“Director Michael Winner gives us a riveting western.
“ See it – This is a good Burt Lancaster western, but it is a bit cliché and the ending might ruin it for you.
“ I highly recommend it.
“ And atmospheric and evocative cinematography by Robert Paynter , Winner's usual .
“ I hope that for a minute we might view 'Lawman' without the effect of 'Death Wish' on its legacy and I intend to argue that rather than being a poorly directed film with 1970's ethos and cynicism, it is rather a very compelling tragedy and a neglected little gem.
“ Oh, and the locations are just breathtaking.
“This is solid entertainment for genre fans and even the romantic scenes with Sheree North are pretty enjoyable.
“ There are several "Wild Bunch" like blood spattered killings and some unexpected twists.
“ The much anticipated ending came with an unexpected twist, leaving the audience to figure out the punchline of the movie.
“ Every cut--early on he uses many overlays, then as the film builds he uses jarring smash cuts--is breathtaking in its thoughtfulness and thematic effect.
“; I am a huge Western fan; but I thought that the script; albeit full of philosophical statements; was plodding.
“ It bears a great resemblance in fact to Harry's similar cold-blooded and pointless execution of his terrorist fugitive at the end of "Harry's Game" and similarly to that, its effect is to arouse disgust at the perpetrator and to alienate our sympathies from what we had previously felt was the "right" side, and to question whether it had really been so "right" all along.
“ It is beyond my understanding, that such cliché's were still possible in the early 70's.
“ The story is very simple, but there is great character study and an emotional (and suspenseful) buildup to the plot.
“ Cobb as the boss cattle rancher and Richard Jordan as a novice gunslinger) is lost in repetitive scenes and lines.
“ I found this film to be a plodding and dour affair.
“ In True Michael Winner form, the action is stunning and the violence is portrayed with all the realism that shows how awful and devastating it can be.
“ The towns folks are a little boring in their effort to stop the action.
“What's really worth watching is Robert Ryan's best role since "Billy Budd," and his best performance since...
“ Starts out well, with a good production and photography then slides downhill, becoming tedious and overly violent.
“ No surprises, no deviation from proved western formula, but entertaining and well-acted, particularly by Lancaster (as a stoic loner who also plays the flute!
“ It's got a strong and intriguing storyline, excellent script rich in character development, there was one quote which made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up ("You'd ride a man to hell wouldn't ya Maddox").
“ Winner's direction is a mess, an inept parade of camera swoops, jerky close-ups and nonsense zooms; the acting is stiff; the dialogue is a mass of gunslinging cliches; and a dreary love interest is thrown in for bad measure.
“LAWMAN is a fascinating look into the mind of someone who must uphold the law and the burden they carry because of it, the price they must pay for upholding justice and keeping people safe.
“Might seem a little slow to start, the momentum soon accelerates as Cobb becomes more embittered by his diminishing stocks, his gang depleting at a rapid rate, while Lancaster defies the mould.
“ There's plenty of gunplay, with several 'High Noon'-type showdowns,unexpected twists, good casting, esp.
“ The film is worth watching for the cast alone, a huge group of old-timers backed up by the fresh faces of Robert Duvall and Richard Jordan.
“ Seeing him come to life briefly when he takes on a "Bronson man" is thrilling.
“This intriguing motion picture was compellingly directed by Michael Winner , though it has an unsatisfactory conclusion undermining otherwise splendid story .
“ Cobb; to name just three terridic actors in this film; I found it to be a plodding and dour affair from start to finish; lacking in soul and personality.
“Thrilling and pulsating musical score by Jerry Fielding , Sam Peckinpah's regular .
“ The outcome predictable...
“ The movie is well made and entertaining enough without the concepts getting in the way of the standard fare.
“ The result is a somewhat violent but always compelling psychological western along the lines of HIGH NOON, well directed by future DEATH WISH director Michael Winner, perhaps his best film as a director.
“ Tedious law & order western...
“Thought-provoking and suspenseful Western about a two-fisted as well as stoic marshal who comes into unfamiliar little town .
“The film offers intriguing performances by veterans Robert Ryan and Lee J.
“ Robert Ryan was superb and succeeded in giving his character an engaging and intriguing edge, Ryan himself is as craggy as the western landscape.
“ It also doesn't help to make the main character, the marshal played by Burt Lancaster a popular or engaging one.
“Others costarring providing enjoyable interpretations are the followings : Robert Duvall , JD Cannon , Sheree North , Albert Salmi , John McGiver , Joseph Wiseman , Richard Jordan , Ralph Waite , John Beck ,Richard Bull, and John Hillerman .
“Intriguing and thought-provoking western has few clear-cut heroes or villains.
“" It defies easy understanding, but I feel that it brilliantly stimulates some very intense concentration on the meaning of the whole story that has led up to it.
“ The stunts and deaths were awesome, the shots of Maddox jumping off his horse, taking cover under gunshots and return fire and the shots of his opponents being shot to death were stunning.
“ The acting in this movie is boring and the dry sterile desert setting becomes a blur of brown sand color.
“ The climax is a cracker and totally unexpected.
“ Quite the contrary, it's a compelling and atmospheric period western with excellent performances from the all-star ensemble cast and a plausible plot outline.
“ I found it confusing and annoying.
“In the final shootout, Lancaster sincerely wants to abandon what he has belatedly realized to be an ultimately lonely and empty life.
“ The movie ends with a genre formulaic shootout, that does not disappointed.
“ He won't make that mistake again because empty as life by the code may be, it is still life and Lancaster remarks several times during the film that there are very few things worth dying for.
“ Tedious law & order western proceeds with a string of predictable stand-offs played out by one dimensional western characters.
“ The moment of suspense exciting as anything the cinema has ever produced...
“ Maddox confronts Cobb, who does offer compensation to the old man's family, but cannot afford to have his men go to trial, which he thinks is pointless anyway.
“ British director Michael winner, who gave us the DEATH WISH movies, gives the film a raw and intense feel with the camera-work contributing majorly to this.
“ There are utterly pointless zooms in and out -- to somebody's teeth, or away from a cactus flower or a lone tree atop a pillar of stone.