Sean Connery stars as the mysterious wanderer Shalako, who comes to the rescue of a party of Europeans after they become lost on an Apache reservation while out on a hunting trip. The group, including Honor Blackman and Brigitte Bardot, must learn to trust Shalako as they work together to fight off the flaming arrows of the angry Apaches in their bid to reach safety.
Weird but not necessarily wonderful
- Shalako review by WB
An odd one this. A British made western shot in Spain in the late 1960's. A group of European aristocrats are on a hunting expedition in the American west. They are led by their treacherous guides in to an Apache reservation. The plan being to rob them and leave them to the tender mercies of the Apaches. Sean Connery stars as Shalako an ex-army man who senses the danger they are in. Can he lead them to safety in time? Can these pampered aristocrats man and woman up? This is a very interesting premise for a western as few people realise that there were numerous hunting parties by such people in the old west but this movie never quite comes together. The film relies heavily on the supposedly explosive casting of Sean Connery and Brigit Bardot but the romanic chemistry soon falls flat. The aristocrats are for the most part a group of cardboard cutouts. The late Peter Van Eyk is an arrogant German baron, Brigit Bardot a pouting French countess, Alexander Knox is a boring American senator who pines for what might have been. The marvellous Valerie French has little to do. The late Stephen Boyd is a man of such blatant villainy that it is a wonder he doesnt twirl his moustache like a pantomime villain. Honor Blackman is good as a sexually repressed English lady who deserts her pathetic husband played by Jack Hawkins. Ultimately very little seems to happen. In fact the story just ends rather suddenly. The Indiands are portrayed as bloothirsty savages. The film has been influenced by the spaghetti westerns that were popular at the time. Honor Blackman is memorable as Lady Julia Daggett. After deserting her husband she will be captured by the Apaches. After being stripped of most of her clothes down to her camisole she will be murdered by the Indians by being made to swallow her jewels, a nasty piece of pseudo rape that is censored out of some versions. It all feels like an inferior version of Hombre. A bit disappointing really.