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2017, WESTERN

Hostiles (2017)

Hostiles

Duration 2h 14m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story An original screenplay
Director Scott Cooper
Writers/Script Scott Cooper from a manuscript by Donald E. Stewart
Starring Rosamund Pike, Christian Bale, Jeese Plemons, Timothee Chalamet, Peter Mullan, Ben Foster

Elevator Pitch: In 1892 a veteran cavalry officer is given the task of escorting a Cheyenne chief and his family from New Mexico back to Montana. On the way they come across a burnt out homestead, a number of bodies and the traumatised wife of the settler, the result of an attack by a group of renegade Comanches.  The woman joins the group and they ride on, stalked by the Comanches. They must take them on and the officer and the woman must accept that the Cheyenne are on their side. But even so their problems are not over, and their track across the country is marked by a series of graves.

Content: One sexual event is inferred and there is a bit of drinking. Many arresting scenes as the group ride across the American landscape, and constant tension because they are prey to attack by the Comanches and then by others both inside and outside the group. There are a number of firefights usually with handguns, despite the fact that the soldiers are well armed. The climax is worth waiting for.

A View: It is becoming clear to me that I am a bit of a Western enthusiast, and this rather bleak oeuvre hit the spot for me, and the limited number of critics who reviewed it. The “Hostiles” of the title turn out to be nearly everybody, and it is a neat view of the world where the whites were returning the Native Americans to the reservations, and they were in essence on different sides. If you enjoy westerns, well worth the cost of a download.

Additional Info: The script was found by the widow of Donald E. Stewart who had died in 1999, when moving house. He had not sent it out to anyone.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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