The Last Hunt

From the July 1, 2002 Chicago Reader. — J.R.


Overrated in France and underrated in the U.S., writer-director Richard Brooks thrived on sensationalism (Blackboard Jungle, Looking for Mr. Goodbar) and made some excellent westerns (The Professionals, Bite the Bullet), but he generally faltered whenever he tried for prestigious art (The Brothers Karamazov, Sweet Bird of Youth, Lord Jim, In Cold Blood). One of his better 50s efforts was this 1956 CinemaScope western with Robert Taylor and Stewart Granger, about the disappearance of the buffalo in the 1880s. With Debra Paget, Lloyd Nolan, and Russ Tamblyn. Politically incorrect (not so much because Native Americans are associated with the buffalos but because Paget and Tamblyn are cast as the former), but the liberal sentiments still seem genuine. 108 min. (JR)


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