Four outlaws come to New Jerusalem, a town full of courteous and religious people, to rob the bank. After shooting the president of the bank, only three make it out of town followed by the ... See full summary »
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Four outlaws come to New Jerusalem, a town full of courteous and religious people, to rob the bank. After shooting the president of the bank, only three make it out of town followed by the posse. By the time they get to the second desert water hole, they find it dry and also find a wagon with a dying mother and baby. When the horses are dead the next morning, the three outlaws have no choice but to try to walk back to New Jerusalem and only two want to take the baby. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
This was a complete surprise after seeing the John Wayne version first. First of all it is one of the toughest westerns I've seen from the 1930's. Chester Morris is remarkable in his role. The subtlety and naturalism in his acting is really unusual for a film from this era. He says things that would be delivered with a theatrical snarl in lesser westerns but here it comes off believable. Lewis Stone gives depth and Walter Brennan goes from annoying to sympathetic by the end of the film. The baby does a good job as well.
Most westerns from the thirties (especially the serials) are about as unbelievable as you can get and acted unnaturally as well. This film has a gritty realism that wouldn't be seen until the late 50's and the 60's. The script is intellectually well above many other films of the time as well. How many films have ever talked (even briefly) about Schopenhauer? The photography is very good and mostly out of the studio. The only problem the film has is that the actors never really look like they are in desperate health, especially the baby. Other than that I recommend this highly.
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