Hombre (1967)

"Hombre means man. Paul Newman is Hombre."

Starring: PN, Fredric March, Richard Boone, Diane Cilento, Cameron Mitchell, Barbara Rush, Martin Balsam

Directed by: Martin Ritt

Summary: PN plays John Russell, a white man who has been raised by Apaches. He returns to a world where Indians are seen as savages and is enticed into helping a stagecoach full of settlers travel through some treacherous country. Richard Boone (Paladin from TV's Have Gun, Will Travel) plays Cicero Grimes, the baddest man in the whole damn town. John Russell seems an upstanding young man when they meet him, but upon learning that he has lived amongst the Apaches, they force him to ride outside of the stagecoach. It is only when the passengers lives become endangered and they must travel across the terrain on foot do they fully realize how much they need him- but do they truly realize that he is an equal? No doubt the racism theme appealed to Newman, always an advocate for equal rights. The story was written by Elmore Leonard (who would later go on to write comical mystery novels: Get Shorty, Jackie Brown, Rum Punch).

Quote:"Try not to puke, you may have to lay in it a long time."
"If he tries to leave with nothing, shoot him once. If he takes the money, shoot him twice. If he picks up the water, empty your gun."

Trivia: Cast members: Barbara Rush who played Favor's wife also played Newman's girlfriend in The Young Philadelphians. David Canary who played roughneck Lamar Dean went on to play Adam and Stuart on All My Children for 20+ years. Diane Cilento (Jessie)is the ex-wife of Sean Connery.

The Newman Factor and Rating: It took me a long time to get around to seeing this one, but I was pleasantly surprised when I finally did break down and watch it. The story is universal about the misunderstandings people have about cultures they have not met first hand. The violence is also interestingly portrayed- people are shot, but they do not die instantly. They last the length of the movie and suffer along like real victims do. To classify this as merely a western is only half correct, it is more of a study on the nature of bigotry. Paul's role is very understated, I'd be hard pressed to say he has more than 20 or 30 lines. But it is his silence that speaks for him. Movie: 9, PLN: 9