Welcome to Movie Mania Two! As with last time, I watched as many movies in one week as I could fit in & then have written a quick review of each for you. The bullets indicate movies that I watched for the first time, but I also included links to where you can go watch some of these films legally for free! Strap in tight folks ‘cause here we go!
• Confessions of a Superhero: In front of Mann’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood there is a collection of individuals in various costumes posing for pictures & living off tips. This documentary film follows “Superman”, “Wonder Woman”, “Batman”, & the “Hulk”. The lives of the people portraying these characters are varied, weird, & more than once, straight up messed up (especially in the case of “Supes” & “Batsy”). People interested in the unglamorous aspects of Hollywood & acting in general should see this film. All in all, nothing great, but comic & film nerds will enjoy this one. Watch movie on Hulu
• Son of Godzilla: I had seen most of this movie before, but this marks the first time I’ve sat the whole way through. Godzillla had moved away from the thinly veiled anti-nuke message & had moved into a campier & more kid friendly realm & it really shows in this movie. A group of scientists are on an island in the middle of nowhere conducting weather controlling experiments, a photographer parachutes onto the island looking for a story & he becomes our main human protagonist. Photo Boy meets a strange girl & their many misadventures bring them into contact with the assorted monsters inhabiting the island including Godzilla & his newborn son. Seeing Godzilla the parent is just hilarious, let’s just say Godzilla will not be put up for parent of the year anytime soon. Only for lovers of cheese &/or big Godzilla fans. Watch movie on Crackle
His Girl Friday: A Howard Hawks comedy classic, every actor in this film is solid but it is Cary Grant who steals the show. His portrayal of the fast-talking & double-dealing newspaperman Walter is enough of a reason to watch this film in & of itself. The character of Hildy is seen by some to be the epitome of the Hawksian woman (look it up kids!) & Rosalind Russel delivers on all cylinders. With overlapping dialogue & breakneck pace this film keeps you glued to your seat as it rips apart the media & big-time politics. I must confess that the first time I saw this film I wasn’t that impressed, I must have been sleepy or in a bad mood because this second viewing of this film makes me want to hop into the Way-back machine & slap past me around a bit for not appreciating this film the first time. Watch movie on Hulu
Return of the Ghostbusters: This fan film chronicles the lives of the Denver Ghostbusters, an offshoot of the main Ghostbusters founded by Egon’s nephew Ed along with his friends Neil (a character not unlike Venkman) & Russian communist transplant Pavel. The team must deal with a soul-stealing professor powered by Anubis, being framed for multiple coma victims (the results of the professor’s soul sucking), protest groups debating the spiritual implications of their work, & a TV reporter (who Neil is sweet on) who has been showing the team in a negative light. A fun little fan flick for fans of the original movies, but anybody else won’t get or enjoy this; oh & look for the cameo by James Rolfe as his alter ego, The Angry Video Game Nerd in the later half of the film. Watch movie here
• Directed By John Ford: A recently updated & reedited film from 1971 by Peter Bogdanovich about the life & work of director John Ford. This film delves not only into the man, but the legacy & influence of his work that can still be felt to this day. Featuring interviews with Bogdanovich, Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, John Wayne, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, & John Ford himself with Orson Wells as the narrator for the film. A film for film buffs.
Duck Soup: The Marx brothers mock politics, war, & everything else. I’d explain the plot, but for the most part the plot is entirely irrelevant. Just sit back & enjoy the screwball zaniness!
• She Wore a Yellow Ribbon: Not one of my favorite John Ford films. The second movie of John Ford’s unofficial “Calvary trilogy” I made the mistake when watching this film of hoping for another “Fort Apache” (the first film in the Calvary trilogy & a personal favorite of mine), which this film is not nor is trying to be. John Wayne stars as Capt. Nathan Cutting in his last days before forced retirement. Cuttings mission is to take his commander’s wife & niece to the stage while avoiding hostile Indians. Cutting ultimately fails his mission having to return his two female charges to the camp just in time to be drummed out of the Army. Cutting then decides, as he technically on paper is still a soldier until the end of the day to meet back up with his guys & quell the uprising before things get out of hand. Cutting at first tries peaceful means to achieve his goal, as he is a good friend with one of the elders, Chief Pony That Walks. Pony That Walks informs Cutting that he too wants peace but the youngsters of his village who are carrying out these attacks refuse to listen to him & thus war is inevitable. Cutting & his men are then forced into attacking the camp to prevent the war before it starts. All in all, this is a decent flick, but it also is nothing special. The narration in the film seems clunky & unnecessary & the resolution to the film seems a little too neat for my taste. I say skip this one & go watch “Fort Apache” instead.
