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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 24.29%
Average: 10%
Pretty Bad: 4.29%
Total Crap: 4.29%

3 reviews, 52 user ratings

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High Plains Drifter
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by Cochise

"A brilliant western. Don't miss this one, pardner!"
4 stars

Clint Eastwood is one of my favorite directors. I love his tough, raw style. This film did not disappoint.

'High Plains Drifter' is one of Clint Eastwood's best. Solid direction and great acting. If you loved Clint Eastwood when he was the 'Man With No Name,' then you will not want to miss this film. Eastwood is again brilliant as a lone mysterious stranger.

WARNING - In order to review this film and discuss its meaning, I have to reveal the ending. So . . . if you don't want to know what happens in the end, please don't read this until after you have seen the film.

In the first scene, as the Stranger (Eastwood) approaches the town of Lago, he seems to slowly materialize out of the desert haze. He comes into town and rapes one of the women. At this point he does not seem to be any kind of hero. This will be a surprise for the viewer.

The Stranger then proceeds to take over the town. The Stranger is the archetypal mysterious western stranger. With a hint of badman. However, in spite of the rape scene, one is not quite sure in the early part of the film if the Stranger is a good guy or a badman.

The scenes that follow the opening draw one further into the mysterious and supernatural aspect of the film. The shooting in the bathtub is the first scene that makes the viewer ask if the Stranger is even a mortal man.

These events place the film solidly in the western sub-genre called "Weird Western." This is a term for westerns with supernatural elements. However, if you like traditional westerns, you will not be disappointed.

The key scene that marks 'High Plains Drifter' as a 'Weird Western' is the scene where Callie shoots the Stranger in the bathtub. Callie enters the room, the Stranger ducks under the water, and Callie fires four shots into the tub. The Stranger then emerges from the tub unharmed. The fact that the Stranger was not killed makes one wonder if he is something other than human.

As the film progresses, the questions that viewers will ask are: Who is the mysterious stranger? Is he an avenging angel, a ghost bent on revenge, or just a stranger with mysterious powers?

The plot is brilliant, and various events will lead the viewer to decide who the Stranger is.

In the end, the Stranger rides off and slowly vanishes in the desert haze. Who was he? Part of the fun of this film is putting together the clues in the story to work out the identity of the mysterious stranger.

The cinematography is brilliant. The location suits the film perfectly.

If you want a film that has the feel of a tough, no nonsense western, with brilliant acting and a fantastic screenplay, then don't miss this one. I was very pleased that I made the investment and added this DVD to my collection. I have seen it many times.

Buy the DVD. You will want to watch it more than twice.

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originally posted: 10/29/08 08:13:50
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User Comments

