Clint Eastwood paints the town red (literally!) and pays tribute to mentors Sergio Leone and Don Siegel in the stylish, spooky High Plains Drifter, his second film — and first Western — as a director. Eastwood, in an archetypal role, also stars: he’s the mysterious Stranger (a Man with No Name, natch) who rides into a dusty, Dante-esque town and proceeds to make it a living Hell for anyone worthy of his wrath. “Eastwood's fond adieu to the worlds of Leone and Siegel cuts the operatic excess of the former with the punchy economy of the latter. Yet the almost surreal images and ghostly plot twists suggest nothing so much as Eastwood returning for reference to the popular Japanese cinema from which Leone himself first borrowed for the Dollars films... There's a boldness, confident stylisation, and genuine weirdness to the movie that totally escaped other post-spaghetti American Westerns” (Paul Taylor, Time Out). “As with Eastwood’s later quasi-religious Western Pale Rider (1985), High Plains Drifter leaves it unclear whether The Stranger is a flesh-and-blood human being or a ghost ... High Plains Drifter is now considered one of Eastwood’s masterpieces “ (UCLA Film and Television Archive). Colour, 35mm. 105 mins.
"There's a boldness, confident stylisation, and genuine weirdness to the movie that totally escaped other post-spaghetti American Westerns, with a real sense of exorcism running both through and beyond it."Time Out | full review
"Eastwood's characterization of The Stranger, who settles God's score with Lago, is a high parody of the soft-featured, brutal Man With No Name he played in those bitter Sergio Leone Westerns."New York Times | full review