Saturday, February 25, 2017

There Was a Crooked Man (1970)

Synopsis: Motley-yet-likeable assemblage of Old West bandits matches wits with, um...the world’s nicest, and most honest and compassionate prison warden?!

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Crime doesn’t pay. That is, unless you work at it.” 

What Did I Learn?: 1) See: “Blurb From the VHS Jacket.” 2) There’s nothing like fried chicken when it’s still hot and crispy. 3) If you’re going to rip off a very important businessman, it’s a really good idea to leave town immediately afterwards. 


Really?: I had a great deal of trouble believing Paris Pittman’s (Kirk Douglas) heel turn right at the end. Ok, we know he’s a thief and a con artist, but up until the last 15 minutes, we’re led to believe that he’s also a relatively decent guy who wouldn’t murder his accomplices in cold blood. 

Rating: There Was a Crooked Man is rollicking, funny, and highly enjoyable early 1970s amoral Western that features a great cast (Henry Fonda co-stars as the decent, but often screwed-over Warden Lopeman, and Burgess Meredith nearly steals the show as an elderly outlaw) and an outstanding performance from Douglas. Sadly, it’s marred by a rather unsatisfying ending (see: “Really?”). 8/10 stars.

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