Tuesday, June 26, 2018


Westerns have never been my favorite genre. It's not that I don't like them the way I tend not to like musicals; it's more that for me, westerns tend to blend into one another a lot more than other genres. A good example of that for me was the movie Warlock.

One day in the mining town of Warlock, a group of men come into town and shoot it up, intimidating the latest deputy sheriff. It seems that they have form in this matter, having gotten one lawman after another to quit because of the group's violence. Some of the townspeople want to send for the marshal, but he's too far away to be able to do any good, so a different group want to bring in the vigilante gunman Clay Blaisedell (Henry Fonda). Clay comes as part of a package with his good friend Tom Morgan (Anthony Quinn).

Clay proceeds with trying to bring law and order to the town, even winning a gunfight with some of the group of violent men without having to resort to taking a shot. Not only that, but Johnny Gannon (Richard Widmark) decides he's going to leave the group and join the forces of good. And Clay strikes up a relationship with local woman Jessie (Dolores Michaels). Meanwhile, Morgan's old flame Lily (Dorothy Malone) is coming to town. Lily, through another of her old boyfriends, has a past with Clay. But before Lily gets there, Gannon's old group holds up the stagecoach, killing a man in the process.

A lot of complications ensue before the final showdown. Or final showdowns, because there's one between Gannon and Clay, and another between Gannon and Morgan.

Warlock is one of those competently made movies that people who are already predisposed to being fans of westerns are probably going to like a lot. As I said at the top, I've never been as much of a fan of westerns, so I didn't have the love for it that many people will. This isn't to say anything bad about the movie. It just felt to me as though it was treading over a lot of the same ground that other westerns I've already seen have done. If I have one problem with it, it's that at just over two hours, it's a bit too long. But the acting is good, and the cinematography is good too.

If you like westerns, then I'm confident you're going to enjoy Warlock. It's available on DVD courtesy of Fox's MOD scheme.

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