• Master with Cracked Fingers: This is a film very early in the career of Jackie Chan. Let us makes no mistake, it is not a good film. What it is would be a crappy old martial arts movie for those who love crappy old martial arts movies. I won’t spoil the plot (as there isn’t much to spoil to begin with), all you need to know is that Jackie Chan beats up bad guys from an evil syndicate along with his crazy (& hilarious) old master. Jackie’s fights are nowhere near the caliber that we would see from him later in his career but are fun in their own right. Only for hardcore Chan & martial arts movie fans.
The Big Hit: A big, loud, stupid action comedy about a mob hit man & a severely botched kidnapping. It stars Mark Wallberg, Lou Diamond Phillips, Avery Brooks (yay, Capt. Sisko!), Christina Applegate, & Elliot Gould. Nothing much to say on this one, if you like cheesy action movies you might enjoy this, but that is about it. Watch movie on Hulu
Rio Bravo: One of my all time favorite westerns. Howard Hawks directs what may be the best “town” western ever made. The film has five male leads, the first & most important is of course John Wayne as Sheriff John T. Chance, followed by Dean Martin as Dude AKA Borachón (a derivative of the word drunk in Spanish), Walter Brennan as the lovable old coot Stumpy, Ricky Nelson as Colorado, & Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez as the hotel/saloon owner Carlos (some might debate my placement of Gonzalez-Gonzalez’s as a lead considering where he is billed in the credits, but screw that noise, Pedro deserves to be counted!). As the female lead & love interest for Wayne we have the lovely Angie Dickinson (who is a fellow North Dakota native!) as the gambler Feathers. When the no-good brother of a powerful rancher kills a man, it is up to Wayne & his deputies to keep order in the town as the powerful rancher & his friends try various ways to strangle the town & spring his brother. What follows is an examination of who should fight & why. The film in part is a reaction to “High Noon”, a film in which the sheriff begs the town for help. “Rio Bravo” is about not asking for help unless it will actually be useful. The film is competently shot, but as always in a Hawks film, it is the character interaction & dialogue that sell this movie. Hawks has many chances to go in tight or do a fancy action sequence, but he chooses not to, Hawks lets the scenes play out as naturally as possible. ‘Rio Bravo” plays out simple & straight, which is part of what makes the movie work. Any lover of Hawks or classic westerns in general needs to check this one out.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: Without reservation, I tell you that this is one of the finest films ever made. This 1930s film directed by Frank Capra stands as not only a great film, but as a shining beacon of what the United States is supposed to stand for. Yet the film is entirely apolitical, it’s brilliance able to be appreciated by almost every political persuasion in America. After the unexpected death of a senator on the eve of an important bill's passing James Stewart as Jefferson Smith is appointed to serve out the late senator’s term. Smith gets the job because he is an idealistic political nobody whose work with young boys has made him a household name in his state. What Smith finds out in Washington is that there is a giant political machine ran by a man named James Taylor who runs Smith’s state & it’s officials in Congress behind closed doors (including Smith’s childhood idol & friend to Smith’s late father, Senator Payne) & seeks to illegally make a mint on a bogus federal project in Smith’s state. Smith’s fight against these odds is nothing short of epic. I remember the first time I saw this film, it was shown to me in school to show how parliamentary procedure works in Congress (including the filibuster, which is the linchpin of the film) & I was mesmerized from start to finish As I type these words having just finished watching it again I find the same wonder in my heart as that little boy in class had. If only we had a couple real life Mr. Smiths on the floors of Congress.
Hudson Hawk: A bad film, but in a good way. Bruce Willis co-wrote & stars in this film as the master thief Eddie “Hudson Hawk” Hawkins. We follow Hawk as he is released from prison after a ten-year stint & just wants to have a cappuccino but instead becomes embroiled in a far out conspiracy involving the CIA, the Vatican, & a major worldwide corporation. One needs to comprehend from the get-go that this film is a satire of movie conventions, when something goes well past the plausibility tolerance of the viewer & they find themselves calling “bullshit!” on the film, they need to understand that this is the correct & intended response & is in fact, part of the joke. Part of the reason this movie was panned was that it was miss-marketed as a straight action flick & that is certainly NOT what you are going to find here. Even if you understand what the movie is doing, you will still find parts of the film to be a clunky mess. For movie fans this is a must see, for the general public, it is a total pass.
