Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (4)
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If The Way West does not wholly succeed as drama, it is at least a well-made and wholly professional Hollywood Western.
The Way West is made with spirit and feeling and, if it has all the old stuff in it, it also has three rock-like old-timers showing their - years but also their assurance, their professionalism, their sheer much-used talent.
Victor McLaglen's son Andrew directed in a lackluster way this dreary epic of the move Westward.
I thought it might be fun to see Mitchum and Douglas reunited twenty years after Out of the Past; I couldn't have been more wrong. The Way West is an overlong, tedious western based on a Pulitzer Prize winning novel, set - like Anthony Mann's infinitely superior Bend of the River - along the Oregon Trail. For all I know, the book may be wonderful, but McLagen's film of it has very little forward momentum. The three stars (Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum and Richard Widmark) struggle to find anything to get their teeth into, while the secondary characters - including an impressive Sally Field in her film début - meander through subplot after superfluous subplot. Mitchum's trademark world-weariness is so close to genuine boredom in this picture, I can only assume he spent too much time watching the rushes while making it. Beautiful to look at; a chore to watch.
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