Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Veteran director Gordon Douglas helmed this gritty, two fisted 1964 Twentieth Century Fox western, starring one hell of a great cast; Richard Boone, Stuart Whitman, Tony Franciosa, Jim Brown and Edmond O'Brien. Boone portrays Lassiter, a former Confederate officer who's now settled in Texas. He's a man who hatred for the Indians, might only be rivaled by John Wayne's Ethan Edwards in John Ford's The Searchers. Boone's family was massacred by the Indians and now he spends his days and nights hunting them for revenge. Boone's renegade activities do not go unnoticed by the local military authorities and he's brought in against his will to the local fort. But it turns out that the army wants to recruit him (against his will) to help them find a shipment new rifles that have been hijacked and are now feared on there way to the Indians. The army it turns out suspects that Boone's former commanding officer (O'Brien) may be the culprit in the crime. The bitter loner, Boone is forced to team up with two soldiers; the bourbon voiced Stuart Whitman and the brawny, Jim Brown (the former football star in a great motion picture debut) on the dangerous mission to retrieve the rifles and take down the gunrunners if possible or die trying. Tony Franciosa steals the movie as Martinez, the most double crossing bandito this side of Eli Wallach (and the best man with a knife since Jimmy Coburn in The Magnificent Seven.) An old acquaintance of Boone's, that he runs into while locked up in the brig. Boone saves Franciosa neck from the hangman's noose, by insisting that  come on the mission or it's a deal breaker. With a plot that was a mix of John Wayne's The Comancheros & Robert Aldrich's The Dirty Dozen (that it predates, also featuring Jim Brown) this western really packs a punch. Boone was an actor who's rugged presences was so large that he didn't need a gun, as they say to be tough... he just was.
A macho cult classic, RIO CONCHOS was probibly the most action packed violent western of it's time (and featuring a great rousing score by Jerry Goldsmith.) Sadly it only avalible on VHS, but it occasionally airs on The Fox Movie Channel. Like those missing rifles, it's worth going on the mission to find it.

No comments:

Post a Comment