8/23/13 David Marsden A dull,slow and unlikeable film.Nothing likeable about it. 2 stars
8/24/12 Ed Clint brings the smackdown. Good old fashioned western revenge. 5 stars
12/29/10 W.B.T.Neeley A great, sinister take on the western genre. 5 stars
5/16/10 foster kane IIts certainly different .Bu that doesn't mean its good 2 stars
3/16/10 harry lime Nasty ugly vomit inducing film film 1 stars
9/02/09 good fella Vastly overrated. Not a likable character in the whole film 1 stars
8/05/09 chicken george Pretencious crap.Thank God he finally got it right with Unforgiven 1 stars
7/09/09 art A DEEP WESTERN! 4 stars
6/03/09 B C Chandler Typical of the early zombie eastwood westerns. Later when he learnt to talk films improved 2 stars
11/20/08 Colleen H I'm not a fan of westerns, but this one was tolerable because of Clint Eastwood. 3 stars
10/31/08 tiffany pettey clint eastwood makes any movie he is in good 4 stars
11/13/06 Sugarfoot Not the best western ever, the best movie ever. 5 stars
9/25/06 Keith Watton Good movie, but too much whipcracking under the saloon stuff. 4 stars
6/17/06 Glenda K Lake Clint Eastwood brings you back to the days when Hollywood men were just that, MEN! Not the 5 stars
5/20/06 Jack Sommersby The best Western ever made, and Eastwood's best film, too. 5 stars
5/19/06 mr.mike clint's best 5 stars
3/23/06 John Kucher one eastwood's finest and overlooked gems, was as good as pale rider badba pale rider was 5 stars
3/19/06 MP Bartley Ranks alongside the best of Leone and Unforgiven 5 stars
6/23/05 Eric Rollins Great "Twilight Zone" twist at the end. Classic. 5 stars
4/23/05 Indrid Cold Very bizarre, entertaining western. The equal of the Leone movies. 4 stars
11/19/04 Rodney Hale One of my all-time fav's. Right up there with The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. 5 stars
8/02/04 Yellowjacket Bob Puts a chill near the cockles of my heart every time. Love it. 5 stars
6/15/04 John the closest Clint Eastwood has ever come to make an American "Spaghetti Western" - 4 stars
10/20/03 Alan Rarely is revenge handled quite this well. Just plain mean. 4 stars
7/09/03 Sam Moszynski A little mean spirited, but still a top notch western. 4 stars
1/02/03 mongo the best eastwod movie ever !!!!! ive worn out the tape had to buy it on dvd 5 stars
12/31/02 Jack Sommersby The finest Western ever made. Colorful, comic, and suspenseful. 5 stars
10/24/02 Charles Tatum Mean and overlooked 5 stars
10/14/02 Watcherofthe WheelofTime Great! Eastwood Is Nemesis personified! 5 stars
9/28/02 Sébastien Dion Top notch 5 stars
6/07/02 Joe Levy Good, horrific, fun. But you are still a loser Vidmar! 5 stars
6/01/02 Steve Walker This is a near perfect masterpiece 5 stars
5/31/02 R.W. Welch Clint is a little ornerier than usual but otherwise undistinguished. 3 stars
3/04/02 P. Blevins Sophmoric film, all of the pieces are there for a masterpiece but the final product isn't. 3 stars
10/18/01 kevi waldron Ernest may by the only reviwer who realizes Clint plays the part of a ghost 4 stars
8/09/01 Chuckmole A really good flic. What goes around comes around. 5 stars
5/24/01 Aaron Hanson High Plains Drifter is the dark side of High Noon. If you like Noon, then see Drifter! 4 stars
5/07/01 Desert Eagle just average, nothing more 3 stars
1/12/01 Skip A guy gets his revenge, and that's essentially all there is to this movie. 3 stars
11/28/00 Cristopher Revilla good horror-western, but it was kinda interesting that everybody in that town was so pussy 5 stars
11/15/00 Benjamin Ansin A nasty combination of western and horror! The devil's back in town! 5 stars
8/17/00 Sinan Karasu Best of Eastwood.Attempted remake "Pale Rider" 5 stars
8/16/00 Eddie Bastard Wouldn't call it a perfect film, but it's way interesting. Even today, it really holds up. 5 stars
5/19/00 tank A rare fusion of horror and western. Terrific stuff. 4 stars
10/10/99 SJKelley Fresh, original western. Horror blends with Western. 5 stars
7/03/99 Jukka Nurmi Brilliant depiction of an avenging spirit! 5 stars
6/19/99 Christ Monkey I like Jar Jar. 5 stars
5/19/99 Lucas jackson i like when the devil comes helps the town out and then paints it red and calls it hell 5 stars
2/22/99 little jerry The film that shows what's inside The Man With No Name.Beautifully strange. 5 stars
12/01/98 Silent Rob Pale american imitation of Leones 'Dollars' Trilogy. All flavor, no substance! 3 stars
11/29/98 Carlos Tafur pretty good film, it anticipates the mood of Pale Rider and Unforgiven 4 stars
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  02-Jul-1972 (R)


  02-Feb-1973 (M)

Directed by
  Clint Eastwood

Written by
  Ernest Tidyman

  Clint Eastwood
  Verna Bloom
  Mariana Hill
  Mitch Ryan
  Jack Ging
  Stefan Gierasch

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