in Mexico, a nun called Sara is rescued from three cowboys
by Hogan, who is on his way to do some reconnaissance,
for a future mission to capture a French fort. The French
are chasing Sara, but not for the reasons she tells
Hogan, so he decides to help her in return for information
about the fort defences. Inevitably the two become good
friends but Sara has a secret..... Written by Rob Hartill
the cactus-studded Mexican backcountry of the 1860s,
a surly drifter who could easily be mistaken for the
Man with No Name becomes protector and lethal helpmate
to a red-haired nun wanted by the French for aiding
the Juarista revolutionaries. Essentially a two-character
showcase for the newly stellar Clint Eastwood and
what was beginning to seem the poststellar Shirley
MacLaine (subbing for Elizabeth Taylor), this sardonic
study in testy collaboration, mutual deception and
distrust, and slightly creepy sexual attraction is
highly rated by a fairly small number of critics--chiefly,
one suspects, for the dual-auteur cachet of having
been directed by Don Siegel and based on a story by
Budd Boetticher. Others deem it an undersauced spaghetti
Western and find that the stars grate on the viewer
as well as each other. Cinematography by the great
Gabriel Figueroa is some consolation, but... if only
Boetticher had been allowed to direct. --Richard T.
isn't much to say about Two Mules for Sister Sara
except it's a good western of the Clint Eastwood variety
(though not directed by him).
movie draws on the Sergio Leone western (the spaghetti
western) for its inspiration. It's not as good, I'm
afraid - it's more of a Hollywood take on that kind
of film. But it does combine all the western elements
to make for an engaging story.
Eastwood is the nameless drifter who, in this case,
actually does have a name - Hogan. He's also not as
mysterious as he has been in the Leone films. He's
given something of a past, scant though it is. Hogan
has been in the American Civil War, become disenchanted,
and is now living only for himself. He has no ties
and wants none.
we meet up with him, he's working as a mercenary for
Mexican revolutionaries. He cares nothing for their
cause, only for the money he stands to make.
the movie opens, we find him coming upon a group of
"bad guy" types - thieves, mercenaries,
caught and stripped a nun (Shirley MacLaine as Sister
Sara) whom they are going to rape. (This is a very
standard western opening. It establishes the "good
guy" and the lawless environment he is in.)
with his squint and chiseled looks, saves the nun,
guns down the bad men.
Eastwood and the nun are about to go their separate
ways, they see the French occupying army approaching.
suggests the Sister Sara go to them for further aid
but she can't - she has a past of her own. She is
wanted by the French for helping the revolutionaries.
the two of them, Hogan and the nun, are now teamed
up. The two mules of the movie title refer to the
one Sister Sara rides and Hogan, who is stubborn as
a mule. Their relationship is a feisty one with sexual
overtones. Hogan finds Sister Sara attractive but
restrains himself because she is a nun.
course, they have numerous adventures from here. Sister
Sara is returning to the revolutionaries but, Hogan
discovers, if he can help her he can collect a big
payday by getting the treasure in a French fort, which
is their target.
all very typical of this kind of movie. There is nothing
new here. However, it is performed well by everyone
involved and is shot and edited well.
extremely well made and a good example of how compelling
a film can be simply by having strong characters.
There is nothing fancy here; this is a kind of meat
and potatoes sort of film.
it makes for a very good western.
interesting to note that this film was directed by
Don Siegel, whom Eastwood credits as one of his influences
as a director. The film's opening of the tree in silhouette
is very similar to what Eastwood used in Unforgiven,
suggesting a nod in Siegel's direction in that film,
one that is also dedicated to Siegel.(See