Thursday, January 29, 2009

Westbound (1959)

Welcome to the Civil War. Union Captain John Hayes (Randolph Scott) is dispatched to the West to set up a stagecoach delivery route to transport gold safely from California without those sneaky Confederates snaking it. At one critical point in the route, Clay Putnam (Andrew Duggan) stands in the way as a big shot Confederate sympathizer, determined to ruin the Union's plans. Fortunately, John Hayes receives help from a wounded Union soldier Rod Miller (Michael Dante) and his wife, Jeanie (Karen Steele) aka Big Bazongas, but Clay Putnam also has help from all his cronies and henchmen.

Movie Poster from "Westbound"

I will say upfront that this movie was a bit of a disappointment to me. This is one of those Budd Boetticher / Randolph Scott collaborations which I have enjoyed, but this one isn't one of the better ones. The story is very weak and convoluted. The plot lines are under-developed and terribly predictable. Even worse, they made Scott a hero, but a mostly ineffectual one, just kind of standing by and watching chaos happen to a town till the final showdown. And good golly, the acting aside from Scott is simply atrocious. The most fun I had with the other actors was watching Big Bazongas and the way her dresses and such were cut to best show off her ... well, Big Bazongas. Everyone needs to have a talent, I guess, even if it isn't acting.

So, while this was semi-interesting, I would give this a pass unless you are a Boetticher or Scott fan, or just want to see every Western there is out there, or a fan of Big Bazongas. If you are in the mood for a good Boetticher / Scott film - pick up "The Tall T" instead. You won't be disappointed in that one.

1 comment:

kda0121 said...

You are right that Westbound wasn't the height of the Scott/Boetticher cycle, but I think any Scott/Boetticher movie is worth a peek.

It did seem formulaic and the supporting cast not nearly as strong as The Tall T, Comanche Station or Ride Lonesome. But it still had Randy and that ain't all bad.