Pale Rider

Sarah: "Who are you? Who are you, really?"
the preacher: "Well, it really doesn't matter, does it?"

release year: 1985
genre: western
viewing setting: home DVD, 3/10/16 and 7/1/09 and 7/25/05 and 12/20/01 and 10/2/98

synopsis: A mysterious preacher comes from nowhere to save some settlers from a bullying mining baron.

impressions: This sort of felt like High Plains Drifter lite - which still, of course, makes it well worth watching. It was a variant on the "man with no name" idea, with him being a preacher this time (or was he really? Maybe it was a disguise. He never came out and said "I'm a preacher" - he just acted the part.) In any case, he was dominant in all his scenes - a complete badass who kicked ass and dealt justice. It was neat that for most of the movie, he didn't even have guns. There were some good lines and an underlying theme about not giving up your dignity, no matter the price or ramifications.

things to watch for: at the end, when the preacher straps on his guns and goes forth to deal with Stockburn and his deputies

something this movie has that no other movie has: Richard Kiel (Jaws of James Bond fame) as a gigantic cowboy henchman.

acting: Clint Eastwood did a good job here as the same basic character he played in most of his westerns (and that ultimately got a deeper examination in Unforgiven.) Michale Moriarty made a convincing nice-guy settler who wants to fight back but doesn't know how. I didn't care for the mother character - she had criticisms but no solutions. The daughter was cute but almost as helpless.

final word: One of Clint's better westerns, not as grim as others.

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