High Plains Drifter (1973)

High Plains Drifter (1973), directed by Clint Eastwood.


It's what people know about themselves inside that makes them afraid.

This seemed so weird and mysterious upon first viewing all those years ago, but once you know the trick it is straightforward. The Western mythology is not suggested or symbolized but just laid out and enacted: the most powerful form of revenge must employ supernatural forces, yes?

The guilty are punished according to the degree of their villainy. In descending order:

All, apart from the totally innocent, are humiliated and made to contribute to their own degradation. The cowardly, treacherous townsfolk are punished by the most manly of avengers. He takes what he wants; the women love it, eventually.

This is all rather blunt, but Clint Eastwood is at his mythic peak here: physically and in ironic mannerisms:


Mordecai: What do we do then?

Stranger: Then you live with it.

How is an authentic Western town like one constructed for the movies? Both can look new and fresh built.

The score combines a spaghetti western's strange loneliness with appropriate ghostliness.

Available on a great-looking Blu-ray. Excellent detail, lovely natural color and fine grain. Bare bones otherwise, but that's ok: give me the movie, the whole movie and nothing but the movie.