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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Boetticher Shoestring Gem.
"The Tall T" was shown recently on the mid week afternoon movie spot on Channel 4. It has been all but forgotten except for a few connoisseurs of the western. It was part of a fine series of westerns directed by Budd Boetticher, starring Randolph Scott and written by Burt Kennedy. The three first worked together on the brilliant "Seven Men From Now"(56). Scott then joined...
Published on 10 April 2011 by Bob Salter

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars western film
another great film with plenty of action and randlolph at his best great film classic good story line a clssic
Published 11 months ago by bob


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Boetticher Shoestring Gem., 10 April 2011
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tall T [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
"The Tall T" was shown recently on the mid week afternoon movie spot on Channel 4. It has been all but forgotten except for a few connoisseurs of the western. It was part of a fine series of westerns directed by Budd Boetticher, starring Randolph Scott and written by Burt Kennedy. The three first worked together on the brilliant "Seven Men From Now"(56). Scott then joined forces with producer Harry Joe Brown forming their own production company. This team then went on to make "The Tall T"(57), "Decision at Sundown"(57), "Buchanan Rides Alone"(58), "Ride Lonesome"(59),"Westbound"(59) and "Comanche Station"(60). It is a quite remarkable series of westerns that became known as the "Ranown" series, and Brown's part in them should not be forgotten. The films were all similar in that they were filmed in desolate desert locations and had Scott playing a very similar character in all of them. This character was a taciturn, rugged, unsentimental individual who was able to think clearly with a calculating mind in adverse circumstances. A role ideal for Scott, whose grim faced visage suggested such strength of character.

"The Tall T" is perhaps the best of this brilliant series. The story is simple enough. Scott is picked up in the desert by a stagecoach which is later ambushed by bandits at a stage station. These men have already killed the stage station manager and his young son. The men then attempt to extract a fortune from the rich father of a woman travelling on the stage. Scott bides his time and tries to survive. He may just get that one opportunity! But time is very short. Will he just be another body thrown into the well at the stage station?

Most of the films in this series were made in less than a month on a shoestring budget, but it does not show a bit. This film oozes quality from start to finish. The support cast is simply wonderful. Richard Boone was perhaps one of the screens best heavies. He exudes menace as the leader of the gang. His cohorts include the menacing Henry Silva as Chink, a killer with no conscience, and Skip Homeier as a naïve young thug. It is clear they will kill without compunction. In a shocking opening we find they have even murdered the affable young son of the stage station manager and thrown his body down a well. Violence is graphic in the film without being as visible as in a Peckinpah film. Arthur Hunnicutt is also excellent as Rintoon the stagecoach driver. He was apparently drunk for much of the filming even injecting oranges with vodka to suck on. It didn't affect his performance! An ageing Maureen O'Sullivan plays the rich mans daughter, in a role very different from her Jane in the Tarzan movies. Scott is simply superb in a role that fits him like a well worn glove. As he aged he looked more and more like the silent cowboy legend William S Hart.

The film itself is a visual joy. The scenery picking up Scott's austere character. There are some lovely scenes. I particularly liked a scene with Brahma bulls. Boetticher's knowledge of these animals from bullfighting comes to the fore. There was also a lovely scene where Scott bumps his head coming out of a lean to, prompting much laughter from Boone. This was all unintended and beautifully ad libbed. Scott was left with a sore head and Boetticher with a good scene. Boetticher's meticulous craftsman's touch is also evident in his accurate use of mules on the stagecoach, instead of horses which were generally used in movies because they looked better. Mules were actually preferred by the stagecoach companies! Boetticher also used them in his last film "A Time for Dying"(69). Watch the opening credits of that film! This is a wonderful film in a wonderful series. Only Monte Hellman in the sixties came remotely close to what Boetticher achieved on a small budget. These are arguably the finest westerns ever made. Sadly the film is only available on region 2 in expensive imported foreign copies, which is a crying shame. I cannot speak for the quality of this region 1 product, only the film which is utterly brilliant. Highly recommended. A comfortable five stars.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tall T - There's some things a man just can't ride around, 18 April 2012
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tall T [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
Through the history of film there have been a few classic pairings of director and actor that have produced some out and out great films - Anthony Mann/James Stewart, John Huston/Humphrey Bogart, John Ford/John Wayne for example. I would humbly add Bud Boetticher/Randolph Scott to that list.

