Lawman (1971)


“I’m a lawman. Do you know what a lawman is, Crowe? He’s a killer of men. That’s what the job calls for. There are new ways to put it, but it reads the same. That’s the difference between us, and it’s all the difference I need. ” – Bannock Marshal Jared Maddox

Number of Times Seen – 1 (26 May 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A marshal returns to a town one year after an old man is killed in order to seek justice against the killers.

My Take on it – This is another film that I knew absolutely nothing about before coming across it and was intrigued to watch due to its stellar cast.

The story itself is quite an interesting one because it is presented in a very mature fashion without being too impulsive in all that it does.

Unfortunately tho, this also makes things drag along a bit too much in certain scenes due to the way that it all moves along.

The film is a good example of a story that tries to show the various motifs between good and evil while also touching upon the fine line between them along the way.

The main characters are not meant to be young and that helps show even more emotion in the story because we get to see how older men who are on both sides of the law see the world they live in from the viewpoint of how law and older works and the way that justice is carried out.

The cast is quite good here with Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan and Lee J. Cobb are giving great performances in these roles.

Really liked the way that they portray the gun play in the story since we get to see how much thought needs to go into a split second decision as to whether to take a life or not.

Bottom Line – Interesting story that drags a bit too much despite its short length. The motifs of good vs evil and the fine line between them is dealt with in a nice way. The choice to use lots of older characters brings some more emotion to the story because it isn’t just youthful disregard for the law or order that is explored here. The cast is superb with Lancaster, Ryan and Cobb all doing fine jobs with these characters. The gun play is presented in a very good way that allows us to see how much thought goes into taking a life or choosing not to.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – There was a serious argument between Burt Lancaster and director Michael Winner during the making of a shooting horse scene. Lancaster first used a Colt 45 and after a short break, resumed the sequence using a Winchester 73 rifle. Winner told him so and Lancaster then threatened him to kill him by throwing him from the edge of a cliff. Winner finally agreed to say that Lancaster actually used a rifle for the first take. But during the evening rush, Lancaster told that there was something wrong in the scene, since both the Colt 45 and Winchester were used. Winner then reminded him of their earlier argument and Lancaster told him he did not know what Winner was talking about. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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One thought on “Lawman (1971)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1971 | MovieRob

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