Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday Movie Reviews: Macho Men in Tough Situations

Property of a Lady is finally back online! I'm going to be doing some shorter reviews of multiple movies to get myself caught up here; it's been a long time.

Breaker Morant (1980) 9/10
Harry "Breaker" Morant and two other Australian officers are court-marshaled in an act of scapegoating during the Boer War.

This true story of honorable behavior in insane circumstances is told without sentiment; harsh, rough, and compelling. If you know Edward Woodward best as the weaselly cop from The Wicker Man, his dignity and strength here may surprise you.

The Hill (1965) 8/10
During World War II, a military prison is run with the harshest possible discipline and sadistic punishment.

An early Sean Connery attempt to break free of James Bond typecasting, this is a difficult movie to be with. Evil Prison Guard is as macho a story as can be told, so in that way, it's still an expected Connery movie, but his Joe Roberts is no 007. Director Sidney Lumet does a remarkable job of portraying heat, exhaustion, and the physical effects of abuse.

Apache Trail (1942) 6/10
An Arizona outpost throws people together when the Apaches are on the way.

This is the Stagecoach model of Western—a bunch of people, some good, some bad, some destined for romance, are stuck together because of Indian attack. It's Western as Lord of the Flies, with everyone revealing themselves as the plot unfolds, and it's the revelation, not the plot, that's the point.

It's a middling movie but entertaining.

Cross-posted at last!