Pony Express

1953

History / Romance

0
IMDb Rating 5.9

Synopsis


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1.93G
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101 min
P/S 0 / 1
1.23G
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English
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101 min
P/S 0 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Nazi_Fighter_David 8

In 1860, Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickok joined their strength to establish a communication route with the East through a fresh and fast relay stations of young riders on horseback...<br/><br/>Charlton Heston plays the legendary mountain man, buffalo hunter, U. S. Army Scout and Indian fighter and backer of the &#39;Pony Express&#39; from St. Joseph to Sacramento in only ten days... Forrest Tucker plays his friend Wild Bill Hickok, an U. S. Marshal who brought order to the frontier with many encounters with outlaws among them Michael Moore (Lance Hastings) and Henry Brandon (Cooper) whose plans are to destroy the relay stations and ambush the express riders...<br/><br/>The film is loaded with action scenes and amusing moments... <br/><br/><ul><li>When Heston stops a stagecoach and tells the coachman: &#39;I&#39;m Buffalo Bill Cody.&#39; &#39;Sure, and I&#39;m Wild Bill Hickok,&#39; replies the driver... Coming alongside and smiling, Heston says: &#39;Nope, You&#39;re not that ugly!&#39;</li></ul><br/><br/><ul><li>When Heston meets Tucker arriving in town... Their courteous words are replaced by a shooting game, a rare but funny expression of friendship, putting holes in each other&#39;s garments including Tucker&#39;s nine dollars expensive hat... &#39;It&#39;s fancier than shaking hands,&#39; expresses Jan Sterling to Rhonda Fleming from the window of her hotel...</li></ul><br/><br/>-When Jan Sterling comes into the presence of the famous &#39;Pair of Bills,&#39; wishing to increase her impression on Buffalo Bill with a fancy pink dress... Seeing her, Heston notes: &#39;Why not you go back and put some clothes on!&#39;<br/><br/>Rhonda Fleming plays Evelyn Hastings, the ravishing wealthy redhead, who falls in love with Heston, leaving alone her brother who never wanted the &#39;Pony Express&#39; to get through..-<br/><br/>Jan Sterling plays the sincere pretty blonde who loves so much Buffalo Bill...<br/><br/>Filmed in Technicolor, this enjoyable Western, based on factual account, is adequately entertaining...

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Reviewed by gpachovsky 8

Just because &quot;Pony Express&quot; is a western and the Indians are characterized as the bad guys, does not mean it is without merit. Certainly viewers who insist that their movies must be politically correct learning experiences or must have educational value like a two hour university lecture will abhor its lighthearted approach and historical inaccuracy. Yet it is precisely this lighthearted approach that makes this movie so much fun.<br/><br/>The four principals, Charlton Heston (Buffalo Bill Cody), Forrest Tucker (Wild Bill Hickok), ravishing Rhonda Fleming, and hoydenish Jan Sterling serve up a potpourri of good-natured banter (and seem to have a lot of fun in doing so) that makes the running time of 101 minutes and incidental plot just whiz by. If nothing else, this movie serves to remind us that most people do have a sense of humor and that life is not all a funeral dirge.<br/><br/>California, led by a group of businessmen, wants to secede from the union and become an independent republic, citing the country&#39;s general apathy towards it as the primary reason. Eastern businessmen and politicians, on the other hand, feel that, by improving communications between Washington and California, they can discourage the citizens of that remote state from making such an irrational move. To this end they seek the help from Buffalo Bill and Wild Bill Hickok to organize a &quot;pony express&quot; which will deliver mail and news from East to West and visa-versa in double-quick time. In attempting to implement the scheme, the two friends must first overcome violent opposition from the owner of a stagecoach line who stands to lose a cross-country mail contract if the plan succeeds, hostile Indians who see the advent of the white man as yet another encroachment to their way of life, and the California businessmen themselves whose interests extend beyond Californian independence.<br/><br/>Of course, the story is full of historical inaccuracies. Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild Bill Hickok, for instance, barely knew each other. Hickok handled a six-gun much better than Buffalo Bill. &quot;Pony Express&quot; riders were mostly teenage orphan boys who had to be &quot;willing to risk their lives every day&quot; (Even in those days, businessmen knew how to protect themselves against lawsuits.). But so what? I first saw this movie when I was eight years old and loved it so much that I immediately went to the library to read up on these historical characters and events. Was I upset when I found that so much of the plot had been fabricated? Not in the least. I was grateful that the story was interesting enough to have piqued my interest in this specific chapter of American history. Any movie that induces you to want to learn something more cannot be a bad movie.<br/><br/>On the plus side, it does have some good action sequences (this was in the days before horses learned to gallop in slow motion), and uses the Indians as enemy only for dramatic effect and not as a source of derision. In fact, the chief, represented by white man, Pat Hogan, is probably the film&#39;s most admirable character. &quot;I have never known Yellow Hand to lie or go back on his word,&quot; says Cody at one point and it is not without good reason that he shows some remorse after he is forced to kill him.<br/><br/>It also gives us a look at a young Charlton Heston, before he became a staple of the large, big budget biblical epics. At this point in his career, Heston was still experimenting, trying to find himself as actor by taking on such varied roles as a circus boss, President Andrew Jackson, a South American plantation owner, a soldier of fortune, or a surgeon. Just the fact that he doesn&#39;t have to deliver each line as if he were speaking from a pulpit makes his work more interesting, if not necessarily better.<br/><br/>Best of all, it was here that I saw Rhonda Fleming for the first time. I fell in love with her immediately and wanted to marry her when I grew up. When I watch this movie today, I still think it was a good idea.<br/><br/>Despite its overall low ratings, I cannot help but like &quot;Pony Express&quot;. It has amiable characters, snappy dialogue (which emphasizes just how much modern screenwriters have lost their sense of humor) and a plot that moves briskly to its predictable conclusion. If the movie hearkens back to simpler, more clear-cut times, it is at least nice to see heroes who genuinely like each other and who can get the job done while having some fun doing it, rather than today&#39;s friendless, dour-faced loners with chips on their shoulders who spend every waking minute searching for &quot;the truth.&quot;

