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Forsaken (2015)

Duration1h 30m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, South Korea: 18 
Source of storyAn original screenplay
DirectorJon Caesar (who directed Kiefer Sutherland in 24)
Writers/ScriptBrad Mirman, Tari,
StarringKiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, Michael Wincott, Brian Cox, Demi Moore, 
RatingsIMDb: 6.3/10 by 11,245 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 43% by 40 reviewers . Review2view: 5/10.

Elevator Pitch: Ten years after the end of the Civil War gunman John Henry Clayton returns home to the house of  his father the reverend Samuel Clayton. The two do not get on, but John Henry gets to deforesting a plot of land. Meanwhile the local overlord has hired a bunch of renegades to run the local smallholders off their land , maybe taking a step too far when he threatens Mary Alice who we know is John Henry’s former sweetheart. The gang attack john Henry but he does nothing until they attack his father. Then he gets his guns out again.

Content: No sex or nudity. Just a bit of drinking in the saloon at various points. Most of the movie is taken up with the father and son not saying much to each other, then Mary Alice and John Henry not saying much to each other. But there are various fights where people are gunned down, often involving the hired gunman, Dave Turner, who is possibly a match for John Henry.

A View: Read that this was originally quite a long film with flashbacks and subplots, all of which seemed to have been discarded so that the final version is presented in the way of “I Claudius”, nearly everything happening off stage. If there is an advantage it is that you don’t have to pay too much attention. You know that John Henry’s going to get his gun out in the end and win the day. So maybe a watch while doing your knitting.

I had to look up what a “revisionist western” is, but now that I know I offer three others, reviewed on this site, which you might go for: The Sisters Brothers, Hostiles, The Wild Bunch

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels



  1. Pingback: All the Pretty Horses (2000) | A MOTION PICTURE LIST - March 30, 2022

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