Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Hannie Caulder (1971) ***
There really isn’t much to say about “Hannie Caulder.” Raquel Welch plays Hannie, a gal out for revenge after three low-lifes murder her husband and rape her. She gets a badass bounty hunter (Robert Culp) to teach her the way of the gun, then she gets that revenge, all while looking fabulous.
As revenge westerns go, this is just alright. Robert Culp’s bounty hunter is a pretty cool character, and Ernest Borgnine, Jack Elam, and Strother Martin are darkly hilarious as the evil Clemens brothers. The movie might have been better if they had gotten a better actress than Raquel Welch, but it wouldn’t have looked nearly as good.
I guess I might be more enthusiastic about “Hannie Caulder” if I weren’t a little burned out on a certain brand of movie gun fighting, which is by no means limited to westerns. I’m sick of seeing people run around with their finger on their trigger, sick of people getting ten shots out of a six-shooter, and sick of people in gunfights waiting for the other guy to draw first, as if that provides some sort of strategic advantage. I will say that Robert Culp’s character tries to give Hannie some actual useful advice, but in the end she doesn’t really follow any of it. Oh well, it’s a fairly fun, stylized movie, and they could have done a lot worse.