Day of the Outlaw

Day of the Outlaw

DVD - 2008
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When a gang of outlaws decide to spend the night in a little Western town, cowboys and ranchers will have to but their differences aside in order to save their town.
Publisher: [United States] : Metro Goldwyn Mayer Home Entertainment ; Beverly Hills, CA : Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, [2008]
Edition: Widescreen
Branch Call Number: DVD Western DAY
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 92 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in


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May 20, 2016

This unappreciated , engrossing low-budget gem--shot on location in snowy Central Oregon--commences with a Shane-like scenario: area badass Robert Ryan rides into town and lays down the law that things are going to be done his way. This has the effect of pitting him vs everyone else; then the plot takes a hard right turn when the always authoritative Burl Ives and his gang of outlaws suddenly ride into the isolated town. Ives announces that he's taking over, and now Ryan and the other townies have to work together.

There is, of course, a catch. Prior to arriving in town Ives took a bullet in a skirmish with US forces, and orders the town's "doctor"--who comically gets his instructions by reading a manual--to operate and remove the bullet. Ives will be out of commission for a spell--if he doesn't die--and he orders his men to refrain from boozing and raping. The men, being western outlaws in a 50s movie, have other ideas, and it's up to strongman Ryan--former adversary of the townspeople--to protect them.

As mentioned earlier, the film had a low budget--reportedly 400k, which seems improbably low considering the cast and location. The production was reportedly down to 1-2 days of money at the end and were forced to throw an ending together. Improbably, it worked well enough and Day of the Outlaw remains one of the best movies ever filmed in Oregon.

Nov 02, 2015

FOUR STARS (I can't figure out how to add those little green stars)

This is an interesting take on westerns.

The magnificent snow covered scenery of Mount Bachelor, Oregon is filmed in glorious black and white, a great choice by the film maker.

Although the plot and casting is Hollywoodized up in parts, on the whole this movie is believeable.

The casting is stupendous - Robert Ryan (one of the great voices), Burl Ives (playing the boss he does so well) and some of the best character actors in the business (Elisha Cook, Jr., Dabbs Greer, Jack Lambert [one of the best bad guys in the movies]).

This movie is grim and brutal and difficult to watch at times and not your usual horse opera. If you can handle that, you'll think this is one of the better westerns ever made.

Jan 13, 2015

A fascinating story of a small western town deep in the mountains. They have over the years protected themselves without a Marshall. Then the unthinkable happens with a group of outlaws on the run hit town. Living under these conditions brings out brings out the best in the citizens. See for yourself how this small town struggles to survive. Robert Ryan puts in an outstanding performance as a nearby cattle rancher whose family has been in the area for generations. I found the movie compelling in its honesty about living in the West during the 1800's, See for yourself and ask how you would have reacted to such a dangerous situation?


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