A cattle-vs.-sheepman feud loses Connie Dickason her fiance, but gains her his ranch, which she determines to run alone in opposition to Frank Ivey, "boss" of the valley, whom her father ... See full summary »
Genghis Khan and his Mongol army invade Poland and lay siege to the city of Cracow. The Polish king tries to make peace in order to save his city, and Genghis Khan seems amenable to that. ... See full summary »
Late in the Civil War, three Confederate soldiers escape from a Union prison camp in Missouri. They soon fall into the hands of pro-Confederate raiders, who force them to act as "outriders"... See full summary »
Pop, a security guard at Paramount has told his son that he's the head of the studio. When his son arrives in Hollywood on shore leave with his buddies, Pop enlists the aid of the studio's ... See full summary »
Cowboy Ross McEwen arrives in town. He asks the banker for a loan of $2000. When the banker asks about securing a loan that large, McEwen shows him his six-gun collateral. The banker hands ... See full summary »
In 1903 Kenya, tough colonist John Gale is leading a safari to bring in escaped murderer Abel McCracken, who is stirring up the Nukumbi tribe and endangering Gale's holdings. En route, he ... See full summary »
After World War II Larry learns that his flying buddy Mike will only live a short time despite the efforts of the doctors. He takes on a profitable flying job for profiteers Maris to ... See full summary »
In rural 18th-century Indiana, the three daughters of a Civil War veteran are courted by three young men--one a sophisticated city slicker who sells phony oil stock, the second a local eccentric and the third a stolid country boy.
A cattle-vs.-sheepman feud loses Connie Dickason her fiance, but gains her his ranch, which she determines to run alone in opposition to Frank Ivey, "boss" of the valley, whom her father Ben wanted her to marry. She hires recovering alcoholic Dave Nash as foreman and a crew of Ivey's enemies. Ivey fights back with violence and destruction, but Dave is determined to counter him legally... a feeling not shared by his associates. Connie's boast that, as a woman, she doesn't need guns proves justified, but plenty of gunplay results. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
She may have been tiny, but she could hard-eye stare as well as any man, and make you believe it. It's that quality that this complex Western turns on, and fortunately Veronica Lake delivers in spades. It's not like she's the only good actor in the cast. There's the reliable Joel McCrea as the good guy, the commanding Donald Crisp as the sheriff, and Don De Fore in a sly role as McCrea's buddy, showing both an easy grin and a tricky set of values.
Usually it's two patriarchal land barons who feud over territory. Here it's not. It's the tiny Lake and bad guy Preston Foster who are duking it out, both fair and foul. What makes this Western more interesting than most is that Lake and DeFore fit somewhere between the poles of good-guy bad-guy. You never quite know what they'll do next because their moral compass sometimes wobbles. Being a woman with a lot of ambition, Lake has to finagle men into doing her shooting for her, and guess how she does that. And being a man who likes women, DeFore has figure out how to balance his loyalties. That makes for some interesting situations.
Director Andre DeToth (check out his unpronounceable real name) is the perfect overseer for a plot that features quiet treachery, hidden motives and raw violence. Maybe that's because his middle-European background was steeped in just trying to survive. Nonetheless, his sardonic view of human nature reminds me of an early version Sam Peckinpah. In fact, the latter hired de Toth to direct several episodes of Peckinpah's brilliant TV series The Westerner (1960). In that same vein, note de Toth's unflinching camera when filming the night battle near movie's end and when filming the treacherous backshot on Foster's front porch. It's clear he's bumping against Production Code strictures on what can be shown and what can't.
Ramrod is an underrated Western with an adult story-line. You may, however, need a score card to keep up with the various twists and turns. Still and all, the scenery's great, the acting top-notch, and the action where it ought to be. In my little book, that's definitely a can't-miss package.
22 of 23 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?