As a precursor to our film project, 12 Western Feature-Length Films in 12 Months, which Running Wild Films and 5J Media will start producing in 2016, director Travis Mills shares his thoughts on films from the genre as he studies Westerns in preparation for our own. Follow the project here on Facebook
This series of short blogs is titled “Western Impressions”.
Comanche Station (1960)
I disliked this film, not because it is a bad film, but because like El Dorado recycles so much of Rio Bravo, this repeats much of what Boetticher and Kennedy did with Seven Men from Now and The Tall T. Now I am all up for directors revisiting themes and even scenes from their earlier work; I think Hawks’s “remakes” of his own work were often interesting, such as the strong comparisons between Only Angels Have Wings and Hatari (one great movie and one good one). But here, the recycled elements add up too much and become embarrassing at a certain point. For instance, Claude Akins’ “story” he tells which parallels the real situation at hand is a direct steal from Seven Men from Now, even down to the result: Scott punches him. The biggest problem is that everything Boetticher does here that he did before was done better the first time and that is the ultimate nail in the coffin for me. The only part I admired was the action with the Comanches which was brilliantly and originally staged.
Lasting impression: the ending, which seems very original compared to the rest of the film, definitely it’s shining light.