Sunday, January 15, 2012

Movie Watch 2012: Comanche Station

PaulT and I journeyed to The Alamo Drafthouse on 6th street for the occasionally-occurring* Alamo Cinema Club.  Both Paul I really dig this experience.  Its a bit like the better bits of film school, but with no quiz.

Tonight's screening was Comanche Station featuring Randolph Scott and directed by Budd Boetticher.

As was much discussed post-screening, Comanche Station feels very much like the transition between old school westerns and the coming Spaghetti Western or grittier Western ushered in by the likes of Sam Peckinpah.  While somewhat coded, the movie suggests some of the harsher realities of the frontier, and partially due to the era portrayed and material its working with, doesn't fit neatly into modern molds of dealing with how the west was settled.

Mostly, its a story about a frontiersman who barters a trade for an anglo woman captured by Comanches.  At a closed trading post, they meet up with a sly character from Cody's past who can ride along with them to provide protection, but who is also a threat to both Cody and the woman he's transporting back to her home.

In many ways, its a movie about assumptions versus reality with the characters.  And it works.  The narrative is clockwork tight, the cast small and the feeling of distrust among the members of the party is poisonous.

Anyhow, a lot was said about the work of Budd Boetticher, an independent producer operating just outside the studio system, and I'm curious to see his other westerns (all featuring Randolph Scott).

*its like movie geek Brigadoon

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