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Blood on the Moon (1948)

Passed | | Western | 9 November 1948 (USA)
Unemployed cowhand Jim Garry is hired by his dishonest friend Tate Riling as muscle in a dispute between homesteaders and cattleman John Lufton.

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(screenplay), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
John Lufton
...
Milo Sweet
Clifton Young ...
Joe Shotten
...
Frank Reardon
George Cooper ...
...
Ted Elser (as Richard Powers)
...
Cap Willis
...
Nels Titterton
...
Bart Daniels
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Storyline

When a shady-looking stranger rides into town to join his old friend it is assumed he is a hired gun. But as the new man comes to realise the unlawful nature of his buddy's business and the way the homesteaders are being used, the two men draw apart to become sworn enemies. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Straight from the rip-roaring pages of the famous Saturday Evening Post serial story of blood and thunder in the old West! (1948 Life Magazine ad & 6-column newspaper ad) See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 November 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nacht in der Prärie  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Beause director Robert Wise thought that it was unnatural that the winner of a Western brawl usually finished the fight vigorously, he made it a point that both fighters would be exhausted and worn out at the end of this one. See more »

Quotes

Jim Garry: [after Barden kills Reardon] Why did you do it?
Kris Barden: I always wanted to shoot one of you. He was the handiest.
See more »

Connections

Featured in John Wayne Made Me Cry: Our Western Heros (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Film Noire Goes West
4 May 2003 | by (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"Blood On the Moon" is one of those psychological westerns that emerged in the late 40s. Director Robert Wise and cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca were both graduates of the Val Lewton film noire school of film making. Photographed in the shadowy dark black and white common to film noire, this picture turned out to be a better than average western.

The story has drifter Jim Gary (Robert Mitchum) riding into the middle of a dispute between cattleman Lufton (Tom Tully) and a group of homesteaders led by Tate Riling (Robert Preston). Riling has hatched a scheme unbeknownst together with Indian agent Pindalist (Frank Faylyn) to cheat Lufton out of his cattle and sell them to the army at a huge profit.

Gary is initially hired by Riling but soon sees how Riling is fooling the homesteaders and changes sides. Helping him make this decision is Lufton's daughter Amy (Barbara Bel Geddes) with whom he falls in love. Lufton's other daughter Carol (Phyllis Thaxter) meanwhile, is in love with Riling and betrays her father in the process. This all leads to the inevitable showdown at the end.

The photography is at times spectacular. The outdoor panoramas are breathtaking. However, it is somewhat marred by the cheap looking back projection shots (especially during the stampede sequence) and several "studio exteriors". There also is an excellent graphic fight scene involving Mitchum and Preston.

Mitchum is excellent as the brooding drifter with a conscience. Preston makes a despicable villain using all around him to attain his goals. Bel Geddes is good as the heroine but Thaxter takes the female honors as the gullible sister.

The rest of the cast is comprised of many familiar faces to western fans. Walter Brennan, Charles McGraw and Zon Murray play various homesteaders, Bud Osborne is Tully's trail foreman, Clifton Young and Tom Tyler play Preston's gunslingers and Richard Powers (aka Tom Keene) plays Tully's ranch foreman. If you watch closely you'll also see Harry Carey Jr., Iron Eyes Cody, Chris Pin-Martin and Hal Talliaferro (aka Wally Wales) in various smaller roles.

An good western; a good example of film noire.


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