see the Preacher (Clint Eastwood) riding into town. We then see Hull Barret (Michael Moriarty) riding into town despite warnings about what happened to him the last time he went there. In classic Eastwood style, Barret is being beaten brutally in the middle of town and Eastwood as the stranger saves the day. What follows may not be Eastwood's best western of his career but it certainly has a very intriguing and poignant plot that is quite memorable.
I would highly recommend this film to die hard Eastwood fans or the casual western fan as I believe you will find yourself pleasantly surprised by this film. {ssintrepid}
Special Features:
Production notes: A text script written by Eastwood about directing and the standard actors list with their credits.
Theatrical trailers: Pale Rider and Unforgiven
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Pale Rider / Le Cavalier Solitaire (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
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