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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 28, 1973)
I always look forward to a movie like The Deadly Trackers,
mainly because I love a good western. This one doesn't make
the grade, though. It has an excellent beginning and a good
ending, but nearly everything in between is messed up to the
point of absurdity.
The Deadly Trackers is a dirty "dirty Western". This
Mexican-American production reminds one of the Clint
Eastwood "spaghetti" Westerns, but it goes beyond the silent,
brooding no-nonsense style of those moveis. It is brutal,
bloody (a quality the Eastwood films had suprisingly little of)
It begins with a series of gritty, burlap-textured stills with
dialog heard over them. The action starts with the sound of
the first qunshot in a small-town bank robbery by an outlaw
band whose leader is Rod Taylor. Fine touches so far.
Sean Kilpatrick (Richard Harris) is the town's Irish sheriff
who has built a reputation for keeping law and order without
using a gun. But after his wife and son are killed, he
conveniently forgets all that as he follows the outlaws a'or.c
into Mexico, and one by one, butchers and blasts them into a
well deserved oblivion.
greg lUKOWicey grip
The script test can be described as ridiculous, its high
points being lines like "Hi; shot the rosts from her cheeks".
Harris seems to whisper half of his dialog, because he's either
seething with anger or is weak from being beaten, shot or even
The badmen (Taylor, Neville Brand, et al.) are really bad
men. Except tor a gentlemanly black (Paul Benjamin), who
always manages to retain some dignity but, in the end, gets
blown to bits, they are ignorant, disgusting stereotype:,. They
slobber and drool as they eat v'ith their fingers, and they
carouse with the ever-present sloppy Mexican woman. One
man has a mutilated face and Brand h:is 3 piece of railroad iron
instead of a hand (a ridiculous replacement for the old,
The ending, like the beginning, is one of the film's few
redeeming qualities. After Kilpatrick has taken vengeance on
the last of the outlaws, he is killed by a naive Mexican sheriff
(Al Lettieri) who runs things by the book. It is a somewhat
unexpected ending, and one that shoots many old western
movie cliches in the back.
Director Bairy Shear (Wild In The Streets) apparently has
tried to make this a troubling psychological story. Kilpatrick's
mind and motivations are often hard to understand. He slits
the throat of one viliian then looks at the blood on his clothes
and throws up.
The trouble, though, is that Kilpatrick is not even an
anti-hero, let alone a hero. He becomes as revolting as the men
he is tracking. He doesn't hesitate to rough up anyone who
gets in his way and he loses control over his emotions. There is
no balance between his violent and peaceful instincts. He
seems to be psycopathic. The film and its characters lack the
code ol ethics that was present even in a film like Peckinpah's
master piece of western violence. The Wild Bunch.
Kilpatrick is reminiscent of Joe Don Baker's role in a
similar film, Walking Toil. Both have violent non-heroes who
are so brutal and indestructible that one wonders what the bad
guys did to deserve them.
And while Walking Tall seems to be in many ways a bad
movie, it is still an important one. Unlike The Deadly Trackers
it i- successful in manipulating the audience to root for a guy
who deseivt's no cheers at all. .
Speaking of Joe Don Baker, all those who thought him
impervious to death in Walking Tall can see Walter Matthau
turn the u n:k in Don Siegle's newest film, Charley Varrick.
Siegle is cne of the last of the old Hollywood contract
directors, and this film, in which Matthau always keeps one
step a he-id of the group trying to get rid of him, is a first-rate
M.iny small siwir, have been posted recently around the
camp!.:., teilinci of attempts to form a Lincoln Silent Film
Snooty by the lirst of the year. Interested students would do
well to look into it fur trier.
i i;XAS INSTRUMENTS
"The Slide Rule"
Calculators in Stock-
1100 '0' St.
Author's skill makes love story
sentimental, not tear-jerker
If-' ? ; ,
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urn m l. v j
SUNDAY' DECEMBER 2, 8:00 P.M.
KIMBALL RECITAL HALL
ADMISSION SI. 00
TICKETS AVAILABLE: UNION SOUTH DESK
A Thousand Summers by Garsun Kan in.
Shakespcaie used a plot like this once: (I)
boy m(it5 girl; (2) boy ar -iil fjll in love; 3)
boy and girl die;. He called it ftumeu nd JjIkh.
