3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Will Penny - an unusual but very good western, 29 Jan 2011
Will Penny features Charlton Heston as an ageing cowboy down on his luck. For Heston fans used to seeing him as the larger than life hero (Ben Hur, El Cid etc), this is quite a culture shock: he is far more vulnerable, human and fallible than in any other Heston movies I've seen - but this is part of the film's attraction.
Basically, Heston falls foul of a mad preacher (wonderfully played by Donald Pleasance)and his sons (who include a scary Bruce Dern) and they take revenge on him in the middle of nowhere. As well as almost killing him, they take all Heston's clothes (apart from socks and longjohns) and leave him to die a slow death in the winter wilderness. A half-dead Heston only survives by making it back to his linesman's cabin where a young woman and her son (who are staying there illegally) nurse him back to health. An interdependecy and intimacy between the unlikely couple ensues and Heston begins to glimpse a life he's never had but just when love seems his biggest issue, the preacher and his sons return!
Featuring a great cast (as above and including Anthony Zerbe, Ben Johnson and Slim Pickens), an unusual storyline and Heston in a much more 'normal person' role, Will Penny is a very intelligent and entertaining western, which seems very realistic. Watch it and enjoy!