(part of The Road to The Hateful Eight all-nighter)
The Andre De Toth film Day of the Outlaw, which starts this 'Road to The Hateful Eight all-nighter (you can find the full details below), was one of the highlights of the 'Ride Lonesome: Psychological Western' season at BFI Southbank this year and has been my personal highlight of the new archive films I've seen so far in 2016.
[These movies, aside from The Hateful Eight, are screened from 35mm prints]
Chicago Reader review:
Arguably Andre de Toth's greatest film, this 1959 western combines a hostage situation with a bleak, snowbound terrain to produce a gripping vision of hopeless entrapment. Robert Ryan stars as a rancher who's about to start a gunfight over land when a motley gang of outlaws led by Burl Ives ride in and take over the town. Because it's at the end of the trail, the outlaws become "prisoners of a white silence," in de Toth's words: isolated, surrounded by snow, they're about to run wild with the townswomen when Ryan leads them on a false escape route through the mountains. Their final ride is one of the most despairing visions in all cinema: the turning course followed by the men seems to twist back on itself, and the stark black-and-white background of rock and snow forms a closed, lifeless world excluding all human warmth.
Here (and above) is the opening of the film.
The movies being shown in this all-night at the Prince Charles are:
DAY OF THE OUTLAW (1959) : In the quiet frontier town of Bitters, Wyo., a dispute between cattleman Blaise Starrett (Robert Ryan) and farmer Hal Crane (Alan Marshal) is about to boil over into a bloody feud. But the fighting takes a back seat to a new threat when a rogue cavalry captain, Jack Bruhn (Burl Ives), rides into town with his band of thugs. Now, with the citizens of Bitters held hostage by Bruhn and his men, Starrett must somehow rescue his town and restore his broken reputation.
THE WILD BUNCH (1969) : In this gritty Western classic, aging outlaw Pike Bishop (William Holden) prepares to retire after one final robbery. Joined by his gang, which includes Dutch Engstrom (Ernest Borgnine) and brothers Lyle (Warren Oates) and Tector Gorch (Ben Johnson), Bishop discovers the heist is a setup orchestrated in part by his old partner, Deke Thornton (Robert Ryan). As the remaining gang takes refuge in Mexican territory, Thornton trails them, resulting in fierce gunfights with plenty of casualties.
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (1974) :Having concluded a case, detective Hercule Poirot (Albert Finney) settles into what he expects will be a relaxing journey home aboard the Orient Express. But when an unpopular billionaire is murdered en route, Poirot takes up the case, and everyone on board the famous train is a suspect. Using an avalanche blocking the tracks to his advantage, Poirot gradually realizes that many of the passengers have revenge as a motive, and he begins to home in on the culprit.
THE THING (1982) : In remote Antarctica, a group of American research scientists are disturbed at their base camp by a helicopter shooting at a sled dog. When they take in the dog, it brutally attacks both human beings and canines in the camp and they discover that the beast can assume the shape of its victims. A resourceful helicopter pilot (Kurt Russell) and the camp doctor (Richard Dysart) lead the camp crew in a desperate, gory battle against the vicious creature before it picks them all off, one by one.
THE HATEFUL EIGHT (2016) - MULTIPLEX VERSION [Digital Presentation] : While racing toward the town of Red Rock in post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunter John "The Hangman" Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive prisoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh) encounter another bounty hunter (Samuel L. Jackson) and a man who claims to be a sheriff. Hoping to find shelter from a blizzard, the group travels to a stagecoach stopover located on a mountain pass. Greeted there by four strangers, the eight travelers soon learn that they may not make it to their destination after all.