135 minutes| U.S.A.| 1976| Colour| Anamorphic| 35mm

Released a year after defeat in Vietnam, Clint Eastwood’s classic anti-war Western was both a stark reflection on the 10 years of recent bloodshed in Indochina and an unromantic depiction of the post-American Civil War unification period. A peaceful Missouri farmer (Eastwood) has his home destroyed and family murdered by marauding Union bandits. Hell-bent on revenge, Wales joins a band of Confederate guerillas. At the war’s end, Wales refuses to surrender to his enemies and quickly becomes the most wanted outlaw in the territory. Unusual in its depiction of Union soldiers as murderers, the film is the archetypical revisionist Western. When an old Cherokee chief recounts the long list of betrayals perpetrated against him by the white man, Wales promptly falls asleep. The film is dark and brutal with crackling dialogue. Challenged by a foe, Wales inquires if he’s a bounty hunter. He answers: ‘A man’s gotta do something for a livin’ these days.’ Wales retorts: ‘Dyin’ ain’t much of a livin’, boy.’

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