Erich Segal changed step (3) to th giil dying
and called it Love Story. Carson K;nin now lias
made the girl and troy i 1 1 1 . r i ;.ihI vvoiiiu'i in
their 30s and 40s and he calls Ins book A
Freeman Osborn is a druggist in the sin.ill
town of Edgartown on Mcrrtha's V,r,..y i il m
Massachusetts. One tummer moining during the
'20s Sheila Van Anda, tlie wife of an American
diplomat, walks into Osborn's plvmn.jcy and
within five minutes they're madly in iove.
Unfortunately, Osborn's French v'.ir rriie
refuses him a divorce while Sheila, nf;t vjaniui'j
to hurt her husband's career (yes, careers
hurt by divorce? in "them old days"), decides
against divorcing him. So Osborn and Sheila
spend the next 20 years in a secret love affair
which leads them all over the world.
Sheila, however, dies ijbr upfly of a I u.-:t t
attack midway through the book ,w d K.inin
continues the story of Osbom nn''! his
retiiem(;nt to a nursing home.
The book is sentimental, I'm' noi . ;,,
The fartor whicfi ncvents tli.! 'ax y from
deteriorating imo a cheap tear jfiker is i -book's
structure. rh- sKvt y i., told loio. h
Oiborn's metnory .jS Ik. so,, liy.ni nT-J--.il 1 1 ! : ,
on the r)fJf;h ol Falii'i(n,tli Suns. I I louse, ,,
home for the i-klcil. Kanin purposely
alternates the chapter, betsveni h. p,.i ,-iM,-
present, i-nabling tlx- toader to vu sv w.sUnt.:h
embiacr.'s as fond niemoi h.-s.
Neither the plot nor the technique is
o, Mjinal but, as always, the writer makes the
difference, and Kanin is a good one.
Sheila's abrupt death leaves Osborn with the
agonizing realities of loss, loneliness (his wife
finally divorces him) and creeping old age
coupled wixh the inevitability of his own death.
Kiinin's handling of these not-so-popular topics
I-or example, "Old people weep at many
things: a sudden pang of memory, a severe pain,
a wilp of an itch, a sense of being bereft, anger
at the body's unwillingness to respond to an
or dei, frustration, loneliness, disappointment in
the undone or loose ends or lost opportunities,
il nnt'ition of muddled memory; above all, at
it.f inevitability o what lies so close ahead, or
i' the immutable permanence of what has gone
1 i me is omnipresent throughout the book as
tin,' f,ihii(: upon which Osbotn's and Sheila's
'e-.'es are sewn. Upon finishing the book, it is
dilb-'uit to foiget the lines fiom which the title
Upon those who love,
Urigeuei ous time bestows
A thousand summers,
A Hmwiind Summers is one of the books
lir tvy.n. oiukespeare ltid drugstore trash that
constitute!, good reading.
'Prankster' weaves spell
Review by Diane Wanek
John Fahey After the h'.ill
A friend recently turned me on to lohn
Fahey and I have been thankful evei since-.
Fahey has long been a legend on (.olleie
campuses. A little roseaich hioueht io hght his
unusual recording cjreer. He, fust tilhnin h,id ;o
initial run of 9b (tin- othet fivi. vnc br.;l-. i n m
shipment), and he refolded with I,ilom.i
records, a story in itself
Fahey's fifth album lot I .ikom i h i I t. -t of
liner tlOtes that Was re.illy j st.H'Uce f i Hon
story in calli'iraphy , using the song titles .i,
characters and casting fade a., the
i agon I jycr t centuries past.
In addition to this, a story was being
e ul. ited that since Fahey never did any live
P"'toim5inces or sang on any of his albums,
Hi. . were probably done by a computer.
oinee then, Fahey has experimented in new
' Aft' the Ball is one of these
'M)"i iinents. Mi;, truly superb guitar playing
'' ;lv' ' 111 '""I out of Dixieland tunes and old
h ik-sourj'. and i ivei boat-sounding tunes with
n idition ,n ii I (Jiann.
I .mi convinced thai Fahey, besides being a
'"''''' ''I 'init.ii, is a prankster. But what a
rlelightlul way to pull punks,
wudnosduy, novomber 28, 1973
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