Up: A while back I posted a rant on one of the social networks I’m on about the overuse & misuse of CGI in many modern films. I noted that a lot of movies were more about CGI effects spectacles rather than heart & that Pixar, a studio that only makes CGI movies, was one of the few groups in film who still understood the need for heart. I can think of no better proof of my point than with Pixar’s latest movie “Up”. If this film doesn’t make you laugh & cry, then you my friend are dead inside. Old man Carl Fredricksen, & his stowaway compatriot/annoyance Russell go on a grand adventure to South America to fulfill a promise Carl made to his deceased wife but was never able to keep. Along the way the pair meets Kevin the bird, Dug the “talking” dog (who is awesomesauce!), Dug’s master the crazy old-timey explorer Charles Muntz (who is the films antagonist), & Muntz’a army of other “talking” dogs. This is a film that everyone can enjoy, it does not talk down to its audience (as a lot of kid/family movies do) & is magic from start to finish. I’ve seen this movie twice now & each time I left teary-eyed & cheering. “Up” is a masterpiece in every sense of the word.
• Drag Me to Hell: Sam Rami is the man! I’m not really a horror guy, I do enjoy some horror flicks, but they are few & far between. I just don’t like to be scared & the “torture porn” sub-genre that has been driving force for horror lately has no appeal to me at all. Sam Rami however, has always been the one horror director I love without question; he has a style that trumps everyone else out there in my opinion. “Drag Me to Hell” is Rami’s spin on the old “gypsy curse” convention of horror. Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) a loan officer gets cursed by a gypsy woman because she turns the lady down for an extension on her loan & has three days before she is…well… dragged to hell. What follows is a nasty, gross-out mess that is so charming, fun & funny that Rami could have pulled anything on me & I would have forgave him. It’s a big goofy ride from start to finish & I enjoyed every second of it. Sadly, when I watched the movie, I found some of the younger audience members didn’t get it. The people from the row above me left complaining that this wasn’t what they expected & that they could see the ending coming from a mile off. It didn’t ruin the movie for me, but I was dismayed that they could not see what the film really was supposed to be. Quit listening to me & go see this movie already!
• Godzilla: Tokyo SOS: This film is a direct sequel to the previous film before it ”Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla” & is the only direct sequel made to a previous film in the Millennium series (Godzilla films are split into three series, the classic Showa, the mid-80s to 90s Heisei, & the turn of the century Millennium). Mechagodzilla, which is built on the remains of the original Godzilla that attacked & was killed in Tokyo in 1954 (see the original Godzilla movie for more on that) got all banged up fighting the current Godzilla & is being repaired. Mothra’s fairies (just go look it up okay!) visit a family who has ties to both Godzilla, Mechagodzilla & Mothra to explain that the Godzilla bones must be returned to the sea or Mothra will become an enemy of humanity as no thing should be brought back to life after it has died. Soon Godzilla shows up, & being Godzilla, starts rampaging through Tokyo. It’s up to the Mechagodzilla team, Mothra, & her twin babies to defend Japan from Godzilla’s rage. I won’t give away the ending, but in ends on a sentimental note about the nature of life & death. A decent flick. Watch movie on Crackle
• Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack: Now this is the Godzilla flick for me! The film takes some liberties with the series, some that I agree with & others that I don’t, but what makes this film good is Godzilla is scary again. In the other films on this list Godzilla has been big & bad-ass, but this one shows just how much Godzilla ruins peoples lives & how we are little more than bugs to this big uncaring, relentless monster. Godzilla is not an anti-hero or a huge dumb beast, in the movie he is a total villain. Watching this film you will notice a look for Godzilla that only appears in this movie. I don’t mind the look but the milky white-on-white eyes make the Big G look like he’s blind or something. The other monsters found in the title of the film (& also poor Baragon, who despite being a major character of the film is left out of the title) are supposed to be the ancient guardians of Japan who will defend it in its hours of greatest need. The movie is different because it features Ghidorah as a “good” monster instead of his usual role as villain, Mothra’s fairies are gone (save a quick homage that will only be noticed by true Godzilla fans) & all the monsters save Godzilla appear smaller & less powerful. There is also some crap about Godzilla being the spirit of people who were wronged by Japan, but who really cares! While I enjoyed all the Godzilla flicks on this list, this one was my favorite. Watch movie on Crackle
