Monday, November 11, 2019

Tonight's Movie: The Bounty Man (1972) - A Kino Lorber DVD Review

Clint Walker stars as THE BOUNTY MAN (1972), available on DVD from Kino Lorber.

THE BOUNTY MAN is one of a trio of early '70s Western TV-movies recently released by Kino Lorber. I've previously reviewed the other two films, THE DAUGHTERS OF JOSHUA CABE (1972) and THE TRACKERS (1971).

In THE BOUNTY MAN Walker plays Kinkaid, a tough, no nonsense man who makes a living tracking down outlaws.

When he captures Billy (John Ericson, BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK), Billy's girlfriend Mae (Margot Kidder), tags along. Mae is a prostitute who dreams of a better life with sweet-talking Billy, but as she tries to help set Billy free, she gradually comes to realize that it's not exactly a dependable relationship. Meanwhile she increasingly appreciates Kincaid, once she learns more about what's underneath the rough exterior.

Kinkaid, Mae, and Billy are all in for more trouble than they've bargained for when another gang wants to take Billy in for the reward themselves, and they're happy to kill Kinkaid in order to do it.

This is a fairly bland, standard issue Western. The three leads do what they can, with Kidder particularly adding some energy to the proceedings, but it's all a bit perfunctory. The script by Western specialist Jim Byrnes doesn't offer anything new or particularly interesting.

It's a fairly typical Western story of a group of disparate travelers facing down a dangerous enemy in the middle of nowhere. While one of the great pleasures of Westerns is seeing what different casts and filmmakers bring to familiar stories, in this case it's simply not as good as it could be. The film is watchable due to the cast, but all in all it's a very modest film.

Walker and Kidder, as it happened, both passed on last year in the same month, May 2018. Ericson, born in 1926, is still with us.

The supporting cast includes Richard Basehart, sadly unmemorable here, plus Arthur Hunnicutt and Gene Evans.

This 73-minute film was directed by John Llewellyn Moxey. It was filmed by Ralph Woolsey.

The disc includes a gallery of Western trailers and an interview with the director, Moxey. Like Kino's other recently released TV-movies, the print is nothing special but certainly adequate.

While this particular film was a bit of a disappointment, I love the fact that Kino Lorber is making long-unseen TV-movies available for home viewing, and I'm hoping for more such releases in the future.

Thanks to Kino Lorber for providing a review copy of this DVD.


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