Friday, December 16, 2016

China 9, Liberty 37 (1978)

China 9, Liberty 37 (1978) directed by Monte Hellman is a B Western with an A performance by Warren Oates. Clayton Drumm (Fabio Testi), within minutes of being hanged, gets a reprieve from some greedy railroad company men if he will murder Matthew Sebanek (Warren Oates) who refuses to budge from his property that the company wants to gobble up. Clayton agrees, but he becomes friendly with Matthew instead which is complicated by the man's alluring wife Catherine (Jenny Agutter) who falls for the hunk assassin. A low-budget oddity that maintains interest thanks to Hellman's devotion to strong character development, and, well, Oates—he is an acting force of nature that's never dull. Plus this forgotten '70s film has the added curio of infamous director Sam Peckinpah in a rare acting gig.

My friend Randy Johnson went into a little more plot detail with his 2009 review at Not The Baseball Pitcher blog.

8 comments:

Peter Collinson said...

Well, I can't be silent.
Perhaps you are inured to such sights, but there is also that scene with Jennifer Agutter taking a bath. She's so fine your eyes smart.
But maybe you saw the edited version...

David Cranmer said...

Haha! Yes, I enjoyed Ms. Agutter's complete performance. She's also in another favorite film of mine, Logan's Run.

Elgin Bleecker said...

David – I saw this a while ago and it is one quirky film. Oates definitely was a force. And Hellman is an artist. You may not always like what he is doing, but you know there is an intelligent brain at work.

David Cranmer said...

Well said, Elgin. I'd say even his misfires are worth a look.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

I haven't seen this, David. I like a good "B" Western movie. Sometimes I find them more realistic than the regular ones.

David Cranmer said...

Prashant, agreed, and some of the best "B" Westerns are from the 1940's and 50's. A sprinkling of classics now available on Amazon Prime and Netflix.

oscar case said...

Hadn't heard of this one. Sounds like my type of film.

David Cranmer said...

I'm fairly certain you would like it, Oscar.