John Ford attempts to make an adult western with this film, which seems to fall between the cracks; it's too grown-up for the children's audience and much too simplistic to be deemed a psychological film. There are attempts at comedy that barely induce a smile, and the picture winds up yawnable, one of Ford's very few bores. Gorgeous scenery and a fine...read more
John Ford attempts to make an adult western with this film, which seems to fall between the cracks; it's too grown-up for the children's audience and much too simplistic to be deemed a psychological film. There are attempts at comedy that barely induce a smile, and the picture winds up
yawnable, one of Ford's very few bores. Gorgeous scenery and a fine acting job by Stewart in an unaccustomed semivillain role don't overcome the lackluster production overseen by TV veteran Shpetner. Stewart, a corrupt sheriff in a small town, spends most of his time seated on the verandah of the
saloon run by Annelle Hayes collecting a 10 percent tithe on illicit goings-on in the village. Widmark approaches Stewart for some help. Some years before Comanche Indians kidnapped a group of whites, and Widmark wants to rescue them to bring them back to their anxious families. Stewart reckons he
might help but only if Widmark arranges a bounty of $500 to be paid for each hostage recovered. The promise of the fee plus the chance to flee from the matrimonially minded Hayes is enough to get Stewart off his duff and into the plains. They ride into the camp of Indian Brandon and secure the
release of David Kent, a white boy who has been raised as an Indian, plus Cristal, a Mexican woman who had been the forced squaw of Indian warrior Woody Strode. Strode is not thrilled that they want to take away his woman and he gets into a battle with Stewart, who kills him. Widmark and Stewart
bring the duo of Cristal and Kent back to the Army fort and none of the waiting families recognizes Kent. He is finally claimed by Nolan, a woman who is mentally incompetent. She thinks that the wild youth is her son and wants him. She unties Kent and he promptly kills her. The settlers capture
Kent and string him up before Jones, a settler in love with Widmark, can let them know that the boy is her brother. None of the prissy women at the Army fort will have a thing to do with the tainted Cristal since, in their eyes, any woman who has lived with Indians must be a harlot. Cristal is
brokenhearted and thinks that the ways of civilization are far too uncivilized. Stewart shrugs and prepares to go back to his old job as sheriff of the small town but learns that he's lost his position to his deputy, who now occupies the same spot on Hayes's verandah. Stewart takes Cristal's hand,
understands that they are both outcasts, and rides off with her to find something better over the next hill as the picture goes to black. Filmed in southwest Texas, it more than resembles Ford's THE SEARCHERS in several ways but comes nowhere close to the power of the former. The picture is almost
totally devoid of anything to break the despair of a mission unaccomplished. Good supporting work from a host of actors but there is a vague feeling that we've seen it before, and better.
This list is unimpeachableDiscover Now!
Say goodbye to your friendsDiscover Now!
Sign up and add shows to get the latest updates about your favorite shows - Start Now