The Tall T

1957

Romance  Thriller  Western  

2
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - certified fresh 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - upright 82%
IMDb Rating 7.4

Synopsis


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Cast

Richard Boone as n Frank Ushernn
Maureen O'Sullivan as n Doretta Mimsnn
Arthur Hunnicutt as n Ed Rintoonnn
Henry Silva as n Chinknn
720p 1080p
BluRay
n 1280*682 n
n English n
n NR n
n 23.976 fps n
n 1hr 18 min n
P/S 23 / 83
BluRay
n 1920*1024 n
n English n
n NR n
n 23.976 fps n
n 1hr 18 min n
P/S 29 / 118

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

Randolph Scott's Finest Hour.

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

An unadorned, perfect western.

Columbia Picture's THE TALL T is one of the great westerns of the fifties! It is also one of the best westerns Randolph Scott would appear in under the banner of "Ranown" his jointly owned production company which he headed with his partner Harry Joe Brown. Not only that but it is arguably the best of Scott's westerns to be directed by his favourite director and friend Budd Boetticher. Beautifully photographed in Technicolor by the great Charles Lawton Jr. it boasts a superb screenplay by Burt Kennedy which derived from a story by Elmore Leonard. This, together with Boetticher's masterful direction and the cast's adroit performances turned it into a taut and suspenseful drama located in a remote and engaging western setting.Scott is Pat Brennan making his way home to his ranch when the stagecoach he is on is held up by three desperate killers. A newly married woman on the coach (Maureen O'Sullivan) is taken hostage and held for a ransom from her affluent father. Her squeamish and cowardly new husband (John Hubbard) is killed along with the stage driver and Brennan and the woman are held until the ransom is paid and delivered. Eventually the opportunity comes about where Brennan sees the chance to thwart the gang's intentions and take them on in what is a well executed and action packed finale.The cast couldn't be better! Scott, of course, is his usual granite-faced self. With that terrific voice, easy going manner and a way at delivering a line with a wry smile that is altogether appealing. Richard Boone who always excelled as a baddie doesn't disappoint here. As Frank Usher the leader of the errant trio he is unsmiling, cool and calculating. He must have kept his part here in mind when ten years later he would play a similar type role in Paul Newman's "Hombre" as the gang leader with the cracker of a name... Cicero Grimes. Playing his partners in crime here are Skip Homeier as Billy Jack the childish, naive and gullible gunman and the brilliant Henry Silva as Chink the hardened killer with a creepy effeminate demeanor ("hey Frank I've never killed myself a woman yet - have I?"). Usher has little time for them both and even less respect as he confides in Brennan "I don't like them - the way they are, always talking the same words about women, drinkin' and such". Accusingly Brennan retorts "You run with them!". As the only female in the picture Maureen O'Sullivan gives a fine performance as the unattractive and somewhat drab hostage and Arthur Hunnicutt is splendid as Rintoon the ill-fated stage driver. Underlining this thriller of a western is the fine atmospheric score by Heinz Roemheld. Born 1n 1901 Roemheld had a voluminous output that would almost put Max Steiner to shame. During his lengthy career he either composed, conducted or arranged the music for almost 300 films. It is a wonder he was not better known. But he is remembered for his fine score in 1952 for the Kirk Douglas Warner picture "The Big Trees". Randolph Scott seemed to like his work as he had him score all of his Boetticher/Columbia films of which "Commanche Station" (1960) stands out. Heinz Roemheld died in 1985.THE TALL T is a fondly remembered western and new generations have discovered it. It had a great star in Randolph Scott who remains an enduring icon of the Hollywood western alongside Gary Cooper, Joel McCrea, James Stewart and of course John Wayne.

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

Classic of its kind.

Movies like this are a lost art form. Simple, concise, they tell their stories without excess adornment. Its funny that as audience tastes have become progressively less refined movies have become more pretentious and obvious. If this movie was made today it would run nearly three hours with a turgid, Wagnerian musical score, and apocalyptic imagery. This film, on the other hand, is simplicity defined, and all the better for it. Its interesting to see the psychology of the characters; at one point Boone says that his cruel compatriots can't help the way they are, but it is more a way for his character to excuse his own actions away, as he secretly yearns for the kind of life Scott's character has--the difference being that Scott sticks to his own personal code, and Boone never even developed one. Little moments fill this movie and make it a fine Western: Scott sizing up a bull with an almost child-like look of joy on his face, Scott hitting his head on a stoop and Boone's unrestrained laughter. Best of all is the beautiful high desert imagery, another lost art being the art of properly filming in the desert without everything looking orange and shimmery. Maybe if modern Hollywood looked to its past rather than computers for salvation more people would go to their movies.

Reviewed by n/a 9 / 10

One of the best of the Ranowns

SPOILERS.If you're attracted only to black-and-white dramas shot in the rain in Slovenia, you probably won't like this one.It's a no-nonsense El Cheapo Western shot on a low budget, an elementary piece of exposition of masculine honor, with Boetticher, Scott, Kennedy, Richard Boone, and movie flats -- all at the top of their forms.What distinguishes the half-dozen or so Westerns that came from Boetticher and Scott is not so much the plot, which is generally simple, but the slight twists in character and the occasional grace notes in the dialogue.You have to love this dialogue. "Cookin'? That's WIMMIN's work!" And, said by Scott in all sincerity, "There are some things a man can't ride around." And, "There are ten head of wimmin for every man in Sonora. Course, most of them is just hurrah gals." And, "I'm not gonna get shot in the belly just 'cause you're feelin' sorry for yourself." And, "Why don't you just say it out in words?"Basically the story has Scott and O'Sullivan (who, twenty years earlier had been Tarzan's delectable mate) held hostage by Boone and his two shallow young companions, Billy Jack (Skip Homeier) and Chink (Henry Silva). Boone, although a vicious murderer, is not entirely unsympathetic. He feels forced to "run with" these coarse companeros who live from moment to moment. They don't even know their own ages. They've been beaten and mistreated since they were kids. ("You run with them," says Scott reprovingly.) Boone, on the other hand, is sick of their talk about wimmin and such. He is lonely, has no family or wummin waiting for him. "Talk," he orders Scott at gunpoint, "about anything!" He dreams of someday having a spread of his own, with a couple of cattle, working the ground. But the code -- I mean the movie code of the 1950s, not the Western code -- is an unforgiving one. He is, after all, a murderer. When O'Sullivan's cowardly new husband is given permission to ride off to freedom and desert his wife, Boone turns away and mutters, "Bust him, Chink." The coward's name is Willard Mimms -- Arthur Honeycutt draws out the vowel and imposes a dipthong on it when he pronounces the name -- "Mee-yums." We know Mimms is toast five seconds after we meet him.Richard Boone is great as the heavy with the daydreams. In a particularly violent climax he is blinded by a shotgun, twirls around entangled in a burlap sheet, and collapses. Scott shows his range in this movie. He laughs at the beginning and becomes grim after being taken hostage. He even forcefully smothers O'Sullivan in passionate kisses. And I thought he only like horses and mules. Commanding too is the performance of Henry Silva, in pink shirt and suspenders. He's clever, the way a sewer rat is clever. He slouches when he walks, and he stands hipshot. His expression hardly ever varies. And his voice is matter of fact, even when he's eagerly anticipating dumping yet another body in the well.It's quite a lot of fun, shot as it is in Movie Flats. That's Mount Whitney in the background, the highest peak in California's Sierra Nevada. The highest peak in the lower 48 for that matter.

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