Tall T

The Tall T

Director: Budd Boetticher

Cast: Budd Boetticher, Randolph Scott, Richard Boone, Maureen O'Sullivan

     
 
Perhaps the grittiest and grimmest of the Randolph Scott-Budd Boetticher collaborations, The Tall T was adapted by Burt Kennedy from the Elmore Leonard short story The Captive. Scott plays a former ranch foreman who, along with newlyweds Maureen O'Sullivan and John Hubbard, is held hostage at a deserted stagecoach station by ruthless bandit Richard Boone

Overview

Perhaps the grittiest and grimmest of the Randolph Scott-Budd Boetticher collaborations, The Tall T was adapted by Burt Kennedy from the Elmore Leonard short story The Captive. Scott plays a former ranch foreman who, along with newlyweds Maureen O'Sullivan and John Hubbard, is held hostage at a deserted stagecoach station by ruthless bandit Richard Boone and his henchmen Henry Silva and Skip Homeier. Since we already know that Boone has no qualms about killing a freckle-faced 10 year old boy, we shudder to think of what's in store for Scott and his fellow captives once Boone carries out his plan to rob the next stagecoach. In Boetticher's time-honored Mexican Standoff fashion, Scott bargains with Boone for the life of O'Sullivan, but his efforts are undercut by Hubbard's cowardly treachery. The film's sparse, carefully controlled tension level bursts into full-out bloodshed only minutes before the final fade-out. Curiously, the title The Tall T is never explained at any time; certainly the "T" doesn't refer to Randolph Scott, whose character name is Pat Brennan.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Adapted from a story by Elmore Leonard, this may be the best of Boetticher's cult Westerns of the '50s. Like the others, it's a lean, laconic tale of grace under pressure, whose minimal budget allowed the director a measure of stylistic freedom. As always, a leathery Randolph Scott embodies Boetticher's vision of the weary loner who must now depend more on nerve than muscle in negotiating the hazards of the west. The plot hangs on the fascination of Richard Boone's stage-robber with the integrity of an opponent whose blend of stoicism and wary intelligence provides a welcome relief from the company of his moronic sidekicks. The low-key sparring of the two leads reveals how much both men have in common, and the film's surprisingly complex morality is able to encompass a range of behavior that would mark neither as sinner or saint. Scott's rock-ribbed iconography fits perfectly here, but it's Boone, Leonard's favorite actor, who steals the film as a violent man wondering where he went wrong.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/06/2012
UPC:
0043396413900
Original Release:
1957
Rating:
NR
Source:
Sony Pictures Home
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:18:00
Sales rank:
42,774

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Randolph Scott Pat Brennan
Richard Boone Frank Usher
Maureen O'Sullivan Doretta Mims
Arthur Hunnicutt Ed Rintoon
Skip Homeier Billy Jack
Henry Silva Chink
John Hubbard Willard Mims
Robert Burton Tenvoorde
Robert Anderson Jace
Fred E. Sherman Hank Parker
Christopher Olsen Jeff

Technical Credits
Budd Boetticher Director
Mischa Bakaleinikoff Musical Direction/Supervision
George Brooks Art Director
Harry Joe Brown Producer
Al Clark Editor
Burt Kennedy Screenwriter
Charles Lawton Cinematographer
Heinz Roemheld Score Composer
Wilfred Shingleton Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Tall T
1. Chapter 1 [10:18]
2. Chapter 2 [10:37]
3. Chapter 3 [10:07]
4. Chapter 4 [8:28]
5. Chapter 5 [9:49]
6. Chapter 6 [8:43]
7. Chapter 7 [11:34]
8. Chapter 8 [7:48]

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