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By John Chard June 22, 2017

I'm a lawman. Do you know what a lawman is, Crowe? He's a killer of men.

Lawman is directed by Michael Winner and written by Gerry Wilson. It stars Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan, Lee J. Cobb, Robert Duvall, Sheree North and Richard Jordan. Music is by Jerry Fielding and cinematography by Robert Paynter.

The Lawman of the title is Jared Maddox (Lancaster), who arrives in the town of Sabbath to serve warrants on the group of rowdies responsible for the death of an old man. His cold hearted approach to his work, however, doesn't endear him to the townsfolk.

A man gets caught in his own doing. Can't change what you are, and if you try, something always calls you back.

Traditional Western that deals in the conflict between law and justice, Lawman, like the leading man, broods significantly. The overriding theme of if Maddox's enforcement of the law justify's the means, is tailor made for Winner's affinity for all things vengeance flavoured. Violence is not in short supply, the director gleefully keeping things gory, and the characterisations of the principal players are smartly complex. The excellent cast turn in equally great performances, the Durango locales are beautifully utilised by Winner and Paynter, and the production design is grade "A" quality.

It's an anti-backlash movie of some substance, where spicy and thoughtful dialogue comes forth from the mouths of deftly shaded characters. Highly recommended to Adult Western fans. 8/10

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