Hannie Caulder, 1971, is a violent revenge western directed by Burt Kennedy and starring Raquel Welch and Robert Culp. Burt Kennedy was the writer of several of director Budd Boetticher’s “Ranown Cycle” westerns of late 50’s/early 60’s starring Randolph Scott. “Ranown” is a combination of of Randolph, for Randolph Scott, and Brown, for producer Harry Joe Brown and the Ranown cycle refers to their six Budd Boetticher directed western collaborations and also Seven Men From Now, which was produced by John Wayne’s Batjac production company. The six movies include Seven Men From Now, 1956, Decision at Sundown, 1957, Buchanan Rides Alone, 1958,Westbound, 1959, Ride Lonesome, 1959, and Comanche Station, 1960. All seven are well made but my favorite is The Tall T, 1957, co-starring Richard Boone as a ruthless, matter of fact stagecoach robber.
If you get any of these seven movies on disk check out the ‘extras’ which include interviews with Boetticher fans Clint Eastwood and Quentin Tarantino. Each of these “B”movies were shot in about 20 days but so much attention was paid to writing, dialogue, and direction that, especially as time passes, they’re regarded by many as classics. What’s interesting is that these American westerns have a little bit of the feel the later Italian westerns. In fact, when Sergio Leone, my favorite director(The Good Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West) met Budd Boetticher at a Milan Film Festival he exclaimed, “Budd! I stole everything from you.”
Italian Westerns were influenced by American Westerns but by the late 60’s and early 70’s many American westerns were influenced by the stylized violent Italian westerns. In fact, several American westerns were actually filmed in or near Almeria, Spain where Leone shot his Clint Eastwood trilogy. One of these movies was Hannie Caulder.
Hannie Caulder stars Robert Culp as a bounty hunter/gunslinger who takes Hannie Caulder, the lovely Raquel Welch, under his tutelage after she is brutally raped by the Clemens brothers, an inept gang of bank robbers played by Ernest Borgnine, Strother Martin, and Jack Elam. Click here for the trailer.