"Pale Rider"... you've been down too long in the midnight sea. All must become enemies. But seriously though, When I heard that Clint Eastwood was doing a film called "Pale Rider", I said "That's about right" and now, I say that I'm especially glad that he did it, so that he could show just how graceful of a filmmaker he is. However his grace is damaged by overdrawn points, a cop-out ending and some weak performances. Still, the film features fine production designs, decent action sequences, a progressive increase in compellingness and mostly good performances. Also, what is with Eastwood that he has to one-up just about any standard of cinematography in any generation of film? Hey, I don't mind, just keep up the good work. Of course, the excellent cinematography isn't the only graceful element behind his direction.
Eastwood's direction is clever, elegent and boasts wit. Snappy dialogue and sharp, subtle comic-relief can be found throughout to break Eastwood's classy tension. Of course, that's not to say that it's not great to have the class there in the first place. He dives into the depth of the story as much as possible and leaves you facinated and even chilled when the time comes. Still, director Clint Eastwood can't provide tension alone. He must also thank... well... Clint Eastwood. But seriously though, Eastwood's acting performance once again carries the "Man With No Name" eeriness and mystery, but with a twist. He brings much charisma to create a suble, but notable human quality in his character that makes him even more mysterious and compelling.
Ultimately, "Pale Rider" is far from terribly special, but remains a witty, more graceful addition to Eastwood's Western filmography.