Many times I don't even bother to insert the Spoilers, thinking no one will read them... And I don't want to say much about a movie, because a spoiler means something different to everyone.

Since it was on cable last night, I thought this would be a good opportunity to possibly talk about it... First off, if you've seen it, what would you rate it?

I thought it could have been better.. The scenes between Kirk Douglas and Gena Rowlands is great, but also lets us in on his character. I've read repeatedly today that even the book doesn't describe him much, so thanks to technology, he'll have to assume a tiny bit of Kirk, lol.... Here's a quick snippet.

Jack Burns: A westerner likes open country. That means he's got to hate fences. And the more fences there are, the more he hates them.Jerry Bondi: I've never heard such nonsense in my life.Jack Burns: It's true though. Have you ever noticed how many fences there're getting to be? And the signs they got on them: no hunting, no hiking, no admission, no trespassing, private property, closed area, start moving, go away, get lost, drop dead! Do you know what I mean?

I love it because I feel like this man, yet I'm not always rebellious of technology, but if it hits me, I'll respond.... The first five minutes are great - he's with his horse, Whiskey, and nothing else in sight as we see a deserted desert. All of a sudden, we hear the sound of a loud machine (truck I think) and it wakes him up. Man vs. machine.... As he gets on along, he sees nothing but cars, honking; one yells "What the hell do you think you're doing?".... The thing with society and technology is that it forces an individual to lose his/her individuality! He was doing his own thing, working the land, and then he couldn't do it anymore.. Could someone ride a horse now even in that setting back in 1962 (although I saw a picture of Truman)? Have you ever seen a man on a horse (not rhetorical) going about his day?

I wished the sheriff (Walter Matthau) did a little more of the investigative work, to find out more about him, and to let the audience in on it.. His silly assistant finds some information on him that I found interesting.. Every time our protagonist got into trouble, it was always on a certain date --- Election Day, Valentine's Day, Washington's birthday, but he hates fences and borders ("the more fences there are, the more I hate them") and feel a person should be left alone by any authority.

It's obvious Kirk and Gena's characters love each other, but...
Jack Burns: I didn't want a house. I didn't want all those pots and pans. I didn't want anything but you. It's God's own blessing I didn't get you.Jerry Bondi: Why?Jack Burns: 'Cause I'm a loner clear down deep to my guts. Know what a loner is? He's a born cripple. He's a cripple because the only person he can live with is himself. It's his life, the way he wants to live. It's all for him. A guy like that, he'd kill a woman like you. Because he couldn't love you, not the way you are loved.

I relate. I would never live with another person. And I like the individualism -- I've been a drifter like he, and wouldn't accept being under anyone else' place because of the burden, but because of the lack of freedom, too.

I thought the jail scenes were longer than need be. We didn't have to spend so much time watching a sharp object make it's way through metal bars... But it's important why he went.. When he finds out his friend (Rowlands' husband) is in jail for helping Mexicans earn a living, Kirk asks "What's wrong with that?" - so he seems tolerant, especially when many weren't so friendly to foreigners from the other side of a fence.... The protagonist relies on intuition, enjoys the things most take for granted in life, such as nature for one, but also being a free man. He doesn't have to answer to anyone, he doesn't live anywhere, and he's loyal, even if it gets him in trouble.

The chase in the mountains is so drawn out. Again, spending so much time watching a guy hide, watching a horse move, stay still... I wish he could have talked to the horse to get more insight... I wish he would have said something like, "With all the problems going on in this country, they're spending all their resources on me?" -- even the sheriff doesn't seem agitated when he mentions that he got away.

Of course, we know from the very beginning Carol O'Conner isn't driving a truck for no reason.. Interesting how the machine (car) took him down. Just like the first time the horse saw a car; it became very startled, which startled the rider, and has a startling affect on humans, just like these cell phones. People might not be aware, but it doesn't mean people haven't changed.

If you saw the movie at least a couple of years ago, what do you think of the movie and the themes in retrospect?

Score - 8/10

Here's the first video of a 7-part documentary/interview with Kirk Douglas describing his favorite movie. I saw the first few minutes, but thought of you all.