Tuesday, June 30, 2015

HANNIE CAULDER (1971) - Burt Kennedy

Some appreciatory Tarantino interview led me to commit this simplistic lady revenge Western to DVD-R years ago. Also, director Burt Kennedy's name in the credits. I liked some of the work he did as a screenwriter for Budd Boetticher and was interested to see how he handled the lens. Surprisingly, the writer-turned-director's visual palette is not my beef with Hannie Caulder, as it often is with many writer-turned-directors. The film is gorgeously shot, especially the "Western on the beach" scenes in Mexico where Robert Culp teaches Raquel Welch to use a firearm. It's the script that's just too threadbare. Hannie's husband is killed by three bickering outlaws, then she is assaulted by same. She hires bounty hunter Culp to teach her to shoot, he teaches her to shoot, she gets her revenge. And that's basically it, as naked a plot as Welch is beneath her poncho for much of the film. It would've been nice if there was a little more narrative intrigue and, for Welch's sake, an athletic bra at least.

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