Three cowboys who have just completed a grueling cattle drive are mistaken as members of a gang of thieves by a posse who is hot on their trail. While not nearly as tense or atmospheric as Hellman's 'The Shooting', Ride in the Whirlwind is just as interesting, focusing on the monotony of the frontier life in all its dry, dirty glory. As these men try to escape their pursuers, the film is meticulous in the details of the hardships they experience. At one point Monte Hellman opts to show a family sharing/preparing a dinner, as a sort of precursor to what will unfold when our main protagonists arrive seeking shelter. During this scene we see the hardship the family experiences just in putting food on the table, the blandness of the meal, etc. hardship canl be seen in the faces of the family. In fact there are quite a few scenes of foreshadowing, for example, when the three cowboys come across a lynching-showing the life and death stakes which exist on the frontier. The film has a lot of ideals and weight too it, and every death that does occur is felt and experienced. As a viewer, we really come to appreciate these men and their plight, making for a strong finale of sacrifice and triumph, sortra-hopefully. This is definitely another great perceptive revisionist western that has a lot of great ideals.
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