Western Union [Import anglais]
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Description du produit
Im Jahr 1861 soll von der Pionierstadt Omaha aus in Richtung Westen eine Telegraphenleitung errichtet werden. Das Unternehmen erweist sich als schwieriger als zunächst angenommen, denn eine marodierende Banditenbande und umherziehende Indianer unterbrechen die Arbeit am laufenden Band. In die Ereignisse werden die Kundschafter Vance Shaw und Richard Blake verwickelt, die sich zu allem Überfluss auch noch in ein und dasselbe Mädchen verlieben. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Blu-ray.
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Time was when a Hollywood film had a shelf life of nine months. That’s how long it took a film title to work its way down the food chain from first-run release to your lowly neighborhood theater.
Not a single Hollywood functionary in the 1930s and `40s thought in terms of posterity. Oh sure, an occasional film would be cleaned up for re-release (a money-maker like “Gone With the Wind,” for example). But mostly it was a matter of one and done.
Then came VHS and DVD, and today’s wondrous new methods for restoring and preserving past film treasures. Which came out looking as good as they’d ever looked in theaters. And so a good film finally achieved the same level of permanence as a good book.
Enter “Western Union,” circa 1941. Culled from a Zane Grey novel, the 20th Century Fox film was shot in genuine Technicolor, not in the putrid shades of color so prevalent today.
Its cast features Robert Young, Randolph Scott, Dean Jagger and Virginia Gilmore, who at the time was the most beautiful maiden on the planet. It’s important to list Robert Young first in the credits because this is NOT your standard Randolph Scott oater.
“Western Union” is character driven – unusual for a Western in any era. It has historical implications, purporting to show the challenges facing the crews that braved Indian attacks and other impediments to unite a nation with an unbroken strand of telegraph wire.
Robert Young is a tenderfoot who falls for the girl. Randy Scott is a roamer with a troubled past who falls for the girl. Dean Jagger is the girl’s brother striving to keep peace between them as the telegraph builders come under savage Indian attack.
Or are the attackers Indians? Someone better find out, pardner. Sounds formulaic? It’s not – no more so than any film or novel whose characters come with honest human motivations.
A bonus for the discerning viewer is the vastly underrated Barton McLane as the chief skulldugger. McLane was the best villain Hollywood ever produced, and he managed it without resorting to any of the garish torture methods favored by our present-day fiends. (Does the Johnny Depp-utized “Lone Ranger” fiasco strike a chord?)
Randolph Scott continued to crank out oaters for 25 years. He never approached this level of plausible engagement again.
Robert Young segued over to a TV family sitcom as a kindly father who told his kids what they needed to know. This was before Google.
Virginia Gilmore might have become a household word based on her gentle wit and other attractions. Instead she married Yul Brynner. Some consolation prize.
Meanwhile “Western Union” lives on … gonna get that telegraph line built one of these days, pardner.
– Al Hooper
Vance Shaw is a former Confederate soldier whose way of life has become that of an outlaw involved in a gang which includes his brother, Jack Slade! Slade, played by the quintessential bad-guy we all love to hate, Barton MacLane. While racing across the plains, trying to escape capture by a posse that is after him, Vance Shaw finds Creighton lying injured on the trail. With several broken ribs, Creighton is unable to ride as he is and Shaw is just about to steal his horse, leaving him stranded when Creighton makes him an offer to help him back to town! Vance Shaw makes the decision of his life when he says yes to this offer. Shaw happens to speak the tongue of the Sioux and Creighton needs help with the Indians who keep raiding his horse stockyards and attacking his crews. He offers Shaw a job and he is subsequently introduced to Sue Creighton, Edward's beautiful sister, who is also being eyed by Richard Blake, the very green, tenderfoot engineer from back east who has also been hired to help Western Union. Vance Shaw is doing very well in his new job, is happily involved with Sue Creighton and is a great help to Edward with his knowledge of the territory. He has come to rely, heavily, on Shaw but something happens that neither he nor Shaw is expecting involving the Indians, Shaw's brother and Western Union that will lead to tragedy and a showdown between brothers. I'll leave it right there so you can see for yourselves hat happens here. It is an exciting and well crafted film and I can but highly recommend it since it really is a must have film in this genre.