Each Monday, I continue to share Western movie reviews as I go through the process of making my own 12 Westerns in 12 Months during 2020. I am watching these films not from an audience perspective but as a filmmaker, as a student of the genre.


Week Eighty: The Tin Star


This is one I’ve wanted to see for a long time, one of the Mann Westerns I wanted to track down and was very excited to see pop up on Tubi. It was definitely worth a watch but does not live up to the director’s finest films.

The movie begins with a great, suspenseful tone. As Fonda enters the town with his bounty, there’s an ominous sense about everything. What’s wrong with these people? It almost has an eerie-Twilight Zone feeling to it. Ten minutes in, that has faded for something more traditional yet still effective. I like the narrative about Perkins learning to sheriff from Fonda’s grizzled character and the film seems to be leading us somewhere that it never goes. In this case, it’s unpredictable direction is not a good thing but an odd distraction. When the characters take off after the brothers in the last half of the movie, I started to lose interest. It was an unnecessary subplot in what could have been a tightly wound simple Western revolving only around Perkins’ training and his conflict with Neville Brand, who kills it as usual.

Again, it has a lot of things going for it but just doesn’t quite come together.

Seen on Tubi.