Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Hellbent for Letterbox | Barquero (1970)

Pax and I continue our love affair with Lee Van Cleef by talking about this Spaghetti-inspired, American-made thriller co-starring Warren Oates, Forrest Tucker, Kerwin Mathews, Mariette Hartley, and Marie Gomez. And in "Whatchoo Been Westernin'?": DC Comics' Jonah Hex/Yosemite Sam Special and the Billy the Kid episode of Brad Meltzer's Decoded.


Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

For me Forrest Tucker stands out from his role in the MST3K movie "The Crawling Eye" if only because of the riff "he's the one who makes sure all the tree's shirttails are in!"

Michael May said...

Ha! That's a good one. :)

Zeke said...

Forrest Tucker for me is his role in "F Troop".

If you have cable a good source for lots of westerns from the 50s through 70s is Encore Westerns. That's where I saw "Baquero" and a bunch of others in addition to many of the classics you mention having never seen.

And from that you see a lot of the character actors turn up again and again. Bruce Dern and Ben Johnson in any number of John Wayne movies. Charles Bronson in minor roles. And the western career of Deforest Kelley.

For "Baquero" itself one of the interesting sticking points is that a peaceful diffusion of the situation would be burning the ferry barge -- but given the effort and time that was put into Lee Van Cleef is having nothing to do with it. Plus the fact that he has pretty much been taken for granted and looked down upon by the squatters the whole time. So why should he make the great sacrifice for their sake beyond what he has already done?

Michael May said...

I *love* Encore Westerns. I record a ton of stuff there and then try to find time to watch it all. :)

Yeah, Barquero is really nicely constructed the way it all hinges on Lee Van Cleef. Keeps him in the center of everything, even though his stakes *appear* to be lower than everyone else's.


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