Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Classic Trailer - China 9, Liberty 37

I saw China 9, Liberty 37 years ago. It was one of those mysterious films that pop up in the middle of the night on some God-forsaken Sky movie channel, you know the ones that play old movies that obviously haven't been remastered and you san still see the wear and tear on the original print.

I was initially drawn to it because it had Warren Oates in it. Warren Oates being one of those actors who just commands that you watch him no matter what piece of crap he happens to be appearing in. He truly is a marvel of 60s/70s cinema.
Weirdly though the film also stars Jenny Agutter. At that point I only knew her from The Railway Children and An American Werewolf in London (and that her mum is buried next to my neighbour - weird connection!). It seemed strange as hell to find her in some relatively low budget western. It gets even weirder as Sam Peckinpah pops up on camera to deliver a vaguely incoherent stream of consciousness, but it's nice to see him.

The plot revolves a gunman named Clayton. Condemned to die he is given a last shot a freedom. The evil old railway company tells him to go kill a rancher by the name of Matthew. Clayton doesn't kill Matthew though, he just steals his wife away. This leaves Matthew and the railway company mighty furious and seek vengeance on Clayton.

Directed by Monte Hellman who directed the classic Two-Lane Blacktop; again with Warren Oates and strangely enough James Taylor and Dennis Wilson, well worth your time. Unfortunately his latest stuff has been made for TV, although he did make Silent Night, Deadly Night III: Better Watch Out!!. The film is also note worthy for being the only film written by Jerry Harvey. Famous in LA and the underground circuit as the programmer of the Z Channel which introduced so many too so many lost classics and lost prints of films.

When I went to find the trailer for China 9, Libery 37 I happily stumbled across a YouTube channel which is showing the entire film, as it's in the public domain, it's perfectly legal. Check out the opening below and please indulge!

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