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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on October 5, 2003
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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on October 27, 2012
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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on October 26, 2002
Climbing back into the saddle after a nine year break from Westerns Clint Eastwood shows us he is the best in the business when it comes to this genre.In this outing he takes not only to the saddle but to the Directors chair,and the result is a visually spectacular and wholly atmospheric story.
The setting is Northern California,1860,(though the film was actually shot on location in Idaho's Sawtooth National Park)and centres around a group of gold-miners in a place called Carbon Canyon,the last area of land where mining mogul Coy LaHood(Richard Dysart) hasn't been able to set up his land-scarring hydraulic monitors.Even after numerous raids by his workers the stubborn 'tin panners' refuse to leave.But their resolve is waning.
A young girl(Sydney Penny),strong in her faith,prays for a miracle after a particulary brutal raid one morning.Enter Clint Eastwood.
I have watched this movie many times and still I am unsure of Clints character.And that's why this movie works.His aloof and mysterious 'Preacher',all the way through,begs the question is he real or is he a ghost?A suggestive script opens doors to this mans past but he himself coyly skirts around any direct answers with a dry mono-syllabic dialogue as to his true identity.He becomes an enigma to us,while outwardly to the miners of Carbon Canyon he becomes a savior in a clerical collar who seems to know how to use a six-shooter to full effect.
The two main female characters,Sarah Wheeler(Carrie Snodgress) and her daughter Megan(Sydney) are drawn to this lone stranger which causes a somewhat awkward sub-plot to the story but I feel it is entirely plausible and makes you really understand what motivates these two richly drawn characters.Alot of the female roles in Westerns are one-dimensional,Sarah and Megan are anything but.
After negotiations fail between LaHood and the tin-pans Coy enlists the services of a corrupt Marshal(the late John Russell) and his six Deputies to rid the canyon of this troublesome Preacher.The showdown is set,and amidst the spectacular backdrop of the snow swept mountains and an eerie wind that you can almost feel the Preacher drops the Deputies one by one as they hunt for him in the small town of LaHood.Then he finally reveals himself to the Marshal,who up til now has had his suspicions as to his identity."But the man I'm thinking of is dead" he tells Coy earlier in the scene.
As the Preacher lifts his head,the shadow of his hat-brim taking flight and revealing a stubbled face with cold penetrating eyes Marshal Stockburn is clearly shocked."You!" he stammers.And here we realise that indeed these two men have met before and a few pieces of the puzzle fall into place as to the Preachers history,but somehow he remains as enigmatic as ever.
This story is just that well written.
If you haven't seen this movie I won't spoil it by explaining the ending,but it is reminiscient of Shane in some respects.I highly recommend this classic Western,by far,in my opinion,the best one ever made.
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on February 5, 2002
If you're a Clint Eastwood fan, I'd recommend viewing this movie. If you like movies that are true-to-life and that make some sort of statement, this isn't one I'd recommend.
The plot is well developed, although it's the usual David vs. Goliath story. John Russell gives an excellent performance as Marshall Stockburn, a man who you'll love to hate when the movie is over. Richard Dysart also does a nice job as the wealthy miner Coy LaHood, bringing out the snobbishness and arrogance of 19th Century aristocrats very well.
Eastwood gives his usual performance as the "bad" good guy. This time Clint Eastwood plays a man known only as "Preacher", descriptive only of his name, certainly not of his profession. I'd compare "Preacher" to Robin Hood, robbing from the rich (Dysart) and giving back to the poor (Michael Moriarty and others). If you can handle a little blood and violence, this is a very watchable film, though it's not Eastwood's best, and it's not something I'd let a five-year-old watch.
