That’s a fun relationship that deserves more time

That’s a fun relationship that deserves more time

Sydney Pollack actually started his association with Burt Lancaster on the set of The Young Savages where he was an acting coach to some of the street kids who were playing gang members. It was his first introduction into motion pictures, he had previously directed and acted in a number of television productions.

Lancaster is planning to get his pelts back, but a murderous gang of Scalphunters beat him to it and massacre almost the whole band and take Lancaster’s furs along with horses and scalps that bring a good bounty. Burt’s Joe Bass is not exactly a boy scout, but this crowd truly nauseates him.

The Scalphunters are headed by Telly Savalas and his cigar smoking refugee from a bordello of a woman, Shelley Winters. Winters has the best performance in the film, this is her third film with Lancaster with whom she had a self documented fling back in the day. Later on Davis gets captured by The Scalphunters and he has to use his wits to survive among them. But they’re going to Mexico where slavery has been abolished.

The laughs are mixed in with some serious racial issues all around. Lancaster can’t quite accept Davis as an equal, Davis is perfectly willing to go along with The Scalphunters and their genocidal war on the Indians if he’ll obtain his freedom through them. And Savalas and his crowd are as mean a bunch as you’ll ever see in a film, yet some of the funniest bits in the film involve Winters and Savalas.

They’ll relieve him of his year’s trappings in beaver pelts and he’ll get an educated house slave in Ossie Davis

The Scalphunters is a really funny western that if you think about it teaches some good lessons we could all use asiame.com photos.

Trapper Joe Bass (Burt Lancaster) is intercepted by Two Crows and his braves. He is forced to trade all of his furs for an educated slave named Joseph Lee (Ossie Davis). Lee had escaped from Louisiana and captured by one tribe after another. Bass has no use for him as he pursues Two Crows. They track down the Indians and find them attacked by a group of white scalp hunters led by the ruthless Jim Howie (Telly Savalas). The governments are paying $25 for every Indian scalp; men, women, or children. Miss Kate (Shelley Winters) is tired of living on the road with Howie and can’t wait to be a Lady in Mexico.

Davis seems born to be a slave, he escapes it from the south, then he’s captured by the Comanches who then trade him to the Kiowas and then he’s forced on Lancaster

It’s a comedic action western. It has its fun. It has its drama. As a buddy western, I would have liked Lancaster and Davis to stay together. I had expected them to run into Two Crows soon after the introduction of the Scalphunters. Sometimes, the comedy is too light. All in all, this is what it is and it’s a pretty good western from Sydney Pollack.

Covered in mudpacks dried from the sun, the white Burt Lancaster and the black Ossie Davis look exactly alike, ridiculing racists in an era where both the Native American and the black man found themselves fighting for freedom in different ways from the white man. It’s the era of slavery, and the era of the American expansion of the west, so for the natives and slaves, it’s a fight for survival. Burt Lancaster is amusing as the very determined Joe Bass, a fur trader whose catch is swiped with runaway slave Ossie Davis given to him in exchange. Intending to sell Davis himself as well as get back his furs, he is horrified when he witnesses the scalping of the Indian tribe he’s been hunting, and now must switch his tracking of his furs to the ruthless gang led by Telly Savalas. When Davis ends up accidentally captured by Savalas, Lancaster must use his cunning, unaware that Davis is even more cunning than him, using brain, not brawn, to control the situation, even getting in the good favor of the blowzy Shelley Winters (as Savalas’s mistress) who longs to settle down “as a lady”, something even with her big heart is practically impossible.

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