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JACQUES TOURNEUR'S 'WAY OF A GAUCHO' WITH RORY CALHOUN

Rory Calhoun rarely looks behind Year: 1952 Rates: ***
Jacques Tourneur makes stylish Westerns, from CANYON PASSAGE before to WICHITA after, and WAY OF A GAUCHO is about the "original cowboys," the titular Argentine bandits who "Go with God" and are as patriotic as they come, and go: Making the famous "last refuge of a scoundrel" quote more pro than con: at least for one in particular who rides in the glory of the Old Days...

That we never really learn about so we can only follow the intrepid horse-clopping footsteps of Rory Calhoun's "condor-eyed" Martin Penalosa as the best scenes have our anti-hero breaking the law, sent under Richard Boone's harsh military command and eventually finding his own way. This is where things slowly collapse upon an overly grandiose soundtrack and a maze of plotlines marring what should've been a more simple, honest Western that Tourneur's good at...

Gene Tierney in Way of a Gaucho RATES: ***
Painted with broad strokes, the surrounding countrysides feel like another world entirely, so there's a Fantasy element underneath the deep brown saddles and painted red scarves, as if Penalosa's more a lean Barbarian than maverick horseman, and with Tourneur, a Gothic undertone lurks as well...

But our man needed more of a goal, an urgency, than to ride along (with forced ingenue Gene Tierney when guitar-strumming Everette Sloane would've made a terrific sidekick) full of stubborn, woeful pride. Which doesn't mean the battle scenes with horses flowing along the sweeping camera isn't worthwhile. Above and beyond everything else, this GAUCHO looks fantastic. And "Who is the gaucho amigo?" to look anyway else.
A great image of Rory Cahoun who can stand his horse Rory Calhoun WAY OF A GAUCHO Jacques Tourneur Roy Calhoun
Everette Sloane in WAY OF A GAUCHO
Everette Sloane in WAY OF A GAUCHO with Rory Calhoun

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