• Godzilla vs. Destoroyah: This is the last film of the second series & it is a pretty good ride. Basically Godzilla’s heart is failing, oh by the way his heart is a nuclear reactor & when it goes it’s going to take out the planet (no, I am not making any part of this up!). Needless to say that the people of Earth have a vested interest in not being blown to oblivion & begin on working on ways to save the world. Meanwhile some little microbes that got mutated from the weapon known as the oxygen destroyer, the weapon that killed the first Godzilla (the 1954 one), rapidly evolve into weird alien looking things called Destoroyah that cause havoc throughout the city. Godzilla’s son shows up ( yes Godzilla has a kid in this series as well) & fights Destoroyah, essentially beating it. Papa Godzilla shows up & the two share a moment before the new hyper evolved Destoroyah shows up, kills the son, & beats the shit out of Godzilla. The Army manages to stop Destoroyah & then quickly turn their attention to Godzilla who is just minutes away from killing the world. They manage to allow Godzilla to die without going critical. Godzilla’s “power” is absorbed by the son, which heals the younger & makes him grow to adult Godzilla size. A decent end to the second series & it is a little sad to watch Godzilla die in this one. Watch movie on Crackle
• The Fountainhead: Time to come clean folks, I’m a hardcore libertarian/independent (freedom-nut) so if I go into a semi-political rant at any point here, please forgive me. Based on the book of the same name by Ayn Rand & with the screenplay written by the same, this film stars Gary Cooper as Howard Roark, an architect who refuses to live on anybodies terms save his own. While I do agree for the most part with the ideas put forth by this film of doing your own thing & not conforming to what the masses want at the surrender of your personal freedoms (although I think Roark is too inflexible at points) I find the people in this film to be too robotic. One begins to notice as the film progresses that the characters in the film aren’t characters at all, but rather philosophical points of view, this makes everything they say & do less interesting as they are not real people. The romance in this movie is laughable at points because it only goes to serve the overall philosophical argument rather than resemble anything like a real romantic relationship between people. Ultimately the film is a good intellectual exercise, but it forgets to have heart. Watch it if you want your societal ideas challenged, but those who want more aren’t going to find it here.
Arsenic & Old Lace: The film that first made me take notice of Cary Grant. Filmed in 1941, this movie would sit in the can until 1944 due to contractual obligation made that prevented the film from being released until the play on Broadway on which it was based had closed. Nobody expected the play to run as long as it did & WB & director Frank Capra had to sit on this comic gold for years. Grant plays Mortimer Brewster, a famous stage critic who just wants to say a quick hello to his family then head off with his newlywed wife. All this comes to a crashing halt once Mortimer finds a dead body in the window seat. His aunts soon confess that they have been poisoning men & burying them in the basement, & trust me, the film only gets weirder from then on out. Along with his brother Teddy (who thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt), his other estranged fugitive brother Jonathan & his cohort Dr. Einstein, the cops, & a couple of corpses, Mortimer is going to have a hard time escaping his family as well as insanity just to get away with his bride. The film may start slow, but by the end you will have been led down so many twists & turns you will find it hard to believe that the film was ever at a pace that wasn’t breakneck. This is defiantly a good film, but a film for those with a demented sense of humor.
• Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs: Unless you absolutely love Vincent Price, skip this one. The first Goldfoot movie apparently has a cult status (& was the movie I meant to watch), but this Italian made sequel is entirely forgettable. Price is magnetic when he is on screen, but everybody else just falls flat. As I stated above, this flick is only for hardcore Vincent Price fans! Watch film on Hulu
• Stagecoach: The film that made John Wayne into a star. This movie is also the first sound western directed by John Ford as well as Ford’s first use of Monument Valley (a location used by every ford film on this list) A group of people of various backgrounds & motivations travel together during a violent Indian uprising. We have in this movie an outlaw (Wayne), a prostitute, a drunken doctor, a Marshall, a pregnant Calvary officer’s wife, a whiskey maker, a gunfighter (played by the recently deceased David Carradine’s father John), & a stagecoach driver. The movie examines people’s concepts of each other & how people get pigeonholed. Think of it in some ways, as if “The Breakfast Club” was instead an action-packed western. A good time for any film fan.
