The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) 720p

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The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) - Movie Poster
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Run Time:
118 min
IMDB Rating:
7.9 / 10 
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Directors: Clint Eastwood [Director] ,

Movie Description:
Josey Wales makes his way west after the Civil War, determined to live a useful and helpful life. He joins up with a group of settlers who need the protection that a man as tough and experienced as he is can provide. Unfortunately, the past has a way of catching up with you, and Josey is a wanted man.


  • The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) - Movie Scene 1
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  • The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) - Movie Scene 1

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Overlong but splendid Western well played and directed by Clint Eastwood as a farmer turns outlaw when Union soldiers kill his family

Interesting movie based on a novel by Forrest Carter titled "Gone To Texas" and professionally performed and directed by Clint Eastwood . Exciting film based on historical events set during American Civil War (1861-1865) in which the Bushwhackers use guerrilla warfare to destroy Yankee targets and led by men set on revenge, make raid and surprising attacks . A Missouri peaceful farmer named Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood) whose family is killed by ¨Red Legs¨, a bunch of pillaging outlaws who have allied themselves with the Union Army ; he then turns vigilante . After the war , everyone in his troop surrenders to the victorious Unión except Wales . There take place fights between cutthroat Bushwhackers versus Jayhawkers , including historical characters named Quantrill and Bloody Bill Anderson (John Russell) who carried out an infamous Raid on Lawrence, Kansas . The surrendering detachment are then murdered after being promised amnesty . Then Wales in turn has a price on his head and joins a Confederate guerrilla unit to revenge their deaths and winds up on the run along with a motley group (Sam Bottoms , Chief Dan George , Sondra Locke) from the Union soldiers who murdered his family and undertaking a lethal chase .

The picture compellingly describes the atmosphere of violence set in post-Civil War ; in which women have few rights, and took place confrontation among bands and bloody battles . This thrilling as well as violent flick details a bloody vendetta , propelling a cat-and-mouse pursuit odyssey . Although atmospheric , it's also sometimes slow-moving and winds up into a spectacular showdown . Very good production design , including breathtaking attacks and fights ; as the film contains some of the most wild horse scenes ever recorded and kept in a movie . The scenes of the picture were filmed in Lake Powell, Arizona, Wyoming,Glen Canyon, Utah, Kanab, Paria, Utah, Oroville, Utah and Mescal, Arizona . Nice acting by Eastwood in his usual stoic attitude as the outlaw becomes the hunter and the hunted . In fact , Clint Eastwood cites Josey as his personal favorite of all the movies he's made . And this is the first of six movies made by real-life couple Clint Eastwood and Sondra Locke. Very good support cast plenty of familiar faces such as Chief Dan George , Bill McKinney . John Vernon , Paula Trueman as Grandma Sarah , Sam Bottoms , Joyce Jameson , John Davis Chandler , Will Sampson , Doug McGrath , John Russell , Charles Tyner , Matt Clark , among others . And uncredited Kyle Eastwood , in film debut , can be glimpsed very briefly in the opening sequence helping his dad, Josey, work the land by their home . Thrilling and atmospheric musical score by Jerry Fielding , Sam Peckinpah's usual . Colorful and adequate cinematography shot in Panavision by Bruce Surtees , great cameraman Robert Surtees's son.

This masterpiece of characterization , adventure and action was efficiently directed by Clint Eastwood ; however , the movie received mixed reviews on its release . Clint took over filmmaking from Philip Kaufman who also co-wrote the script , a rule which has ever since been titled the "Eastwood rule" . It is Clint's one of the best films as both a player and filmmaker and being followed by ¨The return of Josey Wales¨ with no participation by Clint Eastwood . Star, producer , director Eastwood realizes an excellent film and perfectly directed . This classic Western as good as the notorious ¨Pale rider¨ is magnificent in every way . Later on , Eastwood produced and directed another successful Western , the Oscarized ¨Unforgiven(1992)¨ also with some common theme.

"Leaves dead men wherever he goes"

By the 1970s, the classic Western seemed to have come full circle through genre cliché and elegy, and was now going through an era of surrealism and self-reference, from cheeky comedies like Little Big Man to horror-tinged bloodbaths like High Plains Drifter. However, with 1976's The Outlaw Josey Wales, this wave of strange and violent Westerns gains a little perspective on itself.

Have no doubt, The Outlaw Josey Wales is an action Western, but it has an overriding theme of making peace and learning to have a life after conflict. It essentially presents the typical tough-jawed Clint Eastwood shooting his way through dozens of hoodlums with barely credible dexterity, but then gradually having his humanity restored by an unlikely family of sorts that he picks up on his way. As such it's ultimately a rather heart-warming affair. And amazingly this humane streak is not at the expense of the necessary business of gunning down men four at a time. There is a little prologue in which we see Eastwood as a meek little farmer witnessing his family get butchered. This version of Eastwood is perhaps a little too ineffectual for us to fully accept his transition to a hard-hearted badass, but enough happens in the meantime to make us forget the prologue, only for to be reminded of it in the picture's final act as some surreal dream of the life that once was, with renewed impact.

As an actor, Clint Eastwood was of course born to play the tough-jawed Clint Eastwood type, but he handles the more peaceable aspects of the Josey Wales character with rather mixed success. He looks appropriately awkward towards the end when attempting to dance with Sondra Locke, but his attempt at being the humble little fellow who gets his face slashed in the prologue is a really terrible bit of acting. The highlights of the movie however are really the supporting players. Chief Dan George is wonderfully deadpan, bringing a little hint of irony to even his most serious speeches. Paula Trueman is very good too, playing the feisty old lady stereotype with far more realism than one generally sees.

This was Eastwood's second Western as a director. The influence of his mentor Sergio Leone shows through with action scenes preceded by lots of mean-faced close-ups and made up of quick bursts of gunfire. But there's something that Eastwood does with the space that is very unlike the rolling vistas of Leone's work. Eastwood uses tight framing and close backgrounds to enclose each shot, as if fending off the Western landscape and even defying the width of the 'scope aspect ratio. Throughout we are encouraged to see the people, not the place. What landscape we do see is wintry and spiky, a harsh and atypical look.

And this is still in many ways a harsh and atypical Western. Although it certainly brings back some sense of hope and humanity to an increasingly brutal genre it is still very much of its time. There is no wistful harking back to the classic oaters of the previous generation. This is High Plains Drifter with a silver lining. And it is perhaps just what the Western needed at that time.
All in all, a very creditable film.
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