HOMBRE (Theatrical Release USA 1967)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 2.8|5.0 Stars ìì

Hombre—a disastrous disappointment and sad waste of time except for die-hard Western Movie fans—features a terrific, award-winning cast sans a good script. The conventional western storyline moves slowly and predictably to its inevitable end. The only high point in this film is the opportunity to see Paul Newman cast with Richard Boone.

Storyline

The basic story line is: John Russell (Paul Newman)—a man raised by Native Americans—inherits a boarding house and a gold watch from his white father. A society woman, Audra Favor (Barbara Rush), and her husband Professor Alexander Favor (Fredric March); a young couple with a troubled marriage, Billy Lee Blake (Peter Lazer) and his wife Doris (Margaret Blye); the current boarding house operator, Jessie (Diane Cilento); an out-for-himself bandit, Cicero Grimes (Richard Boone); and John Russell take a stagecoach ride together. The stagecoach is robbed for the money Professor Alexander Favor carries. Sheriff Frank Braden (Cameron Mitchell)—a sheriff gone bad—takes the money. Cicero Grimes takes Audra Favor as hostage. John Russell kills one outlaw and Sheriff Frank Braden, retrieves the money, and heads out on foot. The stagecoach passengers follow Russell up a hill where he unsuccessfully attempts to eliminate the rest of the bandits. The stagecoach passengers enter a small house for shelter. The balance of the movie works through negotiation arguments inside and outside the house to rescue Audra Favor. Jessie, the boarding house operator, finally convinces John Russell to rescue Audra Favor.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Martin Ritt for directing efforts. Thank you to Producers Irving Ravetch and Martin Ritt for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Steve Early (Skip Ward), Henry Mendez (Martin Balsam), Lamar Dean (David Canary), Delgado (Val Avery), Mexican Bandit (Frank Silvera), and Soldier (Larry Ward).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. If the viewer is a die-hard Paul Newman or Western Movie fan, this film works.

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Ben Meyers

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