“My niece is my wife Major Falconer.”
- Count of Maldorais (Jean-Pierre Aumont)
Sydney Pollack's insanely individual, uneven and underrated take on the madness of war. While most of 1960's hippie counter culture seemed content to stick flowers down gun barrels 'Castle Keep' sticks whole ideologies down them. One eyed pale horse riding Major Falconer's in charge of a band of misfit soldiers, who are holding out in a decadent 15th century castle as a means of maintaining a front against invading German troops.
Wow, you can't fail with Scott Wilson's early movies, his peformance makes this an ideal companion to his one in 'Ninth Configuration'. I seriously doubt Pollack's 'Castle Keep' based on a William Eastlake book (which I'd love to dig out) can be fully appreciated from a solitary viewing, it throws far too much into the mix for that. But theres clearly a message that all soldiers are fighting their own personal wars, and how unsympathetically the war machine throws their lives away protecting things like heritage, religion or even art. Its far more an anti-establishment (with a mildly anti-EU feel) film than an all out anti-war one.
What a cast Burt Lancaster, Patrick O'Neal, Peter Falk, Scott Wilson, Bruce Dern all tremendous performances, Jean-Pierre Aumont pretty much steals the movie as the aristocratic French count. Its topped off with great narration by its black solder'n'scribe Private A.P. Benjamin (Al Freeman Jr) boy those freemans sure have a way with narration. Well worth casting an eye on.
[Personal Reasons For Remembering]
I doubt I'll stumble over a more amazingly quotable movie all year, almost every lines a win. Scotts peculiar VW fetish. The sultry Red Queen bordello.
Originally taken from Letterboxd