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Pale Rider

A movie directed by Clint Eastwood

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One of the best westerns ever made

  • Jan 23, 2011
This movie is largely a remake of the classic, "Shane", starring Alan Ladd, only this time the daunting task that the wandering gunman does with the local man is breaking up a large rock rather than removing a stump. A group of miners have a valid claim to a section of creek bed, but they are being pressured to leave by a wealthy miner (LaHood) that owns the neighboring claims. The group is about to leave after a group of the miner's workers rides through and disrupts their camp, killing a dog and a cow.
The leader of the miners goes to town to get some supplies and he is attacked by a group of the miner's men. He is getting beaten with hickory sticks when the Clint Eastwood character intervenes and beats up all four of the men. With seemingly nothing else to do, the Eastwood character rides back with to the camp with the lead miner for "a cot and a hot." The miners are stunned to see the Eastwood character wearing a religious collar and from that point on he is the Preacher.
When the Preacher and the lead miner are breaking up a large rock, LaHood sends his son and a behemoth played by Richard Kiel to intimidate the miners. The Preacher takes care of the behemoth, an action that stiffens the spine of the miners to fight back against LaHood. Things escalate when LaHood sends out a call for a Marshall that is little more than a mercenary and he arrives with his gun-slinging deputies, which leads to a confrontation.
There is absolutely no one better than Clint Eastwood the actor at communicating with a hard look and there is no one better than Clint Eastwood the director at capturing the shot. The dialog is superb and at no times is it better than when it is terse as the writers and Eastwood understood that there are times when few words are better than many. This is a great movie, one of the best westerns ever made.

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More Pale Rider reviews
review by . June 24, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
The situation is familiar enough, previously dramatized in another film, Shane (1953): A stranger appears and becomes involved with good people who are being tormented by a powerful adversary as they struggle to eke out a living as miners camped along a river. Eastwood has duly acknowledged several similarities with Shane while explaining that he wanted to create his own version and commissioned a script based on that basic situation. As for the film's title, as she was reading the Bible with her …
About the reviewer
Charles Ashbacher ()
Ranked #76
Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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