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This is one of the few films where you see that Randolph Scott can act. The reason being is that he is an antagonist against John Wayne who wins the affections of Marlene Dietrich. Scott is better as an antagonist when he is playing against a good protagonist. Wayne works well with Dietrich because both of them are just class. They worked well together in 'Seven Sinners' previously, but Wayne didn't have a strong enough antagonist to play against. Here Scott steps up to the mark. To demonstrate that Scott makes a better antagonist than protagonist watch 'Pittsburgh' where the roles are reversed. Wayne is the antagonist in that film, and despite how despicable his character is, he still brings class to that role. Whereas Scott is the protagonist is bland.
The performances in this film is far superior to the plot. There are times when the film plods along and drags its feet, but the tension between Wayne and Scott maintains your attention. Scott has a chiselled face with lines engraved in stone which means he looks better as an antagonist than a protagonist.
There is a scene where Wayne looks at Scott and says to him: 'any objections?' The way he delivers that makes it quite clear that he is issuing a challenge to Scott. However, when Jeff Chandler said it to Rory Colhoun in the 1955 remake it was just a dead line. It shows that it's not the writing that makes this film but the performances, and both Wayne and Scott stand out in this film as delivering good performances.
The fight scene at the end is the best fight scene ever delivered in a Wayne film.
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