10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Urghh, He Sure Had A Lot Of Blood Left In Him, Didn't He...?"
'High Plains Drifter' is my very favourite Eastwood movie (and that's saying something). I especially like the dark humour and ambiguity, but in truth, there's not much I don't like.
You just know something bad is gonna happen the minute you see him appear through the desert heat-haze in the eerie title sequence, and by the time the film ends, with the same...
Published on 26 July 2008 by Paul Ess.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth Watching
High Plains Drifter is a cracking western not for the easily offended,it definately deserves its 18 rating.Clints performance as the Stranger is excellent,a rather nasty hero to say the least.The film flows well throughout and is well directed by Clint himself.Not Eastwoods best but well worth a watch.
Published on 16 Oct 2008 by P. G. Luckley
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Urghh, He Sure Had A Lot Of Blood Left In Him, Didn't He...?",
You just know something bad is gonna happen the minute you see him appear through the desert heat-haze in the eerie title sequence, and by the time the film ends, with the same shot in reverse (a la 'the Searchers') something bad has!
In between, we're treated to much violence, sexism, adultery, hypocrisy and general wretchedness from the Lago townsfolk, and they're the victims!
These people are dire, far worse than the actual villains, (who are gold-star nasty in a traditional sense.) they stood and watched as their sheriff, the only honest character in the film, was whipped to death in the street.
In essence, 'High Plains Drifter' is a cross between 'Witchfinder General', 'High Noon' and 'the Omen', only with lashings more unpleasantness. The main difference; there's people to cheer for in those films - there's no-one here. Even the 'hero' is a cruel, merciless killer, who is himself in no moral position to deliver salvation OR retribution to the cowering townsfolk.
And who is he? The murdered sheriff's avenging kin? His ghost? The devil? The plot leads us up all the various avenues and alleyways but in the end, it doesn't really matter. We're just glad that everyone who deserves retribution - gets it!
The doing-good-via-bad cliché is hammered home, but again we don't really care. We know right will out, however perversely (and hopefully brutally!) because Eastwood's with the programme.
Visually, the films superb. The town appears condensed, like a vacuum, especially when Eastwood demands it be painted red. It's not the traditional homely Western hamlet, which deserves to be defended by brave men for whom it's worthwhile giving their lives. It's a bleak, soul-less outpost, desperate and afraid of it's own shadowy secrets and the fact they're returning to haunt it when it thought they were buried with the sheriff.
Bruce Surtees camerawork effortlessly conveys this - and more.(let's not give Eastwood ALL the credit) We get a very real sense of the artless, cuboid structures and the creepy inhabitants deserving each other.
Performance-wise, Eastwood plays Eastwood with a twisted comic bravado (he knows he's distorting the western myth, by subverting the very iconography and legend that built it in the first place), he prowls the streets like Ann Coulter on the look-out for liberals; a cold glint as another low-life bites the dust.
Geoffrey Lewis is grotesquely brilliant as the drunken, heartless, leering chief-baddy, and the rare Verna Bloom is handsome and sassy as the rebellious wife of one of Lago's slimy conspirators.
There's blood by the bucket; roaring gun-fights; an inevitable,(but well-staged) all consuming fire; seriously nasty whippings and there's even a squalid, squeaky-voiced dwarf who, along with some 'pesky injun savages', are the only people to benefit from the 'drifter's' brief tenure.
'High Plains Drifter' is a delirious amalgam of all that's small and sleazy in our sugar-veneered world.
A cynical, yet not completely hopeless vision of mankind in general, which is as valid and relevant now as when Eastwood shot it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original Western,
By A Customer
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Stranger returns,
This review is from: High Plains Drifter [DVD] (DVD)Definitely a classic. Clint is in his element, once again as the Man with No Name, but this time there is a more mysterious and somewhat deeper persona. No longer the bounty hunter, this time his presence signifies justice and is centred around the town of Lago, where years earlier a young marshal was murdered in full view of the town's occupants who idly stood by. The Stranger ensures that everyone, those who were directly responsible and those who did nothing, will suffer for their respective sins.
Eerier and lacking the comfortable silliness of the Dollars' trilogy, this packs a moral punch, though not necessarily one that will accord with all tastes.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ground Breaking, must-see western,
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic comes to HD,
I am watching this while typing and I can honestly say I am very very impressed, you can see this has been remastered and not just upscaled ala Two Mules or Joe Kidd (both of which are a vast improvement over their DVD counterparts) the picture is as sharp as you would expect, the colour vibrant, the scenes set at night stand out and are pin sharp (a problem with DVDs and some Blu Rays) the sound has been remastered into 5.1, which does sound clearer than before but doesn't make any real use of the back speakers so do not buy this expecting your cinema surround system to get a work out as it will not.
what you are buying this for is the vastly improved picture quality and this delivers on all counts.
