Below the Border: “100 Rifles” (1969)

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   “100 Rifles” is a fast-paced western adventure unfolding amid the chaos of the Mexican Revolution, completely unlike Tom Gries’ earlier film- the overlooked masterwork “Will Penny” -this film suffers from a perpetual  inconsistency of tone; veering wildly from dramatic urgency to faux slapstick villainy (The latter usually reserved to accompany the more sadistic applications of torture and murder) expressed through a wildly fluctuating screenplay that betrays it’s more sobering elements of tribal genocide for the sarcastic callousness of buddy-buddy witticisms amid  inappropriately partnered backdrops of indiscriminate bloodletting.

   Needless to say, the script is a rather sketchy effort, with the potential for a strong narrative line, but due to the violent divergences of tone, regressing into an often calamitous episodic hodgepodge; the plot becomes increasingly full of holes, resulting in a fractious proclivity toward leaving connective events unexplained nor motives addressed. For instance, Lyedecker pursues a fleeing Yaqui Joe and both are later caught by Verdugo and his men, the General making great sport of capturing a pair of anti-military antagonists when a simple explanation by Lyedecker might work wonders to clear the misconception, but the man stays strangely silent or- worse yet -finds the occasion to irritate the despot with a string of flippant remarks, something that continuously devalues the dramatic core of many of the most tonally waffling scenes; and actions that are also out of character with how the role of Lyedecker is developed both by the script and by the actor.

To read the complete review, click the following link to: https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/nites-at-the-rockville-drive-in/

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About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
This entry was posted in 1960's cinema, 1960's movies, drive-in cinema, Drive-In Movies, Film, Film Reviews, Jim Brown, movie reviews, Movies, Raquel Welch, Reviews, westerns and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Below the Border: “100 Rifles” (1969)

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