Say “Cheese” 011 – Against A Crooked Sky (1975)

This past Christmas my son got me a Mill Creek box set called Awesomely Cheesy Movies. 100 movies on 24 disks, it’s actually a combination of two of their earlier released sets, “The Swinging Seventies”, and “The Excellent Eighties”.

For those of you who may not be familiar with these Mill Creek sets, they are generally comprised of  public domain or made-for-television movies that are reproduced without embellishment, enhancement, or extras and are sold in large collections for very low prices. This means that the quality on them can be quite variable, and they often show signs of age and wear. Nonetheless, there are often hidden gems amongst what can be large swaths of dross.

Anyway, I’ve decided to wend my way through this collection, starting with the first movie on the first disk of the 70s collection, then the first movie in the 80s set, then back to the 70s, and so on, and see just what turns up. If nothing else, it should be interesting. Come along, won’t you?

And so, with 1975’s Against A Crooked Sky, we’re back to the westerns that seem to be a favorite genre in this particular set.

We also return, for better or worse, to what seems to be a familiar theme within the genre, that of the white girl kidnapped by native Americans to become one of their own and the quest to recover her.

Of course the most famous example of this trope iss the John Wayne classic The Searchers, which, while an interesting movie and as always with Wayne’s movies, entertaining simply for because of his presence and persona, is also almost unspeakably wrong-headed with Wayne’s conviction that even death is preferable for his niece than life among the Comanches.

This time, instead of Wayne, we get as our “hero” we get Richard Boone as a drunken prospector who is caught up in he search for the missing girl.We also get a touch of True Grit as the girl’s brother is the instigator of the action as he draws Boone into the search for his sister after everyone else has given up.

Against A Crooked Sky was rated “G” upon its release, another reminder that once uopn a time the rating was not simply reserved for dumbed down kiddie fare, but actually indicated a film was appropriate for the entire family. Of course, this was also a time when movies were made for the whole family looking for a good night out. It also shows that a film can have action and adventure and still be considered appropriate for the entire family. Or at least that used to be true.

Once again, I’ve got no trailer for this one, but here’s a short clip from the opening:

Up Next: The Excellent 80s  Disk 2 Movie 1: The Agency– I always knew advertising was a tool of the devil.

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