Old Henry

Straight out the bat, you know know what you are about to get yourself into with Old Henry, a western film building its anticipation with a man running in the woods from a couple of men on horses, only to later realize he is running away from the Marshal played by Stephen Dorff and two his deputies. And there’s one thing that’s plain to see, it’s that this Marshal is either corrupted or pretending to that for reasons we still don’t know yet.


From the moment Stephen Dorff appears on-screen anyone with a brain can tell that this man is bad news all around, there’s no respectful charisma you’d get from someone with such high social status, he just oozed psychopath and proved me right when hanging a man for stealing money.


Shortly after that, we are introduced to Henry, Wyatt, and Al played by Tim Black Nelson (Henry), Gavin Lewis (Wyatt), and Trace Adkins (Al) who live on the outskirts of town, completely isolated from the city, Henry and Wyatt are Father and Son whilst Al is Wyatt’s Uncle and Henry’s Brother in Law who reassures Wyatt that he’s father is a good people at heart and that if it weren’t for his good nature, he would have never let him marry his sister.


Wyatt feels though as if his father isn’t taking him seriously as he is the only young man in a fifteen-mile radius that doesn’t know how to use a gun and blames his father for constantly refusing to teach him so he bonds more closely to his Uncle Al who isn’t as strict.


I love that the little seeds of a man with a dark past were placed at the first scene of the family together, and sadly enough all it takes is one stranger to bring all that back. Henry meeting Curry is anything but a coincidence, however, I appreciate how Director Potsy portrayed Henry as a man who doesn’t want to bring danger to his son yet can’t ignore a man close to death. 


Bringing back Curry to his residence and helping him recover was all he could do even though he knew nothing could come from this and shortly after that we meet the Marshal again and this time he’s looking for Curry as well. Stilwell played by (Max Arciniega) as one of the Marshal’s deputies concludes that Curry must have been assisted by someone and whoever that person is quite good at hiding tracks. Which draws the fateful encounter between the two ever closer.


As Curry and Henry talk about Curry’s past there are a few things that stick out to Curry asking him if he and Henry had ever met before, to which Henry quickly declines ever meeting the young man and proposes an offer to him to leave as soon as he can, however, the two are interrupted by Ketchum (The Fake Marshal) who asked Henry if he has met anyone fitting Curry’s description, Henry declines and this leads Ketchum to ask Henry a furthermore questions as he is surprised by seeing how a farmer holds his gun more like killer than a lone farmer.


This props Ketchum to see Henry as a threat but admits that he will need a few more men before engaging a dual with him. This is what surprised me the most, the man was right outside with a rifle alone, I’m sure Ketchum who had outnumbered the unsuspecting Henry would have won but precaution is never a wrong move to do, I’m just saying this was more like a plot armor than anything else.


However this all leads to the big reveal that Henry is Billy The Kid and has been wanted for many years, even earning him a bounty of five thousand dollars, Curry remembers him as the man that saved his life once. Henry had moved away from such a life and wanted to instill other things in his son rather than the cold murdering bastard he was when he was young.
Sadly, Wyatt had only come to appreciate his father for who he is at the last moment, after saying all those terrible things to him but it’s mistakes that we all do too many times in our daily lives even today.


For a western movie that I’ve come to view with lots of gun-blazing actions, Old Henry isn’t like that, the only actions you see are towards the end but the story-building and keeping me engaged to the film was always there so I enjoyed it nevertheless.


Don’t go into this film expecting a lot of gunfights, take your expectations to a minimum, and enjoy the dialog as that is also one of the great aspects of western films.


Thanks for reading…

Director - Potsy Ponciroli

"The idea of this guy that has a past, it's his past that he's corrected now and this area of the country."

A lone farmer rescues a man close to death with a satchel of money but is soon visited by unwelcomed guests and a dark secret is revealed in the process when the past comes back to haunt him.
Tim Blake Nelson
Stephen Dorff
Trace Adkins
Gavin Lewis
Scott Haze
Max Arciniega

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