Friday, June 01, 2007

Viewer alert: 'Comanche Station'

The final collaboration of Western icon Randolph Scott and maverick moviemaker Budd Boetticher is a rousingly two-fisted Western drama with an affectingly melancholy aftertaste. Jefferson Cody (Scott), obsessed with finding the wife who was kidnapped by Comanches more than a decade earlier, barters with Indians for the release of another white woman (Nancy Gates), the wife of a man who has posted a huge reward for her dead-or-alive return. Hearty outlaw Ben Lane (Claude Akins) tries to muscle in on the transition, but Cody won't be dissuaded from competing his chivalrous task. He remains true to himself, even though his noble gesture brings him no nearer a closure. Indeed, the ending suggests he will never stop searching. Which, of course, makes him the quintessential Budd Boetticher hero.

Comanche Station can be viewed at 5:05 and 11:30 p.m. EDT Sunday, June 3, on Encore Westerns.

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