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on February 26, 2002
Made years prior to his classic Unforgiven, Pale Rider offers positive proof that no other contemporary filmmaker understands the mythic texture and rhythm of the American Western better than actor/director Clint Eastwood. Combining elements from Shane and High Plains Drifter, Pale Rider tells the tale of a mysterious gunslinging preacher that comes to the aid of embattled settlers in the Pacific Northwest. While the film does have its weakness, namely too closely resembling superior films, it has its strengths as well, mainly invoking the laconic, rugged individualism that is the hallmark of all great westerns, some rousing actions scenes, and well drawn characters and situations. The religious underpinnings are also of larger interest thanks in part to the screenwriting of Dennis Shyrack and Michael Butler (who used similiar theological symbolism in their scripts for the Eastwood chase thriller The Gauntlet as well as the B-movie level horror show The Car).
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on December 23, 2000
Pale Rider is a nice, eerie western. It is almost the opposite of Eastwood's masterpeice, "High Plains Drifter." Eastwood plays The Preacher, a ghosly, um, well... ghost, that appears out of nowhere to help a town under attack by a corrupt mining tycoon's henchmen. He, oddly, becomes adored by the women of the town(unlike in High Plains Drifter, in which he was despised). He is actually more ghostly than in "Drifter," being there one second, and when you turn your back for a second, dissapearing. Eastwood delivers his normal, quiet, squinting appearance. However, it seems like the bad guys have nothing better to do than look out the window all day, and the main villain walks right up to Eastwood in the final battle, as if he WANTS to be shot. You keep wanting to say "WHY DIDN'T YOU SHOOT HIM?" Pale Rider is a fun western, and quite enjoyable.
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on July 25, 2002
You might be tempted for thinking that a theme as routinely mythic as the lone gunman saving a town would make for some fairly predictable stuff, but Pale Rider defies the odds and achieves a wholly new level in the genre. This is partly due to the extreme simplicity of the plot (Mining tyrant attempts a ruthless eviction of honest settlers), the astonishing scenery, but mainly a result of Eastwood's gritty, monosyllabic anti-hero, who by the end of the film seems completely enigmatic, genuinely mythic. The film draws on the old Kurosawa themes so richly plundered in 'The Magnificent Seven' and other films of the like, but this is finally a simple, age-old tale, beautifully filmed and a perfectly executed tour-de-force. It's better, even, than 'Unforgiven' and that's saying something.
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on March 31, 2001
Pale Rider is Clint EASTWOOD ON HIS WAY TO UNFORGIVE,GETTING OUT SOME wESTERN CLICHES ON THE WAY TO A MASTERPIECE. tHE STORY IS ONE PART SHANE, ON PART SPAGHETTI WESTERN,AND THOROUGHLY ENJOYABLE. HE PLAYS A MAN WITH NO NAME[CALLED PREACHER]WHO AMBELS INTO A MINING COMMUNITY DURING A RANGE WAR.MICHAEL MORIARITY PLAYS THE 'LEADER' OF THE PROSPECTERS,WITH CARRIE SNODGRASS AS HIS WIFE AND A YOUNG SYDNEY PENNY AS THE COMING OF AGE STEP DAUGHTER.THE ENSUING CARNAGE IS TYPICAL WESTERN, SOMEHOW EASTWOOD DOES IT WITH SUCH EASE YOU ENJOY IT THOUGH YOU HAVE SEEN IT ALL BEFORE.THE AVENGING ANGEL MOTIF WORKS IF YOU WATCH THE CREDITS ALL THE WAY TO THE END,BY THE WAY.A GOOD WORKABLE WESTERN,GOOD NOT GREAT EASTWOOD,THOUGH VERY ENJOYABLE.
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on August 31, 2001
This was a very good movie. Clint Eastwood plays a hired gunfighter who comes to the rescue of the miners in a local
mining town. Michael Moriarity plays the role of the tycoon and
the villain to the hilt. This movie has an excellent plot. The
action in this movie is unparalled. Clint Eastwood lives up to
his role of a hired killer to the maximum. The scenery in this movie is also award winning. The action as always lives up to
all expectations. Once again Clint Eastwood is the quiet,always
dangerous stranger who saves the day. Be sure to watch this movie. It has good action as well as good acting. This is an
entertaining movie.
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on 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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