year: 1972
rating: ***

It's The Getaway team Sam Peckinpah/Steve McQueen in sleep mode. Not too bad but doesn't seem fitting to either the director or star. And gets a little too preachy about the haves and the have-nots, distracting what could have been a lean, clean character-study. Junior Bonner (McQueen), a bronco/bull rider, returns to his hometown for a competition and gets back in touch with his has-been father (Robert Preston), his put-upon mother (Ida Lupino), and his materialistic entrepeneur brother (Joe Don Baker) who's basically turning the small town into a real estate goldmine... for himself. Robert Preston's acting style (he always seems ready to break into song) fits more on stage than a "modern" film and distracts from McQueen's slowburn cool. Things are more interesting while centering on the bull riders as opposed to the family. Nothing really clicks when combining these two storylines, but the images, like any Peckinpah movie, are quite good: including Peck's slow-motion signature shots but without any deaths this time around.

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