Tripping Through Gateways

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One night in a small town, local ranch hands are visiting the local whorehouse. One of the ranch hands becomes enraged with the girl he is with and brutally attacks her, leaving her scarred.  When the Sheriff, Little Bill, arrives, he sets the penalties for the ranch hand.  The Madam, Strawberry Alice, finds his verdict horribly insufficient.  They start to pool their money to hire a gunslinger to kill the man. Elsewhere,… Read More

Jed Cooper is a former lawman. After buying some cattle, he finds himself at the mercy of a posse. Believing he killed the owner and stole the cattle, they hang him. He is found before he suffocates by a lawman who brings him to see the Judge.  After being found innocent, the Judge convinces him to return to being a lawman. Between jobs the judge sends him on, Jed tries to find… Read More

An itinerant Preacher rides into a mining town facing pressure from a greedy mining company.  He ends up helping the town stand up to the owner of the mining company and his thugs. The simple story is a throwback to earlier Eastwood westerns, with Clint’s character having no name other than “Preacher”.  I suspect Pale Rider has had the greatest influence on the perception of Eastwood’s western history.  He is almost supernatural… Read More

At the end of the Civil War, Josey Wales just wanted to live in peace.  When Union Soldiers burn his house and kill his wife, he takes up with a band of rebellious Confederate Soldiers.  Eventually, their leader Fletcher convinces everyone to turn themselves in to the Union Army.  Wales refuses to join his compatriots.  Watching from afar, he starts to realize Fletcher has sold his men out and they are going… Read More

The small mining town of Lago is shaken by the arrival of a mysterious stranger who came from the desert.  After he guns down three men harassing him, the town wants his help.  The sheriff was killed by a gang, and they want him to help them deal the returning gang. After agreeing, the Stranger discovers the town was actually complicit in the death of their sheriff, who had discovered important information… Read More

Ex-Bounty Hunter Joe Kidd is in jail.  His opportunity for freedom comes when Frank Harlan wants to hire him to take out the revolutionary leader Luis Chuma. Reluctant at first, when he learns Chuma has raided his ranch (and hurt a worker), Kidd joins up. Kidd vows to bring Chuma to actual justice, rather than to a lynch mob, putting him at odds with  Harlan. While Kidd is not a mysterious character,… Read More

Hogan comes across Sara, a nun in peril.  After saving her, the two become traveling companions.  Sara is on the run from the French and Hogan agrees to help her out. Hogan is a more detailed character than his “man With No Name” role. This is needed for the film, because Hogan and Sara’s relationship is dependent on their ability to connect to each other.  The film has a light undertone, mainly… Read More

The third film in the Man With No Name trilogy finds Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef returning.  Interestingly, Van Cleef is playing a different character in this film. This time around he is the untrustworthy villain Angel Eyes. Eastwood’s Blondie (the film’s “Good”) is introduced as a bounty hunter who captures the violent criminal Tuco (the titular “Ugly”).  He turns him in to the authorities and collects the bounty. But the… Read More

Eastwood returns for another round as the Man With No Name.  For a few Dollars More finds him living the life of a bounty hunter. The film opens by introducing us to Col Douglas Mortimer. On a train a man is trying to talk to him, but Mortimer shuts him up by lowering a bible and revealing an icy stare (Lee Van Cleef has a steely eyed squint that can rival the… Read More

A quiet drifter gets caught up in the local politics between two families of the town of San Miguel.   Playing both sides, he seeks to make, well, a fistful of dollars. While Eastwood built up some fame through the late fifties, especially with Rawhide, it is really the Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns that set up his iconic persona.  1964’s Fistful of Dollars is a simple and tightly told story. The Man With… Read More