• Godzilla: Final Wars: Last Godzilla movie on the list & how fitting as it is the last Godzilla movie made to date. This film is essentially a re-imaging of the classic Godzilla flick “Destroy all Monsters”. In the near future the Earth Defense Force protects the world, the EDF has a group of mutant super-soldiers that it uses for the real extreme jobs. When aliens come to Earth unleashing an array of monsters to cause chaos & take over the UN as well as the mutant soldiers, a ragtag team goes to (you guessed it) wake Godzilla up & take back their planet. They might as well called this movie “Godzilla Fucks Everybody Up” because that’s pretty much what happens, one infamous scene involves Godzilla versus the American Godzilla (known to Godzilla fans these days only as Zilla) in a super short fight that ends with Zilla being blown to hell rather unceremoniously. The film drags for me at parts because there is just too much time spent with the ragtag humans. The human fight scenes are done really well & some of the characters are cool & interesting like the mustache guy (you’ll know him when you see him), but this is a GODZILLA movie! I came to see what GODZILLA is doing! Still this is an enjoyable well-made flick, give it a look. Watch movie on Crackle
DBZ Movie 4: Super Saiyan Son Goku: What can I say folks, it is Dragonball people & this is one of the lesser films in the series. This is not to say the film is bad, just way overshadowed by most of the other DBZ films. Lord Slug & his gang of baddies come to Earth to enslave/kill the local population & terraform the Earth to their liking. Goku & friends take umbrage to this & proceed to go kick ass. One interesting note is that Goku has a “proto-Super Saiyan” form that is unique to this film. A serviceable entry is the series, but just that.
• The Deader the Better: A short film produced, written & directed by James Rolfe in 2005. The film is about two guys whose secret job is to make sure the dead in a cemetery stay that way as they have a habit of becoming zombies at night. It is a fun little horror comedy that is well worth a watch & is Rolfe’s personal favorite work to date. I have been watching Rolfe’s stuff for a while now but for some odd reason I had never sat down and watched this movie, a mistake I have now rectified. I owed it to Rolfe to put one of his movies on the list, his cameo in “The Return of the Ghostbusters” was what made me first watch that film & his “Godzillathon
” in 2008 was what inspired me to hunt down all these Godzilla movies & watch them. In short, this list wouldn’t be what it is without James & I thank him for all the entertainment he has given me over the years. Watch movie at Cinemassacre
The Terminator: The Tech Noir classic that started it all. Linda Hamilton stars as Sarah Conner, an rather average waitress working at a fast food joint in California, her world gets turned upside down when she meets the seemingly crazy Kyle Reese & an unstoppable man played by Arnold Scharzenegger. Kyle explains that he is from the future & that the other guy is really a machine called a Terminator sent out to kill her. Reese explains that she is the mother of the leader of the resistance, her yet to be conceived son John Conner, & without him, humanity is screwed. It is now a race against time & the odds to escape the Terminator before it kills them both. I won’t spoil any of the reveals for the few who haven’t seen the movie as I think that will cheapen the viewer‘s initial watch of this film but this flick is a damn good piece of sci-fi. This movie is fun, scary, & cool; what else do you want?
Terminator 2: Judgment Day: Extended Edition: This film is arguably the greatest movie sequel of all time. Arnold & Hamilton reprise their roles, Hamilton’s Connor has transformed over the years into a hardened soldier for hire that was training her son to be a great leader before being locked up in an insane asylum & Arnold plays another Terminator of the same model as the last one although this time sent back to protect the young John Conner (who is just a young punk in this film) from Skynet’s latest killing machine, the shape changing liquid metal T-1000 (played mostly by Robert Patrick). Together these three set out to escape the T-1000 & if they can, stop Skynet from being built & thus avoid the nuclear holocaust known as Judgment Day from ever happening. The film is a blast & a half with special effects that still hold up today. At heart this film is “a boy & his dog” story with a giant killing machine standing in for the canine. This film is gold.
