During the film I was actually realizing how much Ilikedher in her role which surprised me. Hence, Willie's action was actually an indirect suicide, thus mimicking the apparent earlier Lola suicide. Critics were overly kind to this dull western in 1969; despite being based on fact, it has not aged well. Another powerful layer of history is Abraham Polonsky's involvement. Katharine Ross is gorgeous but doesn't look like a NativeAmerican her eyes are bluer than Paul Newman's. Redford's posse is made up of diverse types, as posses tend to be in such movies.
Abrahom Polonsky's return to film-making was swept under the carpet, as are so many heartfelt, thoughtful films even in 1969. Isoleta Boniface was a 15 year old Paiute Indian girl. Her father found them, took her back and told Willie Boy that if he came near her again he would kill Willie Boy. This may explain the uneven handling. Ira Hayes, one of the heroes who raised the flag on Iwo Jima, was a member of the neighboring Pima tribe.
Thank God Redford is preety. There is an abundance of springs and other sources of water. While this is a Western, it might be better termed an anti Western. Lola was either murdered by Willie or accidentally shot by the posse, depending on the account. In particular, the showdown on Ruby Mountain offers some gorgeous images.
The first hour is devoted to the manhunt for an Indian killer Blake and then the plot involves the arrival of President Taft in 1909 California and the effort to protect him from any kind of assassination attempt. Still, this is a worthwhile late 60's Western if you like the style of the others noted. I was even surprised to find wooded and watery areas, which you won't expect to find in the desert. He later shot Carlota in the back either when she tried to escape or because she was slowing him down. She was either killed by Willie Boy or shot accidentally by a posse member.
Redford's role as the reluctant sheriff is never too clear since he's a man of a very few words a regular Gary Cooper type , so it's up to Blake to carry much of the film and he does. He's terrific as theIndian lad who's trigger happy when the posse starts getting too close. Redford looks so much younger here; it must have been the mustache as The Kid. I highly recommend this film. Yet, why does Redford's character say that 'he had no bullets'? But he was an expert screenplay writer, and his view of the rights of Native Americans would be similar to those of Lawton. An 8 out of 10.
Willie Boy kidnapped Isoleta the first time from the family's camp at Twenty-nine Palms, Ca. The wonderful topography of the Mojave Desert is superbly captured in Panavision. Even Willie Boy is pig headed,monomaniacal and self-destructive. It's a good solid early-1900s Western with much better-than-average acting. They are pursued by a posse led by Sheriff Cooper Robert Redford. The desert as a great hiding place is put to use. Minorities are always in danger, suggests the film, from the urge to hound and victimise manifested by some elements in society.
It is left deliberately ambiguous whether Lola shot herself in order to slow down the posse's advance or whether Willie killed her to keep her out of the posse's hands. Willie Boy had an unrequited interest in Isoleta. Summing up: Character driven tale had the potential to be a fine western, but badly paced direction of Abraham Polonsky is no help nor is the sluggish script. Based on the Willie Boy incident that was one of the most savage chapters in frontier history. Years later a couple of politically correct college professors wrote articles claiming Lawton's book was all wrong and Willie Boy was a hero, even going so far as to suggest Carlotta was killed by the posse.
But it's a lumbering tale that takes a good hour before the dust begins to settle and we get some action along with the character development of both Blake and Redford. Sheriff Chris Cooper Redford treads that line carefully, as he knows he must bring Willie Boy to justice, but is keenly aware that it wouldn't take much for his search party to turn into a lynch mob. He also wrote this screenplay, which strikes a defiant note in favour of the lone hero against the forces of intolerance and repression. Redford, a bit more fair minded, wants to just catch him to bring him to trial, but one gets the impression as the film continues how hopeless this hope is. Redford's role as the reluctant sheriff is never too clear since he's aman of a very few words a regular Gary Cooper type , so it's up toBlake to carry much of the film and he does. Willie Boy kidnapped Isoleta again and headed into the desert. This was directed by Abraham Polonsky, one of the famous blacklisted writers who returned from exile.
For one thing, burning was believed to neutralize evil associated with a person and the potential mischief by their ghost also true of the witch burnings in Europe. Director Abraham Polonsky was making his comeback to mainstream cinema with this film, eighteen years after being blacklisted by the UnAmerican Activities Committee. The covert message will be happily unnoticed by most younger viewers, and easily ignored by the more sophisticated. Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here is directed by Abraham Polonsky who also adapts the screenplay from the novel Willie Boy: A Desert Manhunt written by Harry Lawton. The actors are all fine, the photography is at times excellent, but we are not made to feel for the characters- we can see the outcome way before it happens. He is pursued by a posse led by Robert Redford, which is determined to get the young man because of his background. We came on it while it was still warm.
The posse eventually discovered Willie Boy's body after chasing him for 11 days and 500 to 600 miles in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties in Ca. The last twenty minutes should have been a model of suspense as theyclose in on Willie Boy, but it's allowed to drag out interminably. Loosely based on the true story of the West's last famous manhunt in 1909, a Chemehuevi-Paiute Indian named Willie Boy Robert Blake kills a man in self-defense and escapes into the desert wilderness with an Indian woman Katharine Ross. It was well received by the critics of the day, this in spite of director and stars not seeing eye to eye, and it is a decent movie with great values. But the first half is dull and the story doesn't perk up until the 50-minute mark. But that, and a few remarks here and there, are about as far as it goes. The fact that it took several posses of 75+ men on horse, withsupplies, days and nights of tracking to catch up with one Indian onfoot without more than a rifle, a few shells and only what food hecould scrounge, speaks volumes for the Indian-vs-white fight forsurvival and the tactics used.