Two Rode Together ★★★★

This is like The Searchers unfiltered. It's taking the themes presented there, removing the subtlety and pushing them a few steps further. McCabe is Ethan Edwards on steroids, and his speech to Marty is essentially what Ethan left unsaid. A lack of subtlety could be considered a negative, but I quite liked the direct approach this takes. It comes across more unflinching than catering. It's easily Ford's darkest, as even the visual scheme is muted to the point where exterior locations feel insulated. The use of the extended long take and probable improvisational dialogue is also interesting to witness here as Ford was not usually so free. The long exchange between Stewart and Widmark is like something out of the French New Wave. If I had one major complaint it's that it becomes too preachy regarding the Elena Madriaga character towards the end. The wordy, direct approach here undermines the sentiment and feels like it belonged to a lesser film. Otherwise, another strong Ford outing full of depth on repeat viewings.

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