Warlock - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Warlock Reviews

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August 20, 2016
Moral ambiguity and a nice cast round out this decent western. A town terrorized by thugs hires feared gunman Clay Blaisdell (Fonda) to be their marshall. He has Tom Morgan (Quinn), and then there's Gannon, who wants to protect his brother from a lynch mob. Its based off the book, there's a bit of homosexuality undertones but not really, and Deforest Kelly gets a really good scene. It has a slow pace at two hours but its a decent western with some nice humanizing touches for all the characters, badguys included.
June 4, 2016
131108: An old film but a good film. Great actors, good action and an interesting story. Hard to believe this film was done in 1959, seems much more advanced than that. I liked this movie a lot and found it very reminiscent of Appaloosa (2008). Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if Robert Parker, the writer of the novel from which Appaloosa was born, had seen this film. It's too close for plagiaristic comfort.

160604: Had bought this film after watching it off TV. Yes, I liked it that much. Upon this viewing, like it just as much, if not more. Recently saw Fonda in My Name is Nobody (1973) and my passion for his work continues. Tom Morgan's (Quinn's) outfit with the blue vest is my inspiration for Cowboy Action Shooting. Love it. And Johnny Gannon's (Widmark) horse, the Grey, top notch. Add in a young DeForest Kelly and some amazing scenery and you've got a classic. This movie appeals to my western side, from many angles, in a big way. It ain't no white hat, black hat western. I'm happy to have added Warlock to my collection.
½ February 1, 2016
Amazing yet uneven oater. Almost a psychological study of Old West characters and their tormented relationships. Fonda's performance holds it all together but at times it appears very formal and all over the place.
SPOILER ALERT His relationships with his partner Morgan and girlfriend Jesse are complex. Overtones of a gay relationship are pretty evident. But what does it all mean? Ostensibly, a study of courage in the face of violence and lawlessness but when the Shakespeare-quoting Morgan displays a death-wish when Clay wants to stay behind to settle down with a girl, you wonder where it's all leading. (Morgan's character in particular fascinated me because he must be one of the few leads in a film to actually be disabled without us knowing how he became so - obviously it wasn't a wounded leg, maybe polio)
Everyone has their wants, from Gannon to Lilly to the town as a whole. The film is so broad that you can see the characters all striving to get what they want. Maybe that's why it dissatisfied me, in the end. The film focused on too many
characters and seemed disjointed, confusing.
For all its placid surface, things at times happen abruptly - and inexplicably.
For example, how could we be convinced that Clay, seemingly so independent as played by Fonda, would overnight fall for Jesse and make plans to marry her in a fortnight's time? I mean, this important conversation between them took place off-screen too. Maybe the director couldn't make it seem convicting if we actually heard them discussing this! And it was incredibly important to the plot because it led to Clay and Morgan's estrangement (break-up?) and then Morgan's break-down.
If it had been pruned by 30 mins. and tightened up this could have been a great
movie.
Observations: Tom Drake especially in voice reminds me of Liam Neeson. A pity he didn't get to play in more movies.
Extraordinary number of blue-eyed actors in leading roles. Was it a prerequisite!
½ March 4, 2015
Refreshing to see so many quality actors in one film, a film in which none of the good guys wears a *white hat*. In that respect, this film foreshadows Eastwood's Unforgiven. With DeForest Kelley & Frank Gorsham.
½ October 26, 2014
Intriguing and far from derivative western with more complexity and character development than you'd usually expect. It ticks along with all the things you'd expect from a small town western but is never predictable.
December 31, 2013
Psychological Western dealing with an intense plutonic relationship between two men and in the case of the Quinn character strangely possessive. The script is excellent and the acting of both Quinn and Fonda good and realistic. This is a must for those who like western which are a mixture of the classical and the off-beat.
½ May 24, 2013
A pretty exciting law and order Star Western--Psychological western in disguise!!
February 22, 2013
This is a movie that belongs in the collection of every Western fan
½ July 1, 2012
With the exception of a few standouts ("Once Upon a Time in the West," "High Noon," "Stagecoach") the whole western genre seems avoidable. Here's further proof.
May 23, 2012
solid western with good performances from Fonda and Widmark
December 29, 2011
A much more complex, sophisticated western than usual (and indeed the novel on which it is based is supposed to be excellent), with fine performances, about the state (law and order, law enforcement) and its relationship to civil society (town burghers, and a financier/gambler/pimp).
November 25, 2011
Great, great, good-old fashioned western, with a meaningful story and very many feel.

Very underrated.
January 27, 2011
A very unique western drama.
½ December 1, 2010
A somewhat different western without really standing out. Decent plot and good acting. Widmark was the best actor, but he did look kind of silly when he was "crying" over his brother, oh billy, oh billy billy billy.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
½ June 3, 2010
Adult western that deals with the threat of mob rule and a crisis of conscience for several of its characters. Henry Fonda is the nominal lead and he is fine as usual but the best performance comes from the great Richard Widmark who is tormented by a very basic struggle.
½ May 1, 2010
This is a movie that had me wishing Henry Fonda made more westerns. He and Anthony Quinn are channeling their inner Earps here with Quinn even named Morgan. They're both good and so is DeForest Kelley as one of the bad guy's gang. The script takes a lot of shortcuts. I wish it had clarified his relationship with Widmark's character earlier, and Dorothy Malone looks so smokin' she seems ready to pop at any moment (and awfully clean for someone who just took a stagecoach ride). Frank Gorshen does okay as Widemark's kid brother as well.
garyX
Super Reviewer
April 21, 2010
A small town terrorized by outlaws hires gunman Henry Fonda as unofficial lawman but when the bodies start to mount up, local cowpoke Richard Widmark steps in as sheriff causing tensions for all concerned. Essentially a variation on the OK Corral story, Fonda's character is probably far closer to a true portrait of Wyatt Earp than his more romanticized counterparts. Although on the surface a black hat vs white hat generic western, it's more of a series of varying shades of grey hats in the ring, as each man has a shady past and ulterior agenda. Fonda is a man of violence that tries to play by the rules but has no illusions as to what his job entails; Doc Holliday style sidekick Anthony Quinn plays both sides of the fence off against each other but has very sketchy motives; Richard Widmark is initially torn between his inherent sense of right and wrong and loyalty to his friends but comes to realise the time for vigilante justice is over. The larger theme for the story is the passing of the old west from lawlessness to order and despite the rather formulaic approach, some well written characters and quality leading men make for a cut above the usual horse opera.
November 21, 2009
This great film never got the recognition it deserved. Richard Widmark is Johnny Gannon a man who changes and also changes sides. He was a member of McQuown's gang and in spite of his brother remaining in the gang he becomes the marshal. He is much like Marlon Brando in "On The Waterfront" which was made by Elia Kazan who had the same political problems. Henry Fonda is hired to clean the town and he comes along with his partner Anthony Quinn. Fonda falls in love with Dolores Michaels and wants to change but Quinn has a terrible fear of changing and being alone. There is nothing homosexual in their friendship-partnership, only too much mutual dependency.
Super Reviewer
½ October 18, 2009
A pretty good western
September 16, 2009
Superior western with a top-notch cast and more complexity to the story than the average fare of the time. Both Fonda and Widmark are excellent, but its the richness of the supporting cast (Quinn, Malone etc) that makes this film stand out!
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