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Film Review: Fort Utah,
Leslie Selander, 1967


"The Indians have jumped the reservation and are terrorising anything and everything. My job is to bring them back in" Ben Stokes (Robert Strauss)

Fort Utah


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Fort Utah, Leslie Selander, 1967

Leslie Selander's second to last film is no better for the 40 years practice he gained in making B movies and especially Westerns. To refer to him as the master of the B Western is damning him with faint praise. This mixed sub genre included classics and workaday standards some of the latter even importing action sequences from other movies. Some of the directors were the movie industry's equivalent of the press's hacks or the criminal court's jobbing barristers. When the B Western's hey day ended with the 1950s some of the directors moved up or out into other genre. Others, like Selander used their talents to trot out episodes of Westerns for TV, very much in the vein of the Movies they had previously made. Fort Utah Selander's penultimate foray into the Western genre, with an anachronistic feel as if it had been made ten or even perhaps twenty years earlier.

In the short amount I endured I was ducking and diving at the cliche ridden dialogue, hackneyed script, the stoical white heroes swapping badinage to reveal their sang froid and in the face of mortal danger. Stereotypically dressed indians, complete with warpaint and feather headdresses are announced in advanced by tom tom pumping music. Our intrepid heroes need no such clues, however, for they can spot even those who are hidden from view with faces as unmoved as if recently botoxed.

How I managed to last 10 minutes into this throwback is beyond me. Let me know if you persevered and if it gets any better. The 10 minutes I watched had little, if anything, to commend it.




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Chris Smallbone February 2009
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