Filmed in glorious widescreen by Duke Callaghan and Richard Moore, the Western comedy “The Scalphunters” was written by William W

Filmed in glorious widescreen by Duke Callaghan and Richard Moore, the Western comedy “The Scalphunters” was written by William W

What’s notable about “The Scalphunters” (1968), besides the cast, is that the entire story takes place in the Southwest wilderness

Norton and directed by Sydney Pollack. While it purports to treat the character of Joseph with some respect, there may still be viewers who will wince at various indignities that he’s forced to experience. Nortons’ script is generally engaging, with some witty dialogue here and there. It is a delight to see the distinguished gentleman Davis embrace the more comedic aspects to his character, and there’s a lot of entertaining sparring between the two Joes (with Lancaster showing himself to not really be all THAT enlightened). Overall, this film is reasonably exciting at times, even if it’s not destined to be a classic.

It’s the dedicated efforts of a superior cast that make “The Scalphunters” work as well as it does for a somewhat overextended 104 minutes. Lancaster and Davis work well together, and Savalas is also fun to watch as Jim becomes more and more exasperated with this pest that’s making life miserable for him and his crew. Winters has some appeal, and there’s a few familiar faces among the supporting actors like Dabney Coleman (as Jed), and Lancasters’ longtime friend and co-worker Nick Cravat (as Yancy).

This is more in the mode of contemporaneous Westerns like “Bandoleros” (1968), “The War Wagon” (1967) and “The Undefeated” (1969)

This is a watchable and never boring western for sure. It starts out quite strongly with Davis and Lancaster feuding and exchanging their barbed comments as they make their journey. But the movie soon stops focusing on that, and starts to go off in multiple directions, bringing up new characters and themes that never quite seem properly dealt with. Indeed, the climax seems kind of deux ex machina, and then not long afterwards when the credits role you get the feeling that there are still some things that haven’t been properly dealt with.

But as I indicated, it passes the time pleasantly enough. Those who have seen screenwriter William Norton’s “The Hunting Party” will get some extra interest, seeing how Norton took several elements from his screenplay of “The Scalphunters” and reused them in that other movie several years later.

A rugged trapper wireclub indir (Burt Lancaster) is forced by a band of Kiowas to trade his valuable furs for an educated runaway slave (Ossie Davis). To get the furs back, they follow the Indians and, then, a band of scalphunters, led by a boisterous bald guy (Telly Savalas). Shelley Winters is also on hand.

While there are entertaining comedic bits, don’t expect anything outrageous like “Blazing Saddles” (1974). It’s not as great as the first or as good as the second, but it’s about on par with the latter.

The film runs 1 hour and 42 minutes and was shot in Arizona (Quartzsite, Parker & Harquahala Mountains) and Mexico (Barranca del Cobre, Chihuahua, Durango & Sierra de Organos).

Sydney Pollack displayed to us an unusual picture getting together having two kind of different persons who clash along the entire picture their own idea of what place they really belong, the black slave running for a free life is plenty literate guy who knows that he is in the same level than anybody else, in other hand has a rough white guy raised in a wild western illiterate, what’s seemed an easy interation slowly becames a personal struggle, that’s the main subject implied wised by the director, the hard feelings will growing through the picture until a break point, interesting approach of human nature, in an humor mode, Ossie best picture ever and Burt makes what is expect of the great star.

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