Melbourne Cinémathèque The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present

Ulzana's Raid

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Perhaps the ultimate Western-as-Vietnam allegory, Robert Aldrich’s punishing tale of Apaches versus the US Cavalry proved to be a commercial disaster and the ultimate undoing of his own production company.

Like Leone or Peckinpah pointedly deploying Henry Fonda or William Holden, the director casts Burt Lancaster against equally iconic Arizona backdrops and empties the genre of its easy consolations and comfortable conclusions.

Eschewing stylistic flash, Aldrich unflinchingly presents a sadly prescient parade of violence borne out of stupidity and bad faith.