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Reviewed by Spikeopath 5

Directed by Jerry Hopper and starring Charlton Heston, Forrest Tucker and Rhonda Fleming, Pony Express is adapted from a story written by Frank Gruber. It revolves around the birth of the Pony Express and how it linked California to the rest of the United States, thus preventing it from becoming a separate republic. Buffalo Bill Cody (Heston) and Wild Bill Hickok (Tucker) are the principal characters in the formation of the St Joseph-Sacramento speed run that has long since passed into folklore. Very much a fictionalised account of the &quot;Express&quot; and its principals, this tale deals in an attempt to form a separatist movement from the Union and the trials and tribulations that Cody &amp; Hickok go thru in order to successfully launch the &quot;Express&quot;. Cue Indian attacks, with the Indians being armed by corrupt business men, and sinister plotting by the seemingly affable Hastings siblings (Michael Moore &amp; Fleming). <br/><br/>A loose remake of the 1924/25 silent film of the same name, Hopper&#39;s movie suffers from being overlong and for spending too much time with the Hastings sub-plot. It&#39;s only when we get to the last quarter that the film gathers apace, until then we are left with only Heston&#39;s gusto and Fleming&#39;s sexuality to hold our attention. Director Hopper struggles to craft any energy from the number of dialogue driven set-ups, and even a Mano-Mano fight to the death between Cody and Yellow Hand (Pat Hogan) is undeniably flat. Thank god then for Heston giving it brio. A few years away from career defining roles, he seems to be enjoying himself and puts ebullient life into the film when it starts to sag. Fleming too is a highpoint. When not asked to lead off awful films like Bullwhip, Fleming was a more than capable actress, helped enormously by her sexiness and ability to own her scenes. She raises temperatures here considerably with one particular scene as both Jan Sterling (as Tomboy Denny) and herself each take a bath. <br/><br/>Thankfully the finale doesn&#39;t follow suit with what has gone before it, with Hopper gaining a little redemption with this action quarter. The momentum is built up as we approach the first &quot;Express&quot; run, a gunfight is well staged and the shots of the horses bolting along the plains are a joy; in particular one shot as man and beast speed off under a blood red sky (well done cinematographer Ray Rennahan). Then it&#39;s the inevitable showdown where Heston flexes his gun toting muscles and a surprise development earns the picture an extra plaudit. So a real mixed bag for sure then. Well worth a watch for Heston purists and Fleming lusters. And indeed for Western fans who are versed in the lower grade genre entries so prominent in the 1950s. But it clearly doesn&#39;t fulfil its potential and the snippets of good only further make one feel a touch annoyed once the end credit booms out from the screen. 5.5/10

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