Monday, July 4, 2011

The Sheepman (1958)

It's the Fourth of July and in honor of the birthday of America I'm going to do a week or so of the most American of genres the Western.

I've been remiss in doing westerns, there have been a few here and there but not really enough, hence this week of films.

Glenn Ford, Shirley MacLaine and Leslie Nielsen (in unfunny mode) star in this very odd western from 1958. It's so odd that had I not been watching it with my Dad I would have turned the channel.

The plot has Ford's Jason Sweet coming into a small town. Running rough shod over everyone and everything he makes enemies all around by tricking one man out of his best horse, beating up the toughest man in the town and finally bringing sheep into a cattle town. The lovely Shirley MacLaine is annoyed but slightly attracted to the man while head man, Leslie Nielsen wants him out.

For much of the film Glenn Ford plays one of the least likable heroes in film. I couldn't believe that we were being asked to root for such an absolute jerk. He's a real slime at times. Of course that begins to change in the second half as we learn more about him and what is really going on. As I said had my Dad not been enjoying the film I would have turned it off, which would have been a mistake since the film comes around in the second half.

Is this the best film to ever come down the pike? No but it is an enjoyable one, especially once you are let in as to what is going on.

I liked it.

I don't think it's on DVD however it is in the rotation on Encore Westerns which is how I saw it.

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