Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here


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Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here
Abraham Polonsky, 1969
USA | Format: 35mm | 98 minutes

Polonsky’s Marxist Western, starring Robert Redford and Robert Blake, wasn’t bloody enough for 1969, but it was—and remains—the most perspicacious neo-Western. Polonsky was no doubt thinking of himself when he wrote Willie Boy’s line: “At least they’ll know I was here.” Native American Willie Boy (Blake) goes on the lam with his girlfriend Lola (Katharine Ross) after shooting her father in self-defense, and Deputy Sheriff Cooper (Redford) is tasked with leading a posse on the subsequent, harrowing manhunt. Ripped from the headlines and under-screened since its initial release, Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here is a moving illustration of how society endeavors to eliminate rebellion by any means necessary.

Series: Red Hollywood and the Blacklist

Venue: Walter Reade Theater

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