Samuel Fuller'sForty Guns serves as a remarkable film that fuses the Western with film noir and provides ample space, at least during its first half, for Barbara Stanwyck to provide a commanding performance that hints at what a Western female heroine might look like.
There's a rotten core at the center of Lubitsch's Heaven Can Wait. No matter how engaging I find Haskell and Sariss's enchantment with the film, I cannot accede to their critical adulation of it and of Henry.
The Father is the wielder of profuse potency but it can only be maintained through distance and the renunciation of understanding, the willingness to embrace the mystery without examining it. But, necessarily, the child must penetrate that veil.
It's not enough to describe Dead Man as simply an anti-western; it's an iconoclastic deconstruction of late 19th Century American values and mores, many of which remain unabated more than a century later.