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film

Two Rode Together

Two Rode Together, a 1961 cavalry film that has been holed up this winter at a campsite in the Museum of Modern Art, has the discombobulated effect of a Western that was dreamt by a kid snoozing in an Esso station in Linden, New Jersey. Two wrangling friends, a money-grubbing marshall (Jimmy Stewart) and a cavalry captain (Richard Widmark, who has the look of a ham that has been smoked, cured, and then coated with honey-colored shellac), seek out a Comanche named Parker and trade him a stunningly new arsenal of guns and knives for a screaming little Bowery Boy with braids who’s only bearable in the last shot when the camera just shows his legs hanging limply from a lynching tree.

The movie’s mentally-retarded quality comes from the discordancy and quality of the parts: it’s not only that they don’t go together, they’re crazy to start with. Each woman and Indian is from a different age in

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