The Tall T (an odd title that seems to have nothing to do with the film!) is the second of seven films the pair would make together that formed the bulk of Scott's work in the last six years of his career. Along with the magnificent Ride The High Country they form a body of work that equalled, if not surpassed anything Scott's career to date and provided a magnificent high note for him to finish up on.

It's a classic little adventure. It's brisk, coming in at about 78 minutes, but in that short time the film makers manage to pack in a lot of punch. Scott plays Brennan, a man on his own just trying to make his way in the world. He gets caught up along with two newly weds in a mail robbery gone wrong, and when the bad guy decides to hold the bride to ransom things get a little tense as he knows he and the newly weds have just until the ransom is paid to live. He must use all his wiles to get them out alive.

Scott plays the archetypal hero, all honour and decency. The characterisation is essential to the thrilling finale, which comes around because of his sense of honour. Richard Boone is the head villain, and not as black as villains of the time are usually painted. A man of intelligence and charm, and his own set of principles, he understands Brennan, and in other circumstances you feel they may have been friends. You know the finale is inevitable, but you have sympathy for his character and you almost don't want it to happen.

It's a tight story, tightly directed and delivers action, character development and some great one liners. 5 stars.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tall T, 3 Aug 2011
By 
E. Stonestreet (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Tall T [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
Elmore Leonard wrote Westerns before he turned to crime (in a novelistic sense) and this is adapted from one of his short stories.
Over the years the so-called Ranown cycle of westerns have rightly acquired the critical esteem that was denied them at the time of release. Taut, short and near faultless in execution it is true that they all pursue similar themes and have the same outdoor setting. Nevertheless compared to the tiresome buffoonery and sentimentality that mars John Ford's films and now seems so dated, and the off the wall hysteria of Fuller and Mann's neurotic westerns, not to mention such mavericks as JOHNNY GUITAR, this modest little series is for me the high point of the genre in the Fifties. Afterwards that bastard offspring, the Spaghetti western, was to play its part in destroying one of Hollywood's most durable genres, but the Boetticher/Kennedy/Scott combination seems to me to remain timeless.
As for this example, I wouldn't quarrel with those whose favourite it is - mine happens to be COMANCHE STATION - because it has the same qualities. It gets off to a leisurely start, taking time to establish characters. For once Scott is not a grim faced avenger but an affable rancher forced to hitch a stage coach ride home after a foolish gamble with his old boss results in the loss of his horse). After his old friend the stagedriver is gunned down at the lonely way station where he discovers that the station master and his young son (for whom he was bringing some candy) have been brutally murdered by a gang of cut throats, he is forced into a situation not of his own making. Also on the stagecoach is a honeymoon couple, although we quickly learn that the man has married an old maid for her money. The resultant conflict, as much psychological as physical, in which all the characters' strengths and weaknesses are laid bare, can only be resolved by violence: this is after all a Western. However, Richard Boone, the gangleader, is a not unsympathetic character, longing for a place of his own, disgusted by the amorality of his young sidekicks (a chillingly cold blooded Henry Silva and Skip Homeier's reprising once again his trademark role as a dimwitted young punk) and envying the life Scott is makkng for himself. There is a kind of tragic inevitability about the final outcome which both Scott and Boone recognise, and as others have noted, seems to echo the final moves of a bullfight, a particular passion of Boetticher's.
THE TALL T, COMANCHE STATION, RIDE LONESOME, SEVEN MEN FROM NOW, DECISION AT SUNDOWN and RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY (his last film and not part of this cycle) was not a bad way for Scott to finish a lengthy film career. Even the rather undervalued WESTBOUND has its merits and is one that I have grown to appreciate more recently. Avoid SHOOT OUT AT MEDICINE BEND at all costs, that really is a dud, but other than that, don't stop at THE TALL T, get the lot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the tall T, 28 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Tall T [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
this is an excellent western i would recommend this movie to everyone who likes good westerns
and it has a great actor who is renowned for western pictures he goes by the name of randolph
scott who i think was made for western movies great stuff
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tall 5 star rating, 12 Sep 2011
By 
Barry (Stoke-on-Trent. Staffordshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tall T [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
I watched this last night 11th Sept ,and I am amazed how brilliant this film is ,
I had never seen this before ,which was a bonus Randolph Scott is fantastic in this I would say its up there with his best , any true western fan should add this to their collection, I aint gonna ramble on anymore hombre ,BUY THE DAMN THING !or
Randolph Scott'l fill yer full of lead . Kind regards Barry.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Randolph Scott takes on Richard Boone and his gang in the magnificent Tall 'T', 13 April 2014
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This review is from: The Tall T [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
In the mid 1950’s Director Budd Boetticher came together with ageing star Randolph Scott to make a remarkable group of B-Westerns. The first of these was SEVEN MEN FROM NOW (1956) a Batjac (John Wayne) Production. This film was painstakingly restored and released as a Special Collector’s Edition in 2005. The remainder were under the banner of RANOWN Productions, the name was made up from the names of Randolph Scott and producer Harry Joe Brown. Their second venture, also benefits from a marvellous script by Burt Kennedy from a short story "The Captives" by Elmore Leonard.

