Nevada Smith - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Nevada Smith Reviews

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Super Reviewer
September 24, 2010
A fine Western with a revenge of the title role that is actually a strong and revealing study of the regeneration of one man.
At age 36, Steve McQueen is a bit hard to believe as a 'kid'. The story obviously spans many years in Max Sand's life and if the writers had played this up more McQueen's age would not have mattered. Even showing Max and Alex Chord in a winter setting followed by spring, something to show an extensive passage of time would have helped make McQueen's age more fitting.
A superb cast of supporting actors backs up McQueen. Brian Keith is the perfect father figure who takes Max in and teaches him to use firearms and tells him about life and how to find the men who killed his parents. Suzanne Pleshette cannot be made to look bad no matter how hard the make up department tries. Even dirty and sweaty in the swamp, her natural beauty and class shine. These traits and her unique voice and soft movements steal any scene she is in. She almost upstages McQueen. Martin Landau, Arthur Kennedy and Karl Malden are as bad as any movie villains I ever saw.
Super Reviewer
May 4, 2009
Good if a bit overlong western with Steve, oozing charisma, acquitting himself well as he changes from callow youth to hardened gunslinger. A great supporting cast helps immeasurably with Suzanne Pleshette standing out bringing a gruff sexy charm to her too few scenes.
Super Reviewer
September 12, 2010
Mediane western.A story of revenge and violence when Max Sands(Mcqueen) gos
January 15, 2011
The storyline is pretty flat for a Western, but the cast and their deliveries make this quite worthy viewing.

McQueen's parents were killed by three dirty cowpokes and he doggedly hunts them down for revenge. He nails the first two, but his travels along the way -- a couple of pious women, a supportive friar -- have taught him that perhaps forgiveness is the better route, so when he corners that third killer ... well, you get the picture.

Still there's a lot of MidCentury acting power on deck here and they are what make this film work. McQueen, of course, but also very good work from Karl Mauldin, Arthur Kennedy, Suzanne Pleshette, Janet Margolin, Pat Hingle & Martin Landau. It's really the string of these performances, not the plot, that keep this film moving along.

According to IMDb, Loni Anderson is an uncredited saloon gal; I never noticed her. There WAS another saloon girl with a short but interesting delivery, the saloon girl who was Martin Landau's wife. When McQueen turns up in her hotel room, she portrays well a woman who's extremely titillated to be in a bedroom with the man who planted her husband in the ground. That's Joanna Moore, who later wed Ryan O'Neal and mothered Tatum O'Neal.

Numerous sources claim this 1966 movie is a prequel to Harold Robbins' 1961 novel The Carpetbaggers. Not exactly true. The novel does contain a Nevada Smith character, and this film fleshes out some of his background as briefly presented in that novel, but that's about it. The Carpetbaggers is loosely based on the early life of Howard Hughes. And Hughes' 1930ish Hollywood adventures have nothing to do whatsoever with the 1880ish Texas in which this film is set.

And this film's screenplay was from the hand of John Michael Hayes, with no meaningful involvement of Robbins at all. The "real connection" was likely nothing more than a fee paid to Robbins in a half-hearted attempt to capitalize on The Carpetbaggers' sexually-steamy success (which was on par with Lady Chatterley's Lover and Tropic of Cancer in its day). That done at a time when viewer interest in the Western genre was fading fast into the sunset.

RECOMMENDATION: If you a Western fan and you've missed it, you need to fill in the gap.
September 17, 2009
Very well produced, excellent cinematography and score. It's a good story but way overlong. The period detail is only fair. It wasn't always authentic looking. The performances are fine. Great use of location filming.
½ September 23, 2008
Near masterpiece. Surely an overlooked classic. Ultimate revenge flick! Brian Keith in rare form; Karl Malden as a guy; Marty Landau in there, too. Marvelous.
April 1, 2007
Add equal parts of knife fights, shoot outs Steve mcqueen, and top it all off with some revenge and what do you get? Nevada Smith Bitches!
½ August 23, 2015
If you can get over the fact that 35 year old McQueen is supposed to be a young man (circa 21 I guess) who is also half Indian (McQueen is fair skinned and blond/fair haired), this isn't a bad Western adventure at all. The cast are fantastic and the plot although predictable is engaging. I guess this is McQueen's Cool Hand Luke moment.
January 7, 2012
This film definitely has it faults, like expecting the audience to believe that Steve McQueen is a "boy", and to accept the lengths his character will go to quench his thirst for revenge, but it is one of my guilty pleasures with excellent performances by Brian Keith, Martin Landau and Karl Malden. Being a prequel to another guilty pleasure, "The Carpetbaggers", gives it another dimension into the characters. Despite its faults, I found myself routing for Nevada to punish the bad guys and found it worthwhile to see.
January 31, 2011
Good cast and movie. One of my favorites. Recommended
½ December 6, 2010
Nevada Smith is an intense film about revenge. The cinematography and score are excellent. It is also well produced. Steve McQueen and Karl Malden give amazing performances. The script is well written. Henry Hathaway did a great job directing this film. I enjoyed this film because of the remarkable characters. Nevada Smith is a must see.
½ May 14, 2010
Truly one of the most underappreciated Western flicks of all-time. This film does a great job at displaying the adventures and travels of McQueen's title character. Not a fantastic movie, but it still works as an epic journey.
September 17, 2009
Very well produced, excellent cinematography and score. It's a good story but way overlong. The period detail is only fair. It wasn't always authentic looking. The performances are fine. Great use of location filming.
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