Ride With the Devil

Forget everything you think you know about Men With Beards. James

  is entrancing in his riveting portrayal of a Man With a Beard in this Civil War drama of honor, sex and violent retribution. The action centers around a poker game where Urbaniak plays against Some Other Men With Beards. Urbaniak, with great nuance, depth, and attention to detail, recites his two lines of dialogue (one expository, one a blazing shocker with the impact of a punch to the gut) with the kind of brilliance that would have made David Garrick weep hot tears of envy. Less is more, less is more.

I interviewed Mr. Urbaniak about his pivotal role in this feature and was shocked to learn that, when he shot it he did not actually have a beard, which makes his performance all the more revolutionary.

Alas, it is all over too soon, and the bulk of the movie is taken up with a subplot about a Missouri farmboy who learns that love makes you happy, hate limits your spiritual growth, babies are good, an economy based on slavery may not be worth fighting for, and Negroes are people too.

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5 Responses to “Ride With the Devil”
  1. urbaniak says:

    One of my least appreciated performances. Thank you.

  2. craigjclark says:

    Like the new tag. Can’t wait for more additions to “the urbaniak oeuvre” (for my own part, I’ve been meaning to re-watch American Splendor for quite a while now).

    And speaking of westerns, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford finally showed up in my neck of the woods, so I caught an early matinee. (Across the Universe also just opened here, but it’s actually playing on two screens so I believe it has a chance of sticking around for longer than a week.)

    • ghostgecko says:

      No beards in American Splendor, just a really nasty moustache. How was Jesse James, btw? I’ve been going back and forth about seeing it.

      • craigjclark says:

        I liked the film quite a lot. I was especially interested to see how it compared with Samuel Fuller’s I Shot Jesse James, which tells the same basic story in half the time. The reason for that is Fuller’s main interest was in telling what happened, whereas Andrew Dominick was much more intent on investigating why.