Cinema: Hard Traveling

THE LONG RIDERS

Directed by Walter Hill

Screenplay by Bill Bryden, Steven Phillip Smith, Stacy Keach and James Keach

At his best, Walter Hill strips familiar movie forms of their cultural and nostalgic crustations, polishing them down to their existential bone and gristle. Like Hemingway's, his laconic style can be come mannered to the point of self-parody, as it was in The Driver. But when he is good, as he was in the prizefighting film Hard Times, or last year's gang-war epic The Warriors, there is a hard purposefulness about his work that avoids macho sentimentality and easy moralizing. He is...

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