Stacking the Deck: “Posse” (1975)

0000posse1        When a commercial western advances an ambitious thematic agenda within the inevitable genre tropes, it is perhaps an occasion to pay greater attention to the work at hand, while concurrently such increased scrutiny might also lay bare the deficiencies of the initial ambitions themselves. Such is the case with “Posse”. Kirk Douglas directed, co-produced and stars in this surprisingly underdeveloped western which seems to have0000posseOS an immensity of great ideas on its mind, though it fails to seize upon myriad opportunities to explore any potentialities in a significant way.

     The set-up is relatively simple-  celebrated marshal Howard Nightingale (Kirk Douglas) pursues and captures notorious bank robber Jack Strawhorn (Bruce Dern) with the aid of his super posse, incarcerates him briefly (but long enough to drink of enthusiastic political waters) to then transfer the prisoner by rail to certain punishment -though once the capture is made, the true interests of the story emerge with remarkably unsubtle speed, most particularly in the jaundiced view the film presents of the machinations of ambition in manipulating public admiration to shamelessly advance one’s own personal ambitions, especially if that adoration is born from what should be modestly regarded as public service.

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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 Bruce Dern, Film Reviews, Kirk Douglas, movie reviews, Movies, politics, Reviews, westerns. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Stacking the Deck: “Posse” (1975)

  1. beetleypete says:

    Bruce Dern steals what little acting credit is available in this forgettable western. As you say, chances missed. Many of them.
    Best wishes from England, Pete.

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