Jim Lassiter roams from town to town in search for the man who drove his sister to suicide. While riding toward a mountain pass, he sees an heiress, Jane Withersteen, being harassed by ... See full summary »
Lassiter's sister was killed and her young daughter taken and raised by outlaws. Years later Lassiter arrives at the Withersteen ranch looking for the now grown daughter. He immediately ... See full summary »
Zane Grey's best novel is converted into a standard B western of the era, the crooked judge stealing the pretty young woman's fortune legally, with only the lone gunfighter to defend her. There are the usual shots and incidents; only the final incident, in which the heroes flee from a corrupt civilization and seal themselves away forever, is left, and that is deprived of its sense of universality.
The plot was used innumerable times. It's too good a story not to. Change the title, change some of the details and it all comes out right in the end -- but after seeing it fifty or sixty times, even the most enthusiastic B Western fan gets the feeling he's seen it all before and there might be something better to do.
It doesn't happen this time, despite the lack of any depth because of the competence of director Tingling, cinematographer Lucien Andriot and lead George Montgomery. Tingling keeps things moving along at a good clip, Andriot gives us some lovely pictures and Montgomery puts a lot of intelligence and energy into the role. His Jim Lassiter is a chatterbox, hungry for company: not at all the usual laconic western cowpoke. These all render the movie a very good B movie.
I think if you want to see a great version of the story, you should take a look at the 1925 Tom Mix version. The 1996 TV movie starring Ed Harris and Amy Madigan is top notch. This version doesn't begin to measure up to those, but it's very watchable and only takes an hour.
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