Best of… Series – 1976 – The Outlaw Josey Wales

The Outlaw Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood, 1976)

I’d been wanting to see this for a long time. My brother-in-law bought me a poster of this movie at least a year ago, and a friend of mine watched this the other day, and considering how many westerns I’ve been watching lately, I decided it was about time I get to it. It’s not one of the greatest westerns I’ve seen, but it’s still definitely very good. Eastwood channels some of the western greats in the way he brings together a misfit group of characters to form a traveling family. It’s easy to become close to these characters, and the way they almost instantly form a bond together is charming.

The film’s main storyline, and the reason these folks are moving through the country together, is that Josey is being chased down as a falsely accused outlaw, and these are the people he has actually helped save along the way. Unfortunately, the main storyline leads to the film’s biggest flaw – Josey’s invincibility. He gets into numerous shootouts, always greatly outnumbered, but generally walks away having mowed through every one of his attackers without any damage to himself. There’s no conflict, no reason to worry, and the shootouts become boring after a while (and there are a lot of them). The film works best as Josey travels the country (which is film beautifully throughout), meets odd characters, and starts a new family.  8.75/10

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