Colin over at Riding The High Country has put up a nice post on Arthur Penn’s The Left Handed Gun (1958), a film I find more interesting than good. Make that very interesting.
This is one of a few 50s Westerns that sticks a juvenile delinquency story on horseback — Nicholas Ray’s The True Story Of Jesse James (1957) is another. It’s an approach that seems to work.
And though Newman’s Method is a bit too, uh, Method-y at times (as Colin points out), portraying Billy and his gang as a bunch of illiterate imbeciles who come to believe the news stories about them takes the picture in a fascinating new direction. James Best, with that strange giggly laugh that’d serve him well on The Dukes Of Hazzard, makes quite an impression.
(The subject line is from an interview with Arthur Penn.)