Oh, right. I bought a Shirley Temple DVD box set almost a decade ago, but forgot to watch this movie… The other ones were pretty good, if I recall correctly?
This is taking some time to start revving… It’s all very charming and stuff, but it feels like they’re moving people around so that they can start the movie.
Shirley Temple’s father here is a blackguard and a cad (I’m quoting his brother-in-law), so the plot here is basically that he’s asking for money to disappear from their lives… but I’m guessing there’s gonna be a big sentimental finish after he realises that he can’t etc. And I’m fine with that.
Well that didn’t take long.
Oh my god… Temple had to say all these long, convoluted lines! She memorised better at … six? Then I’ve ever been able to.
I don’t remember Cooper hamming it up like this! I think of him mostly as a … pretty dour actor? But he’s totally getting into the silly swing of things here.
This is a cute movie, but instead of zipping along like a screwball comedy, it’s rather… ponderous? It seems like half of the scenes last twice as long as they should — it feels like they’re padding the time or something? It’s 80 minutes as it is, and edited down to a pace that would keep the comedy popping, it would have been less than an hour.
There’s good scenes here — especially at the start. But it promises a movie of hi-jinx and heists, and instead it’s just… sad and melancholy.
Now and Forever. Henry Hathaway. 1934. ⚂
That’s not a bad opening scene! These shootingest guys are so eveeel that they kill a cow… and… THE LITTLE DOG!!! IS THERE NO LIMIT!
But seriously, it’s kinda wonky? Like all the stunt guys weren’t quite told where to be, so there was a lot of hesitancy? But it was pretty good anyway.
Hey! This is a lot of fun! I mean, it’s funny! I don’t think Clintwood going for humour exactly, but this is “whoo! yeah!” in the most basic way.
It’s so silly! They’re just hitting that boulder? What about driving a steel pole into it or something to split it instead? I know, I’m not a master rock hitter or anything, but … that just seems like the … bare minimum… you should do.
Now they’re all hitting the boulder!!! I love it!
Is this a made-for-tv movie?
The film, which took in nearly $41 million at the box office, became the highest grossing Western of the 1980s.
It’s just so… gauche — you wouldn’t think a seasoned film cinematographer would sign off on some of these shots. But it’s a veteran, so…
This is such a fun movie — no subtext, just a super-hero that rides in to save the day, killing a whole bunch of assholes.
But it’s kinda… lacking… in any other qualities. But whatevs.
Pale Rider. Clint Eastwood. 1985. ⚄
Oh, that’s a name I haven’t seen in a while… was that a 70s thing? Yes it was. This must be the final First Artists movie, perhaps? It was set up as a thing for the hot actors who wanted to make movies slightly outside the system, but not really, like Barbra Streisand, Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier, Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen (quoting Wikipedia).
William Wiard is a name I can’t recall seeing before, but he made a buttload of TV… and this is his only film?
I was a bit distracted while watching this, but… I kinda wasn’t feeling it? There were good bits, though.
Tom Horn. William Wiard. 1980. ⚂