Film Review - Hombre

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic


Film Review by Allen Henriquez

Hombre (1967)

Based on the novel by Elmore Leonard

 

Director: Martin Ritt

Screenplay by: Harriet Frank Jr and Irving Ravetch

Cinematographer: James Wong Howe

Cast: Paul Newman, Fredric March, Richard Boone, Diane Cilento, Martin Balsam, Cameron Mitchell, Barbara Rush, Frank Silvera, Margaret Blye, Peter Layer, David Canary

 

Elmore Leonard, a very popular writer in his lifetime with the: dangerously, dysfunctional, modern day criminals and the equally disturbed law enforcers confronting their counterpart. Elmore produced 52 Pick-Up, Out of Sight, Rum Punch, Get Shorty, and many others.

Hombre transferred to the screen by the dynamic duo of Harriet Frank Jr and Irving Ravetch actually refined the book in a minute, but very effective way. In the book Hombre, Paul Newman, was in route to meet the caretaker of his house, when the stagecoach is attacked. The film puts Diane Cilento in the stagecoach, and removes a young woman previously captured by Tribe members. The older, worldly, Diane Cilento character, injects a moral opponent for Hombre (Paul Newman), which creates a very intelligent stage play type, I.Q. interaction occurring, which results in brilliant cinema.

Hombre is a cultural re-evaluation of the Stagecoach storyline, but in its presentation it is first, rate and highly intelligent. The passengers are endangered by bandits, but surrounding the stagecoach isn’t just bullets and prairie dilemmas. It’s the conflict of its characters. The character study involves Richard Boone and passengers Frederick March, an Indian agent, and his wife Barbara Rush, Diane Cilento, a housekeeper, Martin Balsam, a Mexican stagecoach driver, and Paul Newman, a white man raised by The Apache. Martin Balsam’s (Peter Lazar) assistant and his wife (Margaret Blye) are also on the stagecoach. The West’s social order is attacked and defended until violence forces a re-visit on where the truth rest.

Hombre is a film treasure created by the team of: director Martin Ritt, screenwriters Harriet Frank Jr, and Irving Ravetch, cinematographer James Wong Howe and actor Paul Newman.

It has to be seen; its impact is lasting.

 


Submitted: June 14, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Allen Henriquez. All rights reserved.

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