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Joe Kidd (1972)

Duration1h 28mRating (UK)AA
Source of storyAn original screenplay
DirectorJohn Sturges
Writers/ScriptElmore Leonard
StarringClint Eastwood, Robert Duvall, John Saxon, Don Stroud, Stella Garcia, Gregory Walcott,

Elevator Pitch: In border country of New Mexico, Luis Chama, a charismatic Mexican leader is attempting to get his people’s historic lands returned, but without success. A modern rancher with extensive land interests decides to take action against Chama, and hires Joe Kidd to lead his band of gunmen against the Mexican. Things come to a head when the gunmen take over a Mexican hamlet, intending to shoot the residents if Chama dies not surrender. But Joe disagrees and is imprisoned with the villagers, requiring him to take drastic action.

Content: No sex or nudity, but just a bit of snogging. A bit inappropriate I thought. The good guys and the bad guys ride about in the charismatic country of New Mexico, and now and again visit the town of Sinola, where at different times gunfights take place. The date of the drama is about 1901, the courthouse for instance shows a date of 1896, and so there are a variety of modern weapons available to the shooters, most importantly maybe some sniper rifles, which result in long distance killings.

A View: When I saw that the script had been written by Elmore Leonard I felt that I might be in for a treat, and so was a bit disappointed. It is said that the director did not quite have a handle on what was going on and that Clint Eastwood was ill for at least some of the time, but despite that it is also said that he altered the script so that he had more of the action. The critics felt in the main that it was difficult to determine which side Joe was on, and I agree. If you want to see every film in the Eastwood body of work then go for it, but if not maybe put it at the bottom of the list. So no better than a watch for nothing while doing something else.

Additional Info: In the IMDb Trivia someone has identified all the waepons used in the film, all of them appropriate for the time. They have attributed this success to Elmore Leionard.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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