Nevada Smith

Nevada Smith

1966

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Directed by: Henry Hathaway

Starring: Steve McQueen, Karl Malden, Brian Keith, Arthur Kennedy, Suzanne Pleshette
I’ll be basing my review off of my personal opinions on the movie.  I am not a professional movie reviewer and it is basically whether I liked the movie or not.  I will try to avoid pre existing biases and spoilers.  But I believe the unspoken rule is anything over 20 years it is fair game and you can’t complain about spoilers.  I like westerns.  I still want to grow up to be a cowboy.  Now since it is from 1966 there have obviously been advancements in special effects.  For example there is a scene where Max Sand,  our main character, burns down a building by emptying the oil in a lamp around it and lighting it on fire.  To me it looked like they built a shell of a building and proceeded to actually burn it down.  I thought it was cool.  Since there were Cowboys in this movie there were gunfights and fancy shooting.  I am assuming they used blanks for that.  For the fancy shooting they were shooting glass bottles like clay pigeons but there was a lot of smoke so I’m thinking that they put a small smoke and bang thing in the bottle.  Unfortunately I was unable to find anything about how they did that type of stuff in movies.  They went to at least four different locations.  Most were desert landscapes but they also were in the Louisiana swamps.  And I was not expecting that.  Most westerns that I have seen take place exclusively in desert environments or on a small town for the requisite barroom/saloon fight scenes.  They all looked like how you would imagine people in the wild west looked.  I thought it was interesting how everyone looked the same so it wasn’t like oh that guy is wearing black and a hat covering their eyes he’s the bad guy.  They all looked the same.  I thought the music fit well with the scenes they used it in.  Like there was a scene that was leaving up to drama and the music got more intense as the scene did.  I would listen to the soundtrack on its own.  The actors were good.  Sometimes it seemed more scripted than natural but that happens in every movie.  There were moments of comedy in a mostly serious movie.  Like when Max gets himself into prison while tracking a guy only to discover that the guy he was tracking got killed.  One of my favorite lines from the whole movie was when Max is getting a can of peaches and a primer (which is a book to help children mostly to learn how to read) from a shopkeeper who says, “Most people are hungrier in their stomachs than their minds anyway.”  My only complaints are that it was a little too long for me but I have trouble sitting through a standard children’s movie like Moana.  Overall, yes I would watch it again and yes I would recommend it to my friends.

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