Friday, June 28, 2013

Only now does it occur to me... JUBAL

Only now does it occur to me...  that my lifelong dream to see Charles Bronson throw a table at Ernest Borgnine would one day be realized!

Sheer visual poetry!  And from the freeze-framing, it looks like Bronson is in fact heaving that table across the room, while Borgnine has been replaced by a stunt double.

The movie's pretty good, too– a loose (very loose) retelling of OTHELLO (with Borgnine as Marty– I mean Othello, Rod Steiger as Iago, Valerie French as Desdemona, and Glenn Ford as Cassio),
JUBAL is a beautiful Eastmancolor Western that's tense, well-acted, and bursting with Douglas Sirk-ian melodrama.  It's not quite as good as my other Delmer Daves favorites (DARK PASSAGE and 3:10 TO YUMA), but it's well worth your time (even though Bronson's only in a supporting role).  It's also clear that Sergio Leone was a Delmer Daves fan, and it's funny how many of the film's tableaux are comprised entirely of actors who would go on to work with the Spaghetti Master:

Rod Steiger (DUCK, YOU SUCKER) and henchman Jack Elam (ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST.)

Charles Bronson (even wearing practically the same hat as in ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST) faces off with Steiger.


Unknown said...

So glad Criterion resurrected this film! I had never seen it before but was really taken with the performances. Steiger playing another blowhard and, yeah, Bronson was excellent as the standup guy that has Ford's back.

Sean Gill said...

Yeah, those Western landscapes look pretty terrific on the new Criterion. And now of course, Bronson's in the Collection!