Movie Diary 11/8/2017

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2017). A crueler film than The Lobster, this one has a Twilight Zone scenario that can’t really be explained without giving the premise away. It has strong work by Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman, a classic creepy teen from Barry Keoghan, and a very fine single-scene performance by Alicia Silverstone. Overall: Yipes.

The Glory Guys (Arnold Laven, 1965). I had never seen this Sam Peckinpah-scripted cavalry Western, which mixes up a fictionalized Custer story (Andrew Duggan in the role) with a romantic triangle. The rivalry-friendship between cavalryman Tom Tryon and scout Harve Presnell, who both love Senta Berger, has the stuff of other Peckinpah male relationships, but on the other hand they’re played by Tom Tryon and Harve Presnell, so, you know. Some evocative shots by James Wong Howe, and a few beautiful, shivery lines of dialogue (including Slim Pickens looking out at the scene of the massacre: “That’s one way to get your name in the papers”). James Caan does an Irish accent in it.

War Arrow (George Sherman, 1953). Generic Universal color Western, with Jeff Chandler recruiting displaced Seminole to help fight against the warlike Kiowa. Maureen O’Hara is the war widow he falls for, to the frustration of spurned suitor John McIntire. A few interesting wrinkles amid the standard-issue trappings, including clever flirtation scenes written by John Michael Hayes (a year before he wrote Rear Window) and a restless Native girl played by the ill-fated Suzan Ball. Dennis Weaver plays a hothead Indian brave.


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