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“The Caravan of Fire”, elephant cemetery

The year 1967 marks the last epoch of two Hollywood genres. On the one hand, blockbusters are running out of steam, and producers will soon discover the merits of small “Easy Rider” style budgets. On the other hand, the American western will give up the ghost, after having been overexploited (and destroyed) by the Italians. So “the Caravan of Fire” is a dinosaur. On a rather funny scenario (two enemy cowboys, John Wayne and Kirk Douglas, join forces to rob an armored car full of gold), Burt Kennedy, director without invention and without ambition, does his best: Wayne does his number usual (delectable) and Kirk Douglas, in pistolero dressed in black, is not left out.

I will not tell you the pleasure we have to find all the clique of actors (aging) of this kind of production: Howard Keel, the giant tenor of Minnelli’s musicals; Keenan Wynn, who in the same year played the villain of John Boorman’s Point of No Return; Bruce Cabot, the hero of “King Kong”, who subscribed to the roles of bastards at the end of his career; Robert Walker Jr, the son of Robert Walker (“The Unknown of the North Express”) and the sublime Jennifer Jones … Nice casting, no?

Sunday May 9 at 8:55 p.m. on Arte. American Western by Burt Kennedy (1967). With John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Howard Keel, Robert Walker Jr. 1h36.

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