For a product being labelled as a 40th anniversary edition you will be a little disappointed with the extras, or rather the lack there off. This edition has a solitary trailer. I would like more Clint Eastwood movies to come with some outstanding extras or even a retrospective documentary or two but to be honest they have always been a little lacking in that department but as I want my movies on the best ever format with the best possible picture and sound I am more than happy with this release. I am not going to review this movie what is the point High Plains Drifter has been out there for 40 years so you would have seen it in one format or the other.
The only real question being is this worth getting again and I have to give a resounding yes put your hand in your pocket replace your old DVD or VHS you will not be disappointed, enjoy I am.
40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great western by the hands of Eastwood himself,
This review is from: High Plains Drifter [DVD]  (DVD)While HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER might not be of the high quality a "Fistful of Dollars" may be, this is surely a film you should pick up. It marks Eastwood's second film as a director and he certainly proves that he had guts enough to make this a tough western movie in the tradition of his "Man with no name" predecessors.
Once again, Eastwood plays an unnamed stranger, riding into a town that bears trouble. Quickly sucked into the local tensions, he gets hired by the town's inhabitants to track down the source of evil. Of course, how else should it be, he ends up being the avenging angel bringing very DEADLY justice to the criminals.
HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER is a serious piece of western-movie entertaining to the last minute. Eastwood shows that it doesn't need the name Leone to deliver a solid western.
The DVD itself offers decent quality and a great cover for the collector enthusiast.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THIS DRIFTER,
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!!,
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Clint - Long Live Cool!,
This review is from: High Plains Drifter [DVD] (DVD)Sara - "I knew you were cruel but I didn't know how far you could go."
The Stranger - "You still don't."
Sara - "You are the kind of man that makes people afraid, and that's dangerous."
The Stranger - "It's what people know about themselves inside that makes them afraid"
I only have limited space in which to store DVD's, so I choose the ones I do purchase carefully. Choosing High Plains Drifter was an easy decision, as it has all the attributes of a great western and a good flick. The barren landscape is as haunting as the opening music. A tale is told, a situation resolved, and yet a bit of mystery remains, causing you to question what you have just seen.
The cast does a very fine job in creating characters that fully support the premise of the movie and portray the towns dynamic. From beginning to end, however, it is Clint Eastwood as "The Stranger" who is the star and makes the movie memorable.
Eastwood is the quintessential strong/silent type, a soft-spoken man of few words who explodes into action to deliver justice, whether to a gunslinger or an insolent woman. The character, however, is more than squinting, delivering one-liners, and pulling the trigger. He's a thinker, a planner, he creates a psychological advantage against the bad guys... whether it be using dynamite or red paint. He can also turn on the charm, using those famous blue eyes to twinkle and speak without dialogue, as Vera Bloom (Sara Belding) discovers first hand.
The DVD comes with subtitles in 14 languages (Including English) and spoken languages in English, Deutsch, Italiano, French, and Castellano.
The menu allows you to search by scene, and includes production notes as well as a theatrical trailer and information about the cast.
I knew I wanted to own a copy of High Plains Drifter, but it was not until I saw it again that I realized that I had forgotten how good it really is.
I wish that I could give it 4 1/2 stars,
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, profoundly creepy, post-Leone Western,
This review is from: High Plains Drifter [DVD] (DVD)Clint Eastwood is probably the most important person in the development of the Western after John Ford and John Wayne.
Not only did he star in Sergio Leone's three brilliant 'Dollars' films that re-energised the genre in the sixties, he went on to star and direct in four American westerns. Three of those - Unforgiven, The Outlaw Josey Wales and this one - are classics, while the fourth, Pale Rider, isn't half bad.
In High Plains Drifter, Eastwood imagines what might have happened in High Noon if the marshall had not been triumphant. A rider drifts into the terrified town of Lago and kills the three hired guns the town's folk have engaged to defend them from the villains they previously paid to whip the previous marshall to death.
Eastwood's un-named character is told he can do anything - anything - as long as he fights the soon-to-be-returning killers. He takes this very literally, wandering through the brilliantly-realised lake side town causing chaos and helping himself to boots, whiskey and women.
That the mysterious stranger is a supernatural presence is hinted at through the discordant, disconcerting score as well as flashbacks to the death of the marshall who discovered the town's mine was on government land.
This is a nightmare. When the stranger decides the town should be painted red - literally - and it's name changed to Hell, you don't actually need a background in semiotics to work out the symbolism. Vengeance is coming to the people of Lago.
The climactic scenes, particularly when the stranger whips a man to death as the towns folk remain - transfixed - in the saloon are terrifying.
After the chaos and death, of course, like any archtypal western hero, the Stranger rides off, saying, 'you know my name' to the midget he has installed as sheriff and mayor. His name is Death.
In short, a classic film, dripping with quality. The design, the score, the minimalist script and the impressive artistic control for a second-time director combine to make a compelling statement on the nature of personal responsibility and vengeance.
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High Plains Drifter [DVD] by Clint Eastwood (DVD - 2008)