High Plains Drifter

Sarah: "You're a man who makes people afraid, and that's dangerous."
the stranger: "It's what people know about themselves inside that makes 'em afraid."

release year: 1972
genre: western
viewing setting: home Bluray 12/28/17 and 4/18/16 and home DVD, 10/9/09 and 7/22/05 and 12/15/01 and 11/29/98

synopsis: By way of a mysterious, grim drifter, the residents of a small town pay for their past sins.

impressions: This is easily the darkest and nastiest of Clint Eastwood's westerns. There are pretty much no other characters who evoke any sympathy, and the stranger completely dominates them all, killing or humiliating them and generally seeing to it that they get what they deserve. I can't say much more without giving away plot points that are best left to be discovered on your own. The movie is full of great lines and bad-ass situations.

acting: Many of the supporting cast turn in memorable roles, but this is Clint Eastwood's movie. His character is always at the center of things, even when not present; both his guns and his attitude ensure that he stays on top of things. Geoffrey Lewis is the murdering bandit leader who's returning to the town, and who's tied to the drifter's past. There are a number of notable roles among the townspeople - a dozen or more, far too many to detail here. Let's just say that all of the acting was convincing for a Western.

final word: Good western, and more than a little dark and violent.

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