Ride Lonesome

(Budd Boetticher, USA, 1959)


One of the great hallmarks of the Western genre in the '50s is the presence of ambiguous anti-heroes whose precise designs and motivations are never made entirely clear until the final moments of the film – as with John Wayne in The Searchers (1956), James Stewart in Anthony Mann's films, and Randolph Scott in this Budd Boetticher classic.

The devious economy of the narrative twists and the laconic suggestiveness of the dialogue (supplied by writer Burt Kennedy) contribute greatly to this captivating, strangely moving revenge story.

The final image is haunting and indelible.

MORE Boetticher: The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond

© Adrian Martin January 1993

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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