High Plains Drifter was submitted to me for review and I was hesitant to see it. I've only viewed two of Clint Eastwood's westerns and even though I enjoyed them I doubted that more really needed to be said with the genre. Remarkably enough I was wrong.
Eastwood directs and stars in the film, but this time his character really does have no name, or at least none that is spoken on screen. Riding into a small mining town the nameless character kills three locals who attempt to work him over in a barber's chair.
Impressed with his skills the townsfolk hire him to help them defend against three soon to be ex-cons who previously whipped the former town marshall to death. The nameless gunfighter is given everything he wants including the opportunity to literally paint the town red.
While this seems like simple fare for westerns this picture is a revenge play, albeit a pulp one. With it's supernatural approach, Eastwood's bizarre choice in music, and it's extremely dark scenes High Plains Drifter is by no means the best movie he's directed, but it may be one of the most surreal. It's not high art, but if you already enjoy the genre it's worth a look.
Want to see your favorite film reviewed here? Send me an email or drop a comment.
"Eastwood registers strongly as actor and director of this revenge Western (yet another critique of High Noon), with a style that's influenced by his mentors, the economic efficiency of Don Siegel with touches of Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Westerns." - Emanuel Levy