Written by / 3/05/2016 / No comments / , , , , ,

HOW THE WEST WAS WON AWFUL FILM

They had everything from a big cast, big sets, big country, big directors, and yet, no plot or purpose!
Filmed in a process called Cinerama, where the not so Wild West comes to life in a wide barrage of epic beauty, the gorgeous countryside literally bursting off all sides of the screen as Spencer Tracy narrates, this is possibly (and surprisingly) the worst "Cowboy Flick" of all time...

Released: 1962
Beginning with a family moving up river whose stubborn yet beautiful young daughter, played by GIANT starlet Carroll Baker, falls quickly in lust with a crusty 55-year-old James Stewart as a rogue trapper who was intended to be (and logically would and should be) in his late twenties, a ridiculous casting choice in a motion picture that, overall, is an all-star ensemble menagerie within a misleading epic motif…

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The pallid dialogue of each scene goes on for miles, seeming like filler to make the run-time fit within the saga template, begging for an Oscar win dotted with a few rushed action sequences and each story, handled by three directors, has little to do with The West or it being “won,” including Debbie Reynolds wrangled by two polar opposites, Gregory Peck as a dashing gambler and Robert Preston, who has a big ranch and wants her child-bearing hips to bring him delightful offspring…

In one scene, Reynolds’ determined showgirl, contrasting colorfully on the hard, dusty road, breaks into a musical number to a group of disheveled cowboys… And during the third act, after two boring Overture Theme breaks, we finally wind up with the film’s buried lead, George Peppard as the deceased Stewart and an aged-in-bad-makeup Baker’s idealistic son (befitting the budding 1960's "New Heroes With More Message Than Muscles"), fighting a nefarious railway boss, Richard Widmark, for support of the double-crossed Indians… And if the entire film centered on Peppard’s more-focused dilemma following an underwhelming Civil War sequence, it would have made a lot more sense in this overlong and embarrassingly unwatchable vehicle. And John Wayne fans beware, his cameo is an important as a tree in a children’s play, or a Roman guard in... well that's another story.

RATING: *
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