HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Old Guard, The
Gumnaam
Disappearance at Clifton Hill
Sullivans, The
Piranhas
Love in the Afternoon
Black Water: Abyss
Wild Blue Yonder, The
All Hail the Popcorn King
Muriel, or the Time of Return
Selma
Great Locomotive Chase, The
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
Druids
War of the Wizards
Onward
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Radioactive
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Sonatine
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Luck of Ginger Coffey, The
Junkers Come Here
Ladius
   
 
Newest Articles
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
   
 
  Waterhole Three Worst In The West
Year: 1967
Director: William A. Graham
Stars: James Coburn, Carroll O'Connor, Margaret Blye, Claude Akins, Timothy Carey, Bruce Dern, Joan Blondell, James Whitmore, Harry Davis, Roy Jenson, Robert Cornthwaite, Jim Boles, Steve Whittaker, Ted Markland, Rupert Crosse, Jay Ose, Robert 'Buzz' Henry
Genre: Western, ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: A wagon containing four bars of gold is ridden into the town of Dolores by members of the Army, led by Captain Shipley (James Whitmore), to leave it in the care of a guard there, but what he doesn't know is the man he has given this responsibility to, Sergeant Foggers (Claude Akins), is not as noble as he seems. Once Shipley has left, a tunnel dug from the nearby shoemaker's offers access to the gold, and with the innocent shoemaker, Ben (Harry Davis), framed as the culprit, Foggers and his gang, who include the heavy, Hilb (Timothy Carey), make off with their ill-gotten gains. However, there is one man who might wish to relieve them of the treasure, a rogue known as Lewton Cole (James Coburn)...

Yes, James Coburn, one of the most charming of leading men with a demeanour that could lend itself to playing an engaging and capable hero to a more easygoing scoundrel, but no matter what side of the moral divide he was on, more often than not you found yourself warming to him. So what went so badly wrong with Waterhole Three? He wasn't doing much different in his performance than he usually did around this era, the nineteen-sixties when he really came to prominence as a star, yet the script was so misjudged and used him so poorly that you found yourself really taking against him. It was like hearing a song you like then listening to the lyrics to find they were unpalatable, an apt comparison in light of Roger Miller's sung narration courting comparison to the far better Cat Ballou.

The main bone of contention was Cole's antihero status. When we first meet him he is cheating others in a saloon with a game of find the lady, but then is challenged to as gunfight which he promptly wins by waiting for his opponent to stand in the street, ready to fire, whereupon Cole uses his horse as cover and blows the guy away with a shotgun. Ah, we see, this man does not play by the rules, and he is supposed to make us laugh in the process, but the trouble is we're not laughing because no matter how often he flashes that smile there's something about Cole that makes the skin crawl. It's not that Coburn was doing anything much different to his usual performance in such a movie, but the material he was working with severely let him down.

Cole is on the trail of that gold, with a map on a twenty dollar bill telling him it is buried in a waterhole some distance away, the waterhole of the title, but on the way he stops off at a different town to apparently do nothing more than make an enemy of the Sheriff there, Copperud (Carroll O'Connor), by locking him up naked in his own jail (he has company, too - Bruce Dern is in there with him). Before he steals his horse too, Cole is confronted by the Sheriff's daughter Billee (Margaret Blye of The Italian Job fame) in the barn, whereupon he turns the tables and rapes her. Now, you may be thinking that even for a comedy that's not especially hilarious for the protagonist to be doing, and you'd be damn right, it upsets the whole movie and leaves us despising the character we're presumably meant to be admiring.

At this point in the Western genre's history, the previous dominance of the Hollywood product was being overtaken by the flood of European efforts which had a grittier, more dissolute take on the conventions, so you had to assume the makers of Waterhole Three were trying to keep up with this competition by including scenes like that, but the repercussions of the rape echo through the rest of the movie. Billee wants revenge so chases Cole across the desert, just as her father has done, but nobody takes her seriously when she brings up the assault, least of all Cole who describes what he did as "assault with a friendly weapon", and when she tries to have him arrested by Shipley later on, the Captain dismisses the issue by telling her nobody would take her seriously in a court and the jury would want to rape her as well. Watching these attitudes from yesteryear today would be bad enough, but there's not one good joke in the movie otherwise either, not Joan Blondell as a madam yelling "bastards!" and not the way all the wrong people get rewarded. It's a nasty piece of work. Music by Dave Grusin.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2047 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 star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
  Hannah Prosser
   

 

Last Updated: