Sunday, August 26, 2018

"WILL PENNY"--THE performance of Charlton Heston's career--subtle, skilled, and assured, yet bravely vulnerable

Will Penny

Will Penny

Joan Hackett (Actor), Charlton Heston (Actor), Tom Gries (Director)

Hollywood legend Charlton Heston stars as Will Penny, an aging cowboy on a hard-luck streak. He's out of work, out of money, and staked out to die in the desert by a gang of ruthless outlaws. Moments before death, W ill is taken in by a beautiful young woman named Catherine (Joan Hackett ), who is heading west with her young son to join her husband. As Catherine nurses Will back to health, he c catches a glimpse of a lifestyle he 's never known. Suddenly, Will has two more problems to deal with: He's madly in love with another man's wife, and the outlaw gang is on its way back to finish him off...


this film is really unlike any other Western ever made...

I could honestly never choose an "ultimate" Western. The West encompasses so much! The Early American Frontier, the Oregon Trail, the Plains, the gold and silver mines, the railroad, the homesteaders vs the ranchers, the cattlemen vs the sheepmen, the women who endured and accomplished so much, wild horses, law & order vs lawlessness & disorder. The treatment and mass misrepresentation of Native Americans--very few films have given an accurate portrayal. Some of the Western stars who really stand out for me are Gregory Peck, John Wayne, and Gary Cooper. Of course, no one equals Sam Elliott in a Western! Having said all that, I will mention a film that I truly love, one that is starkly beautiful and ever amazing--"Will Penny"--starring Charlton Heston. The story of a simple, middle-aged cowboy with a great heart and a greater comprehension of life than most folks, this film is really unlike any other Western ever made. "Will Penny" is a superb film. It is THE performance of Charlton Heston's career--subtle, skilled, and assured, yet bravely vulnerable. All preconceived notions and perceptions of Mr. Heston will be wiped away when one views this film. I have loved this movie from the first time that I saw it, and it has grown in resonance through the years. Everything about the film is just right--but it is Mr. Heston's show all the way. He was a big man, physically imposing with a golden, craggy handsomeness. He was larger than life in every way. When you watch this film, you don't see Charlton Heston, you see Will Penny. He's that good. The stellar supporting cast includes Joan Hackett, Anthony Zerbe, Lee Majors, Donald Pleasence, Ben Johnson, William Schallert, and Slim Pickens. Highly-recommended and much-cherished for lovers of great westerns.

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