July 4, 2004

Western melodrama: Duel in the Sun

I must be experiencing a burst of movie energy since I have yet another review posted.

Unfortunately, this movie is a turkey. It's the 1946 western melodrama Duel in the Sun. Some people like it for its over-the-top silliness but frankly, it's a long movie. Too long to endure for something that's just plain bad.

Apparently, at the time it was intended to be a kind of western Gone With the Wind, and you can see where they probably had that in mind. But you can also see what a bad idea it was.

The biggest problem, I think, is not recognizing most good westerns depend on a simplicity, part of which is production restraint. So when you pull out all the stops and make the movie an overblown, grandiose production, you're making something in direct opposition to the sensibility of the western.

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