Review: ‘The Undefeated’

John Wayne plays Old-Tall-In-The-Saddle in a film based on a story by Stanley L. Hough. Film has a basic storyline, character elements and dialog for what might have been a superior drama and possibly a great western. But Andrew McLaglen's direction, seems to consist of splicing together cliches, static camera work and Central Casting of the bit parts.

John Wayne plays Old-Tall-In-The-Saddle in a film based on a story by Stanley L. Hough. Film has a basic storyline, character elements and dialog for what might have been a superior drama and possibly a great western. But Andrew McLaglen’s direction, seems to consist of splicing together cliches, static camera work and Central Casting of the bit parts.

Wayne is the leader of the ragtail remnants of a troop of Union cavalry who make a bloody charge against a thin line of Confederate soldiers, only to find after the massacre that the war has been over for three days.

Basically wrong is the whole uneven mood of the film. Neither Wayne or Hudson seems to know whether they are in a light comedy or a serious drama. They are, to use the word in an exact sense, simply unbelievable.

The Undefeated

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Andrew V. McLaglen; Producer Robert L. Jacks; Screenplay James Lee Barrett; Camera William Clothier; Editor Robert Simpson; Music Hugo Montenegro; Art Director Carl Anderson

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1969. Running time: 118 MIN.

With

John Wayne Rock Hudson Tony Aguilar Roman Gabriel Marian McCargo Lee Meriwether
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