The Films of Budd Boetticher - The Collector's Choice

The Films of Budd Boetticher - The Collector's Choice

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The Films of Budd Boetticher - The Collector's Choice 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Cinemaniac More than 1 year ago
Budd Boetticher's classic westerns in nice clean transfers. Long overdue in a digital format and highly anticipated by film buffs. The films have been detailed elsewhere. My favorites are "RIDE LONESOME," "COMANCHE STATION" and the "THE TALL T." All feature Randolph Scott as a consistent hero in a changing world who operates under a moral code that seems quaint. There's a clean, sun-baked look to these morality tales that frames the simmering tensions that are usually played out in an explosive climax. Often in a natural "arena" setting. Boetticher was very enamored of, and comfortable in, a bull ring. The underrated Scott is perfect as the taciturn, leathery-faced loner. He was a big star in his day -- but he has never been better than in these minimalist films. Always a man of few words who has a (tragic?) back story that propels his risky, usually altruistic, actions. Scott is a rivetting screen presence. His graceful, economic physicality, the way he uses his voice, rides a horse, and especially his moments of stillness are always compelling. No wasted actions. Hard to take your eyes off him. Scott was Boetticher's on-screen avatar. Boetticher's recurring elements: a lone figure seeking vengeance or justice, figures adrift amidst an untamed landscape, tight places where moral imperatives explode. And always in Boetticher's westerns, there are unexpected moments where the camera holds on the physical beauty of a place or dotes on the sensuous image of a horse being groomed or running. A cult director who continues to grow in stature, Boetticher makes the most of his deceptively simple, Zen-like tales inhabited by complex characters. But it's not the story that matters for Boetticher as much as the characters, how they move, and what they don't say, and of course the ever-present vistas that offer unexpected moments of challenge or transcendence as the moral imperative of the protagonist is actualized. Boetticher's westerns are about coping with antiquated notions of honor and justice while we traveling a path where fate, destiny and free-will intersect. I guess that's why they linger in the mind. There's an undeniable Old Testament aura to the stories yet the main character is often saddled with a sense of existential angst. Maybe that is the definition of living in the post modern world. While working on the Columbia Pictures lot on Gower St, I got to know Boetticher. He liked a western I wrote and invited me to ride one of his horses, Peropo, a spirited, unscarred veteran from the Spanish bullring. I apparently passed my test and this led to trips to Mexico where we scouted locations and Boetticher put on astonishing displays of how to fight bulls from horseback. I came to understand how much of Boetticher the man was in his westerns. Always the outsider who won't compromise, Boetticher was the real deal. Enthusiastic, witty, optimistic, artistic and a great horseman -- he relished being alive. He was also aware of a self-destructive side to his personality that was always a battle. His bare-bones westerns usually had a lone, mostly silent, somewhat alienated hero on a journey through a hostile landscape. There are tight places and grand vistas, lyrical and pastoral surprises. All metaphor's for Boetticher's view of life itself. Robin Simmons aka "Cinemaniac"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago