Monday, Sep 2020
Director: William Fraker
Screenwriters: Lukas Heller & David Zelag Goodman from Jack Shaefer's novel
Length: 106 mins.
Released: 1970

monte walshCinematographer William Fraker's directorial debut is a blue tale of the sun setting on the old west and the fading away of old cowboys. Monte Walsh is based on a novel by Jack Schaefer (Shane). Monte (Lee Marvin) and Chet Rollins (Jack Palance) are pals that find it increasingly difficult to find cowboy work. Monte swears, "I ain't doing nothing I can't do from a horse". So they move from being cow hands to busting bronchos. Edging closer to the lowest form of cowboy work; riding fence. Chet laments; "I wish I knew something besides cowboying". At times the movie meanders into side plots such as skip, the stinky cook. But overall it captures the sadness of the passing of an era, the end of the wild west.

The film features wonderful cinematography, capturing the timeless beauty of the west. A stark contrast to the fleeting life of the cowboy. It also contains a terrific round-up scene. And the best broncho busting sequence of any Western. The town is broke before the horse. Fans of Lee Marvin will not be disappointed with Monte Walsh as he turns in a wonderful performance and carries the movie through some slow points and side plots.

Monte Walsh is a good movie and certainly viewing time well spent. However, it doesn't quite make the Must See grade. It is a very strong Good Viewer.

Cast:

  • Lee Marvin....Monte Walsh
  • Jeanne Moreau....Martine Bernard
  • Jack Palance.... Chet Rollins
  • Mitch Ryan.... Shorty Austin
  • Jim Davis....Cal Brennan
  • G.D. Spradlin....Hal Henderson
  • John Hudkins....Sonny Jacobs
  • Raymond Guth....Sunfish Perkins
  • John R. McKee....Petey Williams
  • Michael Conrad....Dally Johnson
  • Tom Heaton....Sugar Wyman
  • Ted Gehring....Skimpy Eagans
  • Bo Hopkins....Jumpin' Joe Joslin
  • John McLiam....Fightin' Joe Hooker
  • Allyn Ann McLerie... Mary Eagle
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