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Joe Kidd DVD Cover Art

Joe Kidd DVD

Clint Eastwood stars as the title character in this low-key, moderately politicized variation of his spaghetti Westerns. In New Mexico in the late 1890s, the fiery Louis Chama (John Saxon) leads a group of Mexican-American peasants in a fight for their land after the evidence of their ownership has been destroyed in a questionable courthouse fire. The wealthy Frank Harlan (Robert Duvall), who also lays claim to the disputed land, has decided to bypass the legal system and hires a group of killers to take care of Chama. Kidd, who initially rejects Harlan's offer to join his hunting party, changes his mind when he finds that Chama has stolen some of his horses and brutalized one of his ranch hands. However, after seeing Harlan randomly pick off some Mexicans and becoming interested in Helen Sanchez (Stella Garcia), Kidd begins to think twice about his current employer. After he frees a group of hostages who are about to be mowed down by Harlan and his men, he takes off into the hills with Chama. Given the participants, JOE KIDD should have been much better, as it is somewhat hamstrung by an Elmore Leonard script that seems bored with its characters. That said, Duvall and Eastwood are excellent, as is Bruce Surtees' camerawork.
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