Red Mountain

  • 1951
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Western

Alan Ladd stars in this sprawling western, set in the Colorado Territory during the Civil War. A Confederate Army captain, Ladd arrives in the area to join Ireland (playing the notorious real-life Confederate captain William Clarke Quantrill, the spelling of whose name is altered here) late in the war, hoping to join Ireland's band of raiders and snatch...read more

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Alan Ladd stars in this sprawling western, set in the Colorado Territory during the Civil War. A Confederate Army captain, Ladd arrives in the area to join Ireland (playing the notorious real-life Confederate captain William Clarke Quantrill, the spelling of whose name is altered here)

late in the war, hoping to join Ireland's band of raiders and snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat. Before he gets to Ireland, Ladd stops in a pro-Union village to exact revenge on White, who stole Ladd's land before the war began. Ladd kills White, but former rebel soldier Kennedy is accused

of the murder when a Confederate-issue shell is found near the body. Kennedy is about to be hanged for the killing, but Ladd rescues him. The two men, now compatriots, ride out of town and hide out at Kennedy's cabin, where Ladd meets Kennedy's fiancee, Scott. Kennedy and Scott soon realize that

Ladd is the real murderer, and reluctantly conclude that they must turn him in to clear Kennedy's name. Ladd tries to make his escape, but is caught by Kennedy, who, in the ensuing fight, breaks his leg. Ladd's escape attempt has led the three into the wilderness, however, and Ladd, stuck with two

prisoners in a hostile environment, is forced to hide them in a cave. There, Kennedy soon succumbs to fever and slips in and out of consciousness. Ladd and Scott, meanwhile, discover their powerful attraction to each other. Looking down at the valley, Ladd sees Ireland and his band arriving, all

wearing Union uniforms taken from a party they've ambushed. But when Ladd finally meets up with Ireland, he finds that the captain really doesn't care about the Confederate cause. Instead, Ireland has become a maverick marauder, and is assembling a small army of his own from assorted mercenaries

and renegade Indians. With this elite force, Ireland plans to watch and wait as the North and the South kill each other off; then he can take over and pillage the territory. Ladd becomes painfully aware that the South won't win the war, not with leaders like Ireland anyhow, so he goes into town to

gather up a squad of Union soldiers, hoping to defeat Ireland before things get out of hand. Kennedy and Scott help out from the cave, pinning Ireland's forces down with their gunfire until Ladd can return. In the fracas, Kennedy is killed. Ladd then arrives with the troops and there's a huge,

no-holds-barred gunfight that provides the film's climax and highlight. Ireland and his men are wiped out, Lee's surrender allows Ladd to put down his gun, and Kennedy's death frees Scott and Ladd to ride off into the sunset. Though not especially original, this western directed by William

Dieterle offers plenty of action, a solid cast, and good cinematography by the veteran Charles B. Lang. Western fans should find it an enjoyable 84 minutes.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Alan Ladd stars in this sprawling western, set in the Colorado Territory during the Civil War. A Confederate Army captain, Ladd arrives in the area to join Ireland (playing the notorious real-life Confederate captain William Clarke Quantrill, the spelling… (more)

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