Tom Logan is a horse thief. Rancher David Braxton has horses, and a daughter, worth stealing. But Braxton has just hired Lee Clayton, an infamous "regulator", to hunt down the horse thieves; one at a time.
Due to the lack of men after the Civil War, a small western town allows a bachelorette with ulterior motives to save a horse thief from the gallows by marrying him. They must deal with his old gang, the Sheriff, the bank, and each other.
A cowboy rides into a small town that is ruled with an iron fist by a corrupt Sheriff. He becomes involved with a pretty young town girl and some residents who are trying to oust the ... See full summary »
Blaise Starrett is a rancher at odds with homesteaders when outlaws hold up the small town. The outlaws are held in check only by their notorious leader, but he is diagnosed with a fatal wound and the town is a powder keg waiting to blow.
Wes, Vern and Otis are three cowhands on the way to a cattle drive. Coming upon what is to be an omen of their future... an outlaw hung by a group of vigilantes...the trio finds shelter at a cabin, only to discover that their "hosts" are men who have robbed a stagecoach and killed the guard. When an avenging posse attacks the cabin, Wes and Vern escape, only to find that they have become branded as 'outlaws' by the posse, who relentlessly pursue them. Written by
Monte Hellman makes art movies--as in Mr. Wim Wenders, or Mr. Robert Bresson, for that matter. How he disguised them as hot-rod movies, or trendy hippie bashes, or simple old Westerns, is beyond me, so rarefied, quiet, composed, and art-conscious are they. RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND, scripted by its star, Jack Nicholson, reduces "the Western" to abstract essentials. Guys in a shack getting smoked out by the lawmen outside. Guys on the lam from a lynch mob. Stoical lynch-mob hanging. Tense, purse-lipped conversation between outlaw and kidnapped good-girl type. Presented against a stark landscape with no extras (I'm sure Hellman'll tell you it's sheer economics), the scenes take on the quality of gallery installations based on Western plot devices. If you ever wondered where the laconic sensibility of such latter-day types as Jim Jarmusch and Michael Almereyda came from, here's a hint.
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