MGM Western Greats: Collection 1

06/06/2005
  |  Buy to Own: 06/06/2005
  |  1133 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC

Synopsis

Box-set containing ten classic Westerns. In 'The Alamo' (1960), a group of 187 Americans, led by Colonels William Travis (Laurence Harvey), Davey Crockett (John Wayne) and Jim Bowie (Richard Widmark) battle to hold off Santa Anna's army of 7,000. In 'Apache' (1954), Burt Lancaster stars as Massai, the only Indian chief left undefeated after the surrender of Geronimo. Forced off his land, Massai is forced to fight for what he believes in, waging a one-man war against the US army until a child's cry causes him to question the use of violence. 'The Big Country' (1958) follows sea-captain Jim McKay (Gregory Peck) as he forgoes a life on the ocean waves and travels west to claim his bride Patricia Terrill (Carroll Baker). But he finds more trouble than he bargained for when the Terrill clan become embroiled in a bitter feud over water rights with a rival family headed by Rufus Hannassey (Burl Ives). In 'A Fistful of Dynamite' (1971), Rod Steiger plays Juan Miranda, a Mexican peasant turned revolutionary who teams up with John Mallory (James Coburn), an Irish terrorist with an obsession for dynamite, during the 1913 Mexican Revolution. In 'The Kentuckian' (1955), Eli Wakefield (Lancaster) longs for the excitement of the Texas frontier, but when he sets out on the long journey to realise his dreams he soon finds his progress impeded by the people he meets along the way. The mad whip-wielding Bodine (Walter Matthau) wants to kill him, the beautiful schoolmistress Susie (Diana Lynn) wants to tame him, whilst all Eli wants to do is reach Texas in one piece. In 'Posse' (1993), ex-slave Jesse Lee is conscripted into the Spanish American War in 1898 and, along with his squadron of black conscripts, is ordered by Colonel Graham (Billy Zane) to ambush a supply column that happens to be laden with gold. However, Lee and his men realise that once they have stolen the gold Graham plans to kill them - so they decide to keep the booty. But Graham catches up with them in New Orleans. The 'posse' flee to Lee's hometown, Freemanville, but even here the men cannot escape trouble as local strife rises to a head, and Graham is hot on their trail. In 'Red River' (1948), Tom Dunson (Wayne) and his adopted son (Montgomery Clift) lead the cattle train which establishes the Chisholm Trail. However, father and son argue when it comes to bringing law and order to the Wild West: Tom is tied to an authoritarian approach, whilst his son favours a more liberal stance, refusing to resort to the law of the gun. 'The Scalphunters' (1968) is a comic Western following the exploits of Joe Bass (Lancaster), an old fur trader who is hell bent on taking revenge on bountyhunters who have embezzled his trade from him. Along the trail, he runs into Joseph (Ossie Davis), a slave determined to win back his freedom. In 'Vera Cruz' (1954), a revolution is in full swing and mercenaries Ben Trane (Gary Cooper) and Joe Erin (Lancaster) are trying to sell their services to whichever side will have them. After considering a number of offers, they settle on a lucrative deal with the sultry Countess DuVarre (Denise Darcel), who wants help transporting some of the Emperor's gold to his hideout in Vera Cruz. Someway along the road, the Countess comes up with an even more tempting offer - what if they were to steal the gold and divide it up amongst themselves? Finally, in 'Wild Bill' (1995), Jeff Bridges plays legendary gunslinger Wild Bill Hickok, facing a mysterious stranger (David Arquette) who is determined to see him dead. Bill finds some comfort in the arms of Calamity Jane (Ellen Barkin), but is still haunted by a doomed love for another woman. As Hickock's unhappy past threatens to catch up with him, the deadly stranger closes in.