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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv -

ONE­SOME stranger rides into re­mote Cal­i­for­nian gold-rush town and finds him­self in the mid­dle of the old­est of all west­ern story-lines: small com­mu­nity ter­rorised by bad guys and in need of pro­tec­tion. In Pale Rider ( Thurs­day, 11pm, Nine; NSW, Qld only), pro­tec­tion comes in the form of Clint East­wood, whose char­ac­ter is de­fined by a line from the Bi­ble: ‘‘ And I saw, and be­hold, a pale horse, and its rider’s name was death, and hell fol­lowed him.’’ Need­less to say, the hell meted out by Clint’s preacher man is di­rected mainly at an un­scrupu­lous min­ing boss and his band of gun-tot­ing hoons. In 1985 many peo­ple were say­ing that Pale Rider sig­nalled the long-awaited re­turn of the west­ern ( I think I said so my­self) and were com­par­ing it with High Plains Drifter and an­other East­wood-di­rected west­ern clas­sic, The Out­law Josey Wales . The slow pace and su­per­nat­u­ral touches can be for­given in a film as beau­ti­fully crafted and faith­ful to the spirit of the genre. This col­umn will al­ways spring to

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