Classic Cuts Collection: Westerns

26/03/2007
  |  Buy to Own: 26/03/2007
  |  400 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC

Synopsis

Four classic westerns. Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin headline the rip-roaring action/adventure film 'The Professionals' (1966). Four soldiers of fortune are hired by a wealthy Texan oil baron (Ralph Bellamy) to rescue his kidnapped wife (Claudia Cardinale), who's been spirited across the Mexican border by a band of mercenaries led by Jesus Raza (Jack Palance). The four rugged professionals, each regarded as a specialist in his selected field - an expert marksman and tracker (Woody Strode), the explosives master (Lancaster), horse handler (Robert Ryan) and one skilled in tactics and weaponry (Marvin) - make their way across the treacherous landscape to retrieve the beautiful kidnappee, but discover all is not what it seems in the explosive climax. In the classic Clint Eastwood western 'High Plains Drifter' (1973), the unwelcome arrival of a stranger (Eastwood) in the town of Lagos causes resentment and fear among the locals. However, when they come under threat from a band of escaped convicts, it is to the stranger that the townsfolk turn for salvation. He agrees to help, and sets about teaching the populace the arts of self defence. In the earlier John Wayne vehicle 'Tall in the Saddle' (1944), newly-arrived ranch foreman Rocklin (Wayne) finds himself involved in a love triangle and a murder mystery when he discovers that his new boss has been murdered. Framed for the crime, Rocklin must discover the identity of the real killer if he is to clear his own name. 'Shenandoah' (1965) is a civil war drama set in 1863, starring James Stewart as Charlie Anderson, a wealthy farmer in Virginia who has hitherto steadfastly refused to take any part in the war that is raging around him. But the war inevitably ensnares him through a series of family tragedies that includes his youngest son (Philip Alford) being taken prisoner by the Unionists and charged with spying, his son James (Patrick Wayne) and daughter-in-law Ann (Katharine Ross) being murdered by a gang of looters, and the death of his eldest son Jacob (Glenn Corbett). Meanwhile his daughter, Jannie (Rosemary Forsyth) falls in love with a Confederate soldier, Sam (Doug McClure).