Warlock

1959

Action / Romance / Western

45
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 76%
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 4524

Synopsis


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Downloaded 21,302 times
June 26, 2014 at 11:15 PM

Director

Cast

Henry Fonda as Clay Blaisedell
Anthony Quinn as Tom Morgan
DeForest Kelley as Curley Burne
L.Q. Jones as Fen Jiggs
720p.BLU
869.55 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
2hr 2 min
P/S 0 / 11

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by mvsen-67629 7 / 10

Perhaps less committed than it could have been to the subtext.

Look, I know it was the '50s, and homosexuality was considered aberrant behavior, but this movie does play it really safe by not stepping on that subject too hard. Edward Dmytryk even claims that the homosexual references were not intentional, but in that case, one must ask, why were they in there? It's not just the deep and jealous friendship between the two men that implies their homosexuality, but many other details: when Blaisedell and Morgan first move into their new apartment in Warlock, Morgan talks of how he wants to pretty the place up. "I'll soon have it looking nice and homey for you," or words to that effect. Seems to me a clear '50s euphemism for an "effeminate" man.

Later on Blaisedell (played by Henry Fonda) says to Jessie Marlow (who, by the way, is courting him in a rather aggressive– and possibly masculine way), that he may not be able to have a relationship with her, and that he might be better suited to his Colts. (As opposed to his Fillies— I thought it right to infer.) There was also a subtle masturbation implication, when she finds him practicing shooting his gun in the middle of nowhere, that she's caught him polishing his own Colt.

In another scene he says something similar about being more suited to a relationship with Morgan than with her. It seemed like a straight comparison of relationships to me. Okay, we may not be talking strict homosexuality here, but certainly bi-sexuality must be a consideration.

Likewise, in a scene between Morgan (Anthony Quinn) and Lily Dollar (Dorothy Malone) in which he threatens her, and orders her to leave Blaisedell alone, the expositionary dialog that ensues seems to be much less about jealousy regarding a romantic relationship between Morgan and Lily, and more like it's about a power relationship; expressly that of a pimp to his whore. Let's face it, even her name, Dollar, let's you know what she's in it for. He clearly used to be her evil gay pimp, and when she jumped ship on him to marry some guy, he manipulated his boyfriend into killing that guy in order to slap her back into line.

To be fair, I have not the read the original book by Oakley Hall, but I'm on the lookout for it now. It just begs the question that if Dmytryk didn't want those inferences to be taken, why would he include them? Isn't it more likely that he did want to imply what we think he is implying, but couldn't admit it in such a sexually repressed era as the '50s was. He may even have been forced to play up the romance angle between Blaisedell and Jessie in order to appease his Hollywood overlords, and a sexually inhibited American post war society. It just seems like the movie is sending double messages by trying to simplify the painful complexity of the situation — Hollywood, I guess!

Of course another possibility is that Dmytryk didn't even understand the implications from the book, and included certain details from it, not realizing how they might be taken, or what they were referring to. I don't know, as I admit I have not yet checked the book. But I cannot imagine that he would be so naive as to miss obvious plot and motivational subtexts such as the sexual orientation of his characters.

Either way, we have a film in which the justifications for character actions are muddy and unresolved. Just like real life— you might say. But I would respond— more like a bad movie script.

However, despite that fact, I still rather enjoyed the movie.

Reviewed by JohnHowardReid 7 / 10

Make that 7.5!

Copyright 1959 by 20th Century-Fox Film Corp. New York opening at the Paramount: 30 April 1959. U.S. release: April 1959. U.K. release: 17 May 1959. Australian release: 6 August 1959. Sydney opening at the Regent. 10,980 feet. 122 minutes.

SYNOPSIS: Warlock is a small, dusty cow-town which is dominated by a gang of ruffians and cowpunchers. After numerous killings and other incidents, the citizens hire Clay Blaisdell (Henry Fonda) to become town marshal. He is an infamous professional gunfighter who always travels with a club footed sidekick, Tom Morgan (Anthony Quinn). In addition, Johnny Gannon (Richard Widmark), until recently a member of a cowboy gang, is appointed deputy sheriff, a job paralleling Clay's and one which is noted for the short life expectancy of its holder. Jessie Marlow (Dolores Michaels), known as "The angel of Warlock", soon comes to like Clay, although she originally protested his being hired. Clay starts to clean up the town, while Morgan starts to run a gambling hall and saloon, a familiar pattern between the partners.

NOTES: Negative cost: $2 million.

COMMENT: In "Warlock", Dmytryk and Aurthur tried to take the formula western with its standard characters, ready-made plot and familiar backgrounds and give it some unusual and intriguing variations. That they were not wholly successful — despite a lot of earnest acting and some occasionally forceful uses of the CinemaScope screen — is due to the wordiness of the dialogue which should have been trimmed and made sharper and more realistic before shooting commenced.

OTHER VIEWS: Big western... Many of the familiar elements of the western story, the frontier town cowed by unruly elements, the imported lawman with a killer's reputation, the citizens who finally assert themselves to gain control of their community, these are all part of Warlock. But the 20th-Fox presentation is an effort to take such a theme, familiar in its basic outline and carry it beyond the ordinary conclusion and behind the usual facade... The plot, dealing as it does with very complicated people, is involved, but not puzzling. Aurthur's characters and their dialogue are fresh and picturesque. Widmark's portrayal is vital, although his early position as a member of the hell-raising gang is not entirely clear. Fonda is particularly fine. It may not be a romantic conception, but Fonda gives his role great validity. - "Variety".

Reviewed by angelosdaughter 9 / 10

A Western More Complicated Than the Norm for the Time POSSIBLE SPOILERS

I watched this for the first time this afternoon. It was certainly more complicated than most westerns of this period. There is no one who is really a hero All of the main characters have a dark side. It was interesting to see Richard Widmark who usually plays the good guy in the role of a man (Johnny Gannon) who is conflicted by his past with a band of rowdies of whom his brother is a member and his attempt to be on the side of law and order. I don't understand why many see the partnership between the high class gunslinger Blaisdell hired by the town, (Henry Fonda) accompanied by his lame self-appointed bodyguard/gambling enterprise partner played by Anthony Quinn, as in any way homoerotic, unlike the scene in 'Spartacus between Lawrence Olivier and Tony Curtis, instead of which it is co-dependent. I guess many who watched missed Morgan explaining his loyalty to Blaisdell (Fonda), saying, "He is the only man who never saw me as a cripple." As Blaisdell's sidekick/bodyguard, Morgan shares in his reputation and as well, Blaisdell's protection from being disregarded/pitied as a 'cripple'. Morgan has no other relationships in his life, and his dismay at Blaisdell's considering marrying Jessie and settling down is that of someone being abandoned. I think we have all heard of a close friend viewing a new relationship as a full or partial abandonment of the friendship and so displaying jealousy. I enjoyed DeForest Kelly as an agitator, albeit one who didn't really care to hurt anybody, in one of his pre-Star Trek 'Bones' McCoy roles. And it is only fitting that the new sheriff/reformed rowdy played by Widmark ends up in the arms of the former saloon girl played by Dorothy Malone.

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