During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.
Some time after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. Bounty hunter John Ruth and his fugitive captive Daisy Domergue race towards the town of Red Rock, where Ruth will bring Daisy to justice. Along the road, they encounter Major Marquis Warren (an infamous bounty hunter) and Chris Mannix (a man who claims to be Red Rock's new sheriff). Lost in a blizzard, the bunch seeks refuge at Minnie's Haberdashery. When they arrive they are greeted by unfamiliar faces: Bob, who claims to be taking care of the place while Minnie is gone; Oswaldo Mobray, the hangman of Red Rock; Joe Gage, a cow puncher; and confederate general Sanford Smithers. As the storm overtakes the mountainside, the eight travelers come to learn that they might not make it to Red Rock after all... Written by
This film's 70mm roadshow version is a "heavyweight" in more ways than one. The analogue film is spooled on twenty reels, with a combined running time of 187 minutes, and weighs in at over 250 pounds. See more »
The handcuff key that Major Warren obtains from Domergue is from a modern set of present day manufacture handcuffs. Handcuff keys of the time of the 1870's or earlier were not as smooth or polished or thin as the one seen in this shot. See more »
You'd have to go back 80 years or so to the film adaptation of Sidney Kingsley's Dead End to find a film where the set qualifies as a living participant of the action. The house in the adaption of the Eugene O'Neill classic Long Day's Journey Into Night also qualifies here.
The action is set up when the stagecoach where bounty hunter Kurt Russell is taking his prisoner Jennifer Jason Leigh to the town of Red Rock to be hung. A couple of prairie hitchhikers also come on board another bounty hunter Samuel L. Jackson and Walton Goggins son of a former Confederate general who says he's the new sheriff in the town of Red Rock. Kurt Russell replete with full flowing beard and mustache is one suspicious man. He has those suspicions justified before the film is ended.
80% of the action takes place on set of the 19th century bed and breakfast during the time of a nasty Wyoming winter and does the dialog crackle. If you think you're going to see a western the kind that John Ford or Howard Hawks or Henry Hathaway did back in the old days, then don't watch The Hateful Eight. Hateful is the operating word with these characters, there's nothing really noble about any of them.
Besides the set of Minnie's Haberdashery to recommend it, Quentin Tarrantino selected a truly fine ensemble cast who play beautifully off each other. As the outlaw queen Jennifer Jason Leigh got a Best Supporting Actress nomination, but in my humble opinion she doesn't stand out any more than any of the rest of them. The Hateful Eight also earned Ennio Morricone an Oscar for the best musical score for 2015.
The Hateful Eight is a great western, but it ain't your grandpa's kind of western.
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