HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
All the Money in the World
Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, The
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Cargo
Entertainer, The
Wing Commander
Look Back in Anger
   
 
Newest Articles
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
   
 
  Shalako Wayward Out WestBuy this film here.
Year: 1968
Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Sean Connery, Brigitte Bardot, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Peter van Eyck, Honor Blackman, Woody Strode, Eric Sykes, Alexander Knox, Valerie French, Julián Mateos, Don 'Red' Barry, Rodd Redwing, Chief Tug Smith, Hans De Vries, Walter Brown
Genre: Western
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: In the Old West, it was a custom for visiting dignitaries from Europe to travel the American plains and go big game hunting there. So it is that the guests of Senator Henry Clarke (Alexander Knox) have ventured onto the Apache reservation and are bagging big cats: Countess Irinia Lazaar (Brigitte Bardot) has just shot one. However, she is growing tired of the company and wanders off alone where she finds a man staked to the ground by the Indians, and if that's not bad enough they are still around and heading in her direction. There's only one man who will save her now: army scout Shalako (Sean Connery)!

It all sounds quite exciting, doesn't it? So where does it go wrong? With the unusual cast it features, one would have thought this film would have created a few sparks - Connery and Bardot, together at last! - but you're never convinced their characters are attracted to each other, not least because they only have about three scenes where they are alone together in a film that lasts almost two hours. It's a pity, because it starts well, with an interesting premise: the Europeans straining for civilisation in an area where such airs and graces are not welcome.

This was a British western, shot in Spain, but as you may be aware the list of great British westerns is a short one with Shalako notable in its absence. This was the film Connery opted to make instead of On Her Majesty's Secret Service, wanting out of the whole Bond circus before being tempted back for one more after he had made this. Too often his protagonist is sidelined for the others to make their mark, and this weakens his position when, say, bad guy guide Fulton (Stephen Boyd) takes centre stage to catch the eye of straying noblewoman Lady Julia (Honor Blackman).

So it's more of an ensemble than a star vehicle, and among its international cast there are eccentricities such as Woody Strode playing the son of the Apache chief or funnyman Eric Sykes in a straight role as a butler. Another aspect that stands out is the more adult tone, obviously attempting to take on the more ruthless handling of the European westerns hailing from the Continent, so we get someone bloodily shot in the face just a year after Bonnie and Clyde, gaping wounds and that bloke who was staked to the ground goring himself on a spike.

A more memorable demise comes when Lady Julia is caught by the Indians when her fleeing stagecoach is overturned, the lesson being, don't play dead and don't offer your attacker your jewellery if he is preoccupied with pouring dust into your mouth. Yes, those Apaches are angry at the invasion of these whites, no matter that there aren't many of them, and this being a British western the question of class inevitably intrudes. This we see when the posh party can barely conceal their arrogance as Shalako demands that they leave only to receive the reply that they don't think they will be much troubled by "savages". There's a sense of just desserts when the attacks commence, but we're supposed to be on the Europeans' side as Shalako is (for reasons of keeping the peace), and they're an unsympathetic bunch. Also, how much makeup does Bardot have on? She wears more warpaint than Strode. Music by Robert Farnon, with lyrics to the theme song by Jim Dale, funnily enough.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3189 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: