High Plains Drifter (1973)


Clint Eastwood directs and stars in this obvious homage to Sergio Leone as he resurrects the man with no name character, as an enigmatic gunslinger rides into the town of Lago and promptly kills the gunmen hired by the townsfolk to protect them against a trio of vengeful outlaws. They offer him the run of the town to replace them, but it soon emerges that he has a hidden agenda of his own.

Another fine western from Eastwood which is laced with a healthy dose of the supernatural, this film is unusual in the complete absence of a “good guy”. The morality is not even grey; virtually every character is a self-centred immoral hypocrite. Clint himself hasn’t the slightest interest in justice, just bloody retribution which he achieves in a memorable climax which sees him shooting it out in the blood red, flaming wreckage of the town.

Stylish, gritty and an obvious inspiration for fantasy revenge flicks such as The Crow and Eastwood’s own Pale Rider, High Plains Drifter will not disappoint fans of Eastwood or the genre as a whole.


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