Director Hugo Fregonese’s tough 1952 movie is a strongly cast, well-done Western. The familiar sounding story centres on a ruthless cattle baron called Matt Denbow (Minor Watson), who upsets local settlers by refusing to allow them to cross his land.
His nephew Kirk Denbow (Joseph Cotten), sympathetic to the settlers, finds himself in the middle of the conflict and in love with the cattleman’s daughter-in-law Jane Stevens (Shelley Winters), who was tricked into marrying his son Glenn Denbow (Scott Brady). Glenn had only married her as the only witness to a murder he committed. But then, conveniently, Glenn returns to his blackmailing old flame Lottie (Suzan Ball). Things change on the range war front when angry locals take the law into their own hands.
Attractive Texan locations shot by cinematographer Charles P Boyle in Technicolor and a better-than-average cast help along this busily plotted cattle-baron drama involving the usual Western blend of murder, revenge and prodigal sons, as concocted in the source story by Houston Branch.
Also in the cast are Antonio Moreno, Katherine Emery, José Torvay, Douglas Spencer, John Alexander, Lee Van Cleef, Richard Garland, Robert Anderson, Fess Parker and Ray Bennett.
It is written by Gerald Drayson Adams, Gwen Bagni, John Bagni and Polly James, produced by Leonard Goldstein, scored by Hans J Salter, designed by Bernard Herzbrun, released by Universal and runs just 78 minutes.
© Derek Winnert 2017 Classic Movie Review 4867
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