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To maintain his vast ranch holdings, Henry Steele holds Jane, the daughter of his deceased business partner, against her will. Stalwart ranger Bob Sanborn rescues Jane in a riding incident and is invited to stay over at the ranch by the malevolent Steele, who catches on immediately to the fact that Sanborn has been asked by Jane to help her escape. Steele escorts Bob off the ranch just after giving the order to his vicious ranch hands, Mudo and Tonto, not to let him leave alive. Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The story and writing and much of the acting is not so great, but the Gothic atmosphere and visuals are worth a look. (I'd like to see a better version than the Sinister Cinema DVD-R, but at least it's from a 35 mm print, if I recall correctly.) Charles Middleton is great as the grand piano-playing bad guy (and only says "heh" once), but George O'Brien as the hero is kind of a stiff. I also liked Noble Johnson as the murderous, mute Apache. Between his appearance and the piano-playing villain, this movie starts to make me think of another 1932 adventure film, THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME. But the shadowy cinematography of Joseph August is the real attraction here, and there are some terrific tracking shots as well. Some of the action sequences are also pretty exciting, but in the end the stakes of the plot just aren't strong enough to generate any tension. I agree with the other comment, however, that the ending is great stuff.
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