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Western films, from silent to today

Eagle’s Wing (1980)

Eagle's Wing (1980) posterMartin Sheen is Pike, a young man who’s tried lots of professions, including being a soldier.

But he wants to be his own man and thinks he can accomplish that goal by joining a friend named Henry in the fur-trapping, Indian trading business.

Then Indians attack, stealing their pack horses and killing Henry.

Left alone, freed from his last link with civilization, Pike’s new obsession becomes ownership and retention of a prize white stallion.

Retention might be problematic because the stallion is also prized by an Indian named White Bull, who steals the horse.

And so Pike sets out to get the horse back. But he isn’t the only one on White Bull’s trail.

Earlier, white Bull was part of a Indian band that attacked a Mexican funeral detail, making off with a small fortune in jewels and gold coins and kidnapping a female servant named Judith (Caroline Langrishe).

Vaqueros from a nearby hacienda have set out to find the Indian responsible, though there’s some questions as to whether they’re more interested in rescuing the girl or recovering the jewels.

Review:

A wonderful looking film that’s also highly entertaining if you don’t require lots of large-scale action scenes in your Westerns.

Sam Waterson and Martin Sheen carry the film as adversaries who learn a begrudging respect for one another over the course of their struggle for the stallion.

Waterson’s White Bull is the film’s most interesting character. He’s first presented to us as a fire-water swilling savage.

Without a line of dialogue, he shows over the course of the film that he’s a far more complicated indivual, capable of tenderness and quite resourceful when he needs to be.

Directed by:
Anthony Harvey

Cast:
Martin Sheen … Pike
Sam Waterson … White Bull
Caroline Langrishe … Judith
Harvey Keitel … Henry
Stephane Audran … The Widow
John Castle … Priest
Manuel Ojeda … Miguel
Jorge Russek … Gonzalo
Pedro Damian … Jose
Claudio Brook … Sanchez
Jose Carlos Ruiz … Lame Wolf
Jorge Luke … Red Sky
Enrique Lucero … The Shaman

Runtime: 111 min.

Memorable lines:

Pike: “Henry, you spooked or something?”
Henry: “I’ve been spooked ever since I left my mother’s tit. That’s what keeps me from dying.”

Henry: “Just what the hell are you running from, Pike?”
Pike: “Nothing. Just wanna be my own man, my own way. Can’t be your own man when you always polishing someone else’s boots.”

Pike, of White Bull: “You slowed me down some, but you’re never gonna stop me you heathen son of a bitch. Never.”

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