westerns

Eli Wallach
Eli Wallach is burned into our memories as the "Ugly" in Sergio Leone's 1966 spaghetti western, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
"There are worse things than Apaches," says Dallas, a fallen woman, looking out at the row of tight-lipped, righteous ladies who are running her out of town. It's the kind of line and scene that makes me wish modern blockbusters gave women more to do. I just finished watching John Ford's Stagecoach (1939), a gorgeously-shot film rife with cringe-inducing racial and regional stereotypes that somehow managed to portray the women in it (well, white women) as complicated people. It's the story of a bunch of passengers - a banker, a lady, a tramp, a Southern gentleman, a whiskey salesman, and a drunk (guess who he sits next to) - traveling in a stagecoach through hostile Indian territory. They are joined by an outlaw, the  Ringo Kid, thereby completing the cross-section of society necessary for the film to make all its points about the essential goodness of people, class and station notwithstanding.
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