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Author Topic: High Plains Drifter turns 40!  (Read 1730 times)
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« on: April 14, 2013, 06:55:06 PM »

 " 'High Plains Drifter' turns 40! "

 Clint Eastwood's classic western

By Robert Kirchgassner

By 1973, Clint Eastwood’s name was already synonymous with westerns, but, when you look at his filmography, he’s only directed four of them.

The first of these, High Plains Drifter, turns 40 this year! This was also the second film Eastwood directed. His previous turn in the director’s chair was the superlative thriller Play Misty for Me (1971).

In Drifter, Eastwood plays an unnamed stranger who wonders into the town of Lago and eventually helps its citizens drive away murderous bandits.

Of course, Eastwood played a similar character in previous westerns, but what makes Drifter unique is that the no-name character has moments where he commits acts that are as deplorable as those of the villains. The most prominent of these is how he deals with a woman (Marianna Hill) who is insulting him early in the film.

Another departure from previous Eastwood westerns is the film’s suggestion that the stranger may be the reincarnation of Lago’s sheriff, who, as the audience learns, was whipped to death by the bad guys while the cowardly citizens stood by and did nothing.

Eastwood was able to play roles like this in his sleep by this point. As good as he is, though, the scene-stealer is Billy Curtis as Mordecai, a midget who becomes the closest thing the stranger has to a friend and whom the stranger designates Lago’s sheriff and mayor.

Clint would go on to direct three more memorable westerns, The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), Pale Rider (1985) and Unforgiven (1992), along with numerous other classic non-westerns.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2013, 06:58:57 PM by higashimori » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2013, 07:00:50 PM »

I guess there's no such thing as bad publicity, but ...

...  Eastwood plays an unnamed stranger who wonders into the town of Lago ...

"Wonders"? ??? Can't really say the rest of that sentence is particularly accurate, either.
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