Perhaps the grittiest and grimmest of the Randolph Scott-Budd Boetticher collaborations, The Tall T was adapted by Burt Kennedy from the Elmore Leonard short story The Captive. Scott plays a former ranch foreman who, along with newlyweds Maureen O'Sullivan and John Hubbard, is held hostage at a deserted stagecoach station by ruthless bandit Richard Boone and his henchmen Henry Silva and Skip Homeier. Since we already know that Boone has no qualms about killing a freckle-faced 10 year old boy, we shudder to think of what's ...
Perhaps the grittiest and grimmest of the Randolph Scott-Budd Boetticher collaborations, The Tall T was adapted by Burt Kennedy from the Elmore Leonard short story The Captive. Scott plays a former ranch foreman who, along with newlyweds Maureen O'Sullivan and John Hubbard, is held hostage at a deserted stagecoach station by ruthless bandit Richard Boone and his henchmen Henry Silva and Skip Homeier. Since we already know that Boone has no qualms about killing a freckle-faced 10 year old boy, we shudder to think of what's in store for Scott and his fellow captives once Boone carries out his plan to rob the next stagecoach. In Boetticher's time-honored Mexican Standoff fashion, Scott bargains with Boone for the life of O'Sullivan, but his efforts are undercut by Hubbard's cowardly treachery. The film's sparse, carefully controlled tension level bursts into full-out bloodshed only minutes before the final fade-out. Curiously, the title The Tall T is never explained at any time; certainly the "T" doesn't refer to Randolph Scott, whose character name is Pat Brennan. Hal Erickson, Rovi
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Randolph Scott, Richard Boone, Skip Homeier, Arthur Hunnicutt, Henry Silva, Maureen O'Sullivan. New. 1957 Run time: 77. Buy with confidence-Satisfaction Guaranteed! Delivery Confirmation included for all orders in the US.
Add this copy of The Tall T to cart. $59.95, like new condition, Sold by GeorgeCrossBooks rated 4.0 out of 5 stars, ships from Lexington, MA, UNITED STATES, published 1985 by Goodtimes Home Video Corporation.
Today, October 11, is the birthday of the western and crime novelist, Elmore Leonard (1925 -- 2013). I celebrated the occasion by watching this 1957 western, "The Tall T" after learning of it from a fellow admirer of Leonard.. It is the first film adaptation of a Leonard writing and is based on a pulp magazine story, "The Captives" which is included in the Library of America compilation of Elmore Leonard westerns that I have read and enjoyed.
"The Tall T" is a taut, quickly paced western set in the Arizona territory. This technicolor film features spacious desert scenery but its main interest lies elsewhere. The "T" of the title stands for terror and the film involves a kidnapping of three people, a pair of newlyweds and a rancher, who are in fear for their lives. The outlaws have demonstrated their lack of compunction about killing, and the movie builds in suspense to a violent conclusion.
Budd Boetticher directed this film, one of seven famous westerns he made with Randolph Scott, who stars as the tough, quiet rancher Pat Brennan. For me the major attraction of the film besides the Leonard story was Richard Boone of "Have Gun Will Travel" fame who plays Frank Usher, the roguish yet sympathetic leader of a gang of three outlaws. Brennan and Usher strike up an unlikely friendship which reminded me of a similar friendship between an outlaw and the individual who ultimately brings him in in in the two film adaptations of Leonard's "3:10 to Yuma". The friendship in this movie doesn't prevent a violent end. Much of the interest in the film lies in the development of the relationship between the outlaw and the rancher. Maureen O'Sullivan offers a good performance of the new wife, just married to a coward of a husband. Skip Homier and Henry Silva perform the two quick- on the- trigger outlaws that "run with" Usher. For all its violence, the film suggest the role of true love as a necessary way around the condition of loneliness.
Richard Boone's role in this film made me think of what Paladin might have been as an outlaw. Film adaptations of Elmore Leonard often are hit or miss, but this short B film of about 75 minutes is outstanding. "The Tall T" is included in the National Film Registry maintained by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." I was glad to think about Elmore Leonard again on his birthday by watching this first film adaptation of his writing.