The Jackals 1967 — A Western Full-Length Movie with Vincent Price

The Jackals 1967 — A Western Full-Length Movie with Vincent Price

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There was never a breed like these ruthless seven!

IMDb Rating: 5.2 out of 10

Bad bank robber falls in love with the granddaughter of miner he and his men planned to rob of gold, has change of heart. —Setlock

Bandits target a gold miner and his granddaughter in 19th century, South Africa. Robert Gunnar is the bandit with a heart of gold, who is after Price’s cache of gold, but falls in love with Diana Ivarson, who has hair of gold (bleach). —(

This film is a South African remake of the 1948 film “Yellow Sky” that starred Gregory Peck, Anne Baxter, and Richard Widmark. Bank robbers come across old gold prospector and granddaughter, suspect they have gold, plan on taking it, bank robber leader falls in love with granddaughter you can figure out the rest. —Setlock

Rating Rotten Tomatoes: Tomatometer: NR
Audience Score: 18%

Bandits target a gold miner (Vincent Price) and his granddaughter (Diana Ivarson) in 19th-century South Africa.

Plot: Spoilers?
Gold miner (Vincent Price) and his granddaughter (Diana Ivarson) living in South Africa are besieged by a group of bank robbers, led by ‘Stretch’ Hawkins (Robert Gunner) for the prospectors’ gold.

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THE JACKALS (Robert D. Webb, 1967) Spolers?
Bunuel197623 April 2008
This is a vastly inferior remake of YELLOW SKY (1948) – with the ghost town itself now becoming “Yellow Rock”. Apart from the fact that it features Vincent Price in a rare non-horror role from this period (he did appear in a few Westerns early in his career), the film’s most unusual aspect is the fact that it trades the original’s Death Valley landscape for the equally forbidding one of South Africa (with stock footage of wild animals, and Zulus instead of Indians); incidentally, I recently taped another African Western – UNTAMED (1955), with Tyrone Power and Susan Hayward – off Italian TV, which is a title that often turns up in this guise but I’d never managed to check out so far.

Anyway, THE JACKALS duplicates the classic original scene-for-scene and virtually line-by-line; in fact, Lamar Trotti (who adapted the W.R. Burnett source novel to the screen in 1948) is credited as co-writer here as well, even if he had died way back in 1952! The other basic difference between the two versions – other than some ineffective name changes (for instance, the black-clad villain here becomes Dandy rather than Dude) – is that the remake is in color…through the Public Domain print I watched was so faded that day-for-night scenes are blatantly exposed as such! So far so good but, then, the rest of the cast is an anonymous bunch (though Diana Ivarson is O.K., certainly cute and, if anything, even more obviously masculine than Anne Baxter from YELLOW SKY); also, for whatever reason, the character played by Henry Morgan in the original is omitted altogether from the narrative this time around (and, amusingly, the actor taking over John Russell’s womanizing cowboy role looks and sounds just like Oliver Reed!). And, worse still, they’re all saddled with intrusive Australian accents!

As for Price, though top-billed, his part is no bigger than James Barton’s in the 1948 film and he turns in a hammy performance, as was his fashion; for the record, he would return to the genre twice more in the next couple of years – both equally undistinguished films – MORE DEAD THAN ALIVE (1968; available as a DVD rental) and the Elvis Presley vehicle THE TROUBLE WITH GIRLS (1969; which I watched last year in tribute to the 30th anniversary from The King’s death). By the way, I should mention that the film is accompanied by a weird, inappropriate, and frankly awful score. Though director Webb had previously helmed three reportedly efficient entries in the genre, this turned out to be a lackluster venture – shabby and lifeless where YELLOW SKY had been stylish and exciting – and it’s small wonder that it proved to be his penultimate work.


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