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines: The Machines, they rise. In the category of most unneeded sequel ever the winner is…T3! Jokes aside this film is not bad, way short of the first 2, but not bad. Turns out Judgment Day is still coming & it’s up to John Conner & his sort of new girlfriend/future wife Kate Brewster to survive the slaughter & a new sexy Terminatrix (Kristanna Loken) with the help of another Arnold Terminator. It’s a solid entry in the series and it paved the way for more Terminator stuff. Don’t hunt it down or anything, but if you see it somewhere give it a look.
• The Bridge Over the River Kwai: This WWII film is one of the greats. Centering on the construction/demolition of a bridge, the film is really about the idiocy of war & how people can delude themselves. The entire plot of this film is too vast & complicated to cover in a quick review so for those who have seen it please forgive some of the gross oversimplifications I’m about to make. A group of captured British soldiers are brought to a Japanese ran labor camp to build a bridge. At the start the film the leader of the camp Saito is at odds with the leader of the captured Brits, Col. Nicholson over the use of officers to build the bridge. This leads to extensive torture of both Nicholson & his officers. In the meantime, an American captive known as Shears manages to escape the camp & is picked up by neighboring British forces. Saito eventually caves into Nicholson’s wishes in the hopes that Nicholson may be able to restore order to his troops & get the bridge done on time. Nicholson seeks to do just that, in some crazy scheme to prove the superiority of the British soldier as well as keep his boys in line Nicholson provides Saito with a better designed & located bridge. Nicholson’s turn into a collaborator goes unnoticed to both himself & his men who bust their asses to get the bridge done. The Americans loan Shears, who is recuperating in a hospital, out to the British to go back into the jungles & blow up the bridge (“Shears” has been impersonating an officer since his capture, making his return to the States a dicey situation). Now we have all our key players converging on bridge, each with their own goal in mind. In the war this movie portrays the only winner is the audience who get to see this film. You will see the “Madness!” & it will haunt you.
GI JOE: Resolute: GI JOE as GI JOE should be done. Even if the upcoming movie is a piece of shit (as it looks like it will be) Joe fans will still have this movie to latch onto. This is a little but of a cheat for me as Resolute is actually a collection of webisodes (unfortunately, the official webisodes have been taken down so no link, sorry) but I watched the collected version that aired on Adult Swim awhile back (thank you DVR!) so I’m going to count it. This is a more mature & kick-ass version of GI JOE & it does not talk down to its audience. The only knock I have against this film is the overuse of the voice actors, nobody puts in a shoddy performance & I love all the voice cast ten times over, but some of the characters voices are too similar. Resolute had an extremely sparse voice cast for the amount of characters depicted in the film, which is the root cause of this problem. Overall, the voice cast does a bang-up job with Steven Blum’s Duke & Charles Adler’s Cobra Commander as the highlight performances. If you ever liked GI JOE, you will like this. I hope they make another one like this (or even better, a Transformers movie in this vein) very soon!
The Searchers: The 30th & last film of my “Movie Mania” week is this classic among classics directed by John Ford. John Wayne plays the irascible Confederate Civil War Vet & blatant racist, Ethan Edwards. After finally returning home years after the end of the war (it is strongly implied that Ethan has been living as an outlaw during this time), there he finds his brother & what is considered to be the love of his life, his brother’s wife Martha (this is also only implied as there is no dialogue to suggest this relationship but the looks & gestures given by Martha & Ethan strongly suggest a deeper relationship). After the Jorgensen ranch is raided by a rouge band of Indians, Edwards, Martin Pawley (an “adopted” member of the family accepted by everyone save Ethan who was found & saved as a baby by Ethan years ago after Martin’s mother was murdered), Rev. Capt. Clayton (played by Ward Bond), & a few others go to pursue the Indians. This move turns out to be a trap to leave the surrounding ranches open for a murder raid by Chief Scar & his rouge group of Comanche. Edwards & Pawley return to find everyone murdered save the two young girls who they believe to have been taken captive. The party takes after the Comanche on a rescue mission but is soon whittled down to only to Ethan & Martin & their objectives are also shortened to only finding Debbie (the youngest child) as her older sister Lucy is found raped (again, only implied) & murdered. What follows is a ten-year quest to get Debbie back. This film is an exploration of the poison of racial prejudice & hatred held by all the characters & how that only leads to more pain & suffering. We both root for the Duke & despise his character Ethan at the same time & find ourselves doing the same at points with most of the other major characters. A film ahead of it’s time, beautifully shot & rich & deeply complex in ways that only grows more so every time you watch it. A must see, plain & simple.