The opening sequence has our stoic hero Pat Brennan (Randolph) Scott in long-shot riding out of the mountains (SHANE like) en route to a stagecoach way-station where much of the action takes place, starting with a stage hold-up by Frank Usher (Richard Boone) and his two side-kicks Chink (Henry Silva) and Billy Jack (Skip Homeier). Also caught up in hold-up are newlyweds Willard (John Hubbard) and Doretta Mims (Maureen O'Sullivan) who also happens to be the daughter of the richest man in the state. Willard is sent for ransom money whilst Doretta and Pat are held hostage. The tension mounts and Pat knows that times running out and that he must act soon and face down the gang one by one if they are to survive.

These Scott / Boetticher Westerns have gained a cult following over the years and can be rightly regarded as mini-masterpieces! Available from Amazon on DVD and as part of a five-Western Box Set "The Films of Budd Boetticher" This review is based on the Budd Boetticher Box Set version, which is excellent all round!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Scott, 26 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Tall T [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
Marvellous film! Outstanding performances by Randolph Scott as the hero captured by the villainous Richard Boone and his two companions and held with Maureen O'Sullivan while her cowardly husband (who has revealed her identity in an attempt to save himself) arranges a ransom. The film of course is concerned with how Scott outwits his captors but the characters are carefully etched, Boone as the affable but unscrupulous villain yearning for something he knows he will never have, Henry Da Silva chilling as the cold-blooded killer and Skip Homeier as the more naïve apprentice criminal. Superior in every way.
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5.0 out of 5 stars FROM "WESTERN CLASSICS" VIA SONY, 16 Jan 2014
By 
A. W. Wilson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tall T [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
The film itself has been gone into wonderfully elsewhere on this Amazon site, so I'll be brief. The DVD is very good quality. Excellent picture (lovely locations as always with these Boetteceher westerns) 16.9 Widescreen, colour and sound just right. No extras, buy who needs them? The small cast all do brilliant work, and in my humble, this is possibly the best Scott/Budd film-but I reserve the right to change my mind. Highly recomended, if such recomendations needed.
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3.0 out of 5 stars western film, 15 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Tall T [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
another great film with plenty of action and randlolph at his best great film classic good story line a clssic
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3.0 out of 5 stars 50s Western., 20 July 2013
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This review is from: The Tall T [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
very gritty for it's time, well acted, good cast, great location, the one part I found lacking was the end as R Scott reverted to to type. but that is due to direction.
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The Tall T [DVD] [1957]
The Tall T [DVD] [1957] by Budd Boetticher (DVD - 2011)
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