100 Rifles

Directed by Tom Gries

> > May 2006

100 Rifles - Directed by Tom Gries
By Stephen BroomerYaqui Joe (Burt Reynolds) has robbed an American bank to buy 100 rifles as aid for Mexican Indians during the Revolution. American policeman Lyedecker (Jim Brown) apprehends Joe just as the evil General Verdugo (Fernando Lamas) closes in on them. Forced to ally himself with Joe and beautiful revolutionary Sarita (Raquel Welch), Lyedecker becomes embroiled in the Indians’ cause. As a vehicle for NFL fullback Jim Brown, 100 Rifles is a passable attempt at melding the energy of the Italian spaghetti western with the social consciousness of The Defiant Ones. After only a few years of supporting roles in war films (The Dirty Dozen, The Mercenaries), Brown came into his own as a male lead with a series of films tailored to his imposing build. He and Reynolds, with suggestive, swaggering charm, expose Raquel Welch’s failings as an actress. Her figure, a pin-up in the wilds and fringes of the Mexican desert, populated with adobes, charred ruins, and train tracks blotting a line through vast expanse, is too perfect, too unusual to assimilate. Her speech, a crass imitation of dialect, refuses to match this face. The photography is appropriately dusty and raw, and Jerry Goldsmith’s score, when not recalling the theme from Gunsmoke, is sombre and memorable. Director Gries would later be responsible for the lurid retelling of the Manson family murders with Helter Skelter. The DVD features a poster gallery, a production stills gallery and a behind-the-scenes still gallery. (Fox)
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