Claiming to evoke 'the West, the way it really was, before the myths were born', British director Anthony Harvey's poised, loving linger in the 1830s badlands of New Mexico is primarily an art film - resolutely romantic, high on production values, low on grit.

Claiming to evoke ‘the West, the way it really was, before the myths were born’, British director Anthony Harvey’s poised, loving linger in the 1830s badlands of New Mexico is primarily an art film – resolutely romantic, high on production values, low on grit.

Ostensibly a tussle for possession of a uniquely fleet white horse (poetically described by the title), the distinctly allegorical plot [from an original story by Michael Syson] pits Martin Sheen as a city-bred, novice trapper against a no-longer-so-young Indian brave, played with remarkable success by Sam Waterston.

Sheen, wild-eyed and vulnerable, is good casting and copes well with the central character’s awkward soliloquizing. Harvey Keitel is lowkey but impressive as Sheen’s companion and mentor.

Eagle's Wing

UK

Production

Rank. Director Anthony Harvey; Producer Ben Arbeid; Screenplay John Briley; Camera Billy Williams; Editor Lesley Walker; Music Marc Wilkinson; Art Director Herbert Westbrook

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1979. Running time: 104 MIN.

With

Martin Sheen Sam Waterston Harvey Keitel Stephane Audran Caroline Langrishe John Castle
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