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The Man from Colorado
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Man from Colorado More at IMDbPro »

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33 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Another Fine Performance By Glenn Ford

Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
19 May 2006

Glenn Ford was as good as anyone playing an intense psychotic, which he does here in this above-average western. Ford, playing "Col.Owen Devereaux," gets elected to the position of "judge" right after his distinguished career in the Civil War. Unfortunately, he has mental problems and this position carries too much weight for an unstable sort such as him to be carrying. His best buddy, "Capt. Del Stewart" (William Holden) sees his friend as he is and tries to reason with him and help him out but winds up being alienated, too, by the paranoid judge whose problems escalate as the story goes on.

There's not a tremendous amount of action in here, but it still moves pretty fast and looks really nice on DVD. This is one of the few color films of the 1940s.

Ellen Drew, Ray Collins and Ed Buchnan provide good supporting help in the story. If you like some of the Anthony Mann-James Stewart westerns of the late '40s/early '50s, you should like this one, too.

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27 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Gripping Adult Psychological Western!

Author: ( from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
22 June 2004

"The Man From Colorado" opens in the closing days of the American Civil War. Two life long friends, Col. Owen Deveraux (Glenn Ford) and Capt. Del Stewart (William Holden) along with their troop corner a group of tired, poorly armed Confederate soldiers. They raise a white flag of surrender but Deveraux refuses to acknowledge it (unknown to the others) and orders his troops to open fire. The Confederates are all killed except for one officer.

Stewart senses that his friend is becoming psychotic but attributes it to the pressures of war. Later they return to their home town and are given a heroes welcome. The surviving Confederate officer confronts Deveraux who shoots him down with a wild look in his eyes. Meanwhile, big time mine boss Ed Carter (Ray Collins) and the Governor's representative (Stanley Andrews) offer Deveraux the position of Federal Judge. He accepts and appoints Stewart as Federal Marshal.

Most of Deveraux's troops had gold mining claims prior to going off to war. During their three year absence Carter has through a legal loophole, taken over their claims. Judge Deveraux is forced to side with Carter. This causes some of the men led by Jericho Howard (James Millican) to take to the hills and rob Carter's mining company, stealing the gold they believe to be rightfully theirs.

Jericho's kid brother Johnny (Jerome Courtland) is found with a bag of gold following a robbery during which a man was killed. Deveraux under pressure to produce the guilty parties, orders him jailed. Stewart believes in the boy's innocence and sets out to find Jericho in order to prove it. During Stewart's absence Deveraux holds a speedy trial and hangs Johnny. When Del returns he is appalled and turns in his badge and joins Jericho and his gang. This leads to further robberies until the inevitable confrontation between the two men where.............

Glenn Ford playing against type, gives one of the best performances of his career as the psychotic Deveraux. His facial expressions of increasing madness are terrifying. Holden does his best in effectively what is a supporting role, as the good friend. Ellen Drew appears as the woman both men love but who marries Deveraux only to experience first hand, his increasing madness.

Also in the cast are Edgar Buchanan as Doc Merriam, Jim Bannon as Carter's henchman Nagel and western regulars Ian MacDonald, Myron Healey, Denver Pyle and Ray Teal in other roles.

Worth a look just to catch Ford's performance.

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21 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Running Roughshod Over Due Process

Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
1 July 2007

Back in the day William Holden and Glenn Ford both had a unique contractual arrangement with Columbia Pictures. When unknown Bill Holden was up for the lead in Golden Boy, Harry Cohn cast him in return for Paramount selling 50% of his services to Columbia. Holden served two studio masters at the time he was making The Man from Colorado and would for another decade.

Glenn Ford was Columbia's bread and butter leading man at the time and right after The Man From Colorado, Cohn sold half of Ford's contract to MGM and Ford also had two studio masters.

What it meant for these two was that all projects had to be cleared through both studios and that Holden and Ford if they did an outside loan out would also have to be cleared from both. Not that their respective studios didn't keep both these guys very busy.

Holden and Ford had done a well received western, Texas, for Columbia back in 1941. Texas was a rather lighthearted film about two cowboys turning to different sides of the law in post Civil War Texas, though it did feature the death of one of them.

The Man from Colorado is also a story about the activities of Union Army war veterans. But The Man from Colorado doesn't have any light moments whatsoever. It's pretty grim tale about one of them developing a real taste for sadism and killing as a result of the war.

Ford's the sadist here, it's one of the few villain parts he ever did and it works I think because he is so against type. He did very few parts like this, Lust for Gold is another, but his public wouldn't accept him in these roles.

Some of the town businessmen led by Ray Collins just look at the war record and decide Ford would make one fine federal judge. A real law and order type. They get a lot more than they bargain for.

In Texas Holden had the showier role of the young cowboy who take the outlaw route. Here however he's the best friend who stands by his former commanding officer even though he both sees the man has issues and Holden loses Ellen Drew to Ford. Holden takes the outlaw path after giving up his marshal's job when Ford starts running roughshod over due process.

The other really standout performance in this film is that of James Milliken who plays one of Ford's former soldiers who turns outlaw and in fact humiliates him in one of the few funny moments in The Man From Colorado. Ford conceives a burning hate for him that results in tragedy all around.

Ford and Holden were considering another joint project in 1981 when Holden died. I would like to have seen that one come to pass.

Try to see The Man From Colorado back to back with Texas.

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18 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Post war problems in Colorado

Author: theowinthrop from United States
23 October 2005

Colorado was a large, booming territory in 1865. It did not enter the union until eleven years later, and as the only new state to get admission in 1876 it has the right to remain our "Centennial" State (for the centennial of the Declaration of Independence). In the Civil War there were few engagements in Colorado, but one that did stick out was a massacre (there is no other way of putting it) of Indians by a Colonel Chivington at Sands Creek. Chivington's daughter had been raped by an Indian, and he took advantage of a relatively mild act of legal disobedience by the Indians to kill a good number of them.

"The Man From Colorado" is not dealing directly with the Sands Creek Massacre (no Indians are involved in the story). Instead, Chivington's character is transferred to Glenn Ford, who in the closing days of the Civil War perpetrates a similar atrocity, this time on surrendering Confederates. Ford and his friend William Holden have been through the whole war together, but Holden has managed to retain a sense of balance despite the horrors he has seen. Ford is on a slippery slope. Even after the atrocity he is still aware of his act of cruelty and writes in his diary about it. He can't control himself anymore.

Unfortunately his war record stands him well with the richest men in the territory, especially Ray Collins. Collins has managed to get control of the claims that should be used to pay the ex-Union troops. He wants a strong man to be the Federal judge of Colorado territory. Who better than the no-nonsense Ford? So Ford gets the judicial position. Holden has lost his old girlfriend (Ellen Drew) to Ford, but he remains a friend. However he and Drew are increasingly aware of Ford's mental instability. So is everyone (except Ray Collins), as Ford keeps giving the most draconian decisions from the bench. In particular to his former soldiers, now fighting to get back their claims. This, of course leads to their becoming bandits. A vicious cycle, of course. Holden and Drew may be able to break it - Drew has seen Ford's diary.

In the wake of World War II's returning men, and the many suffering psychological trauma, "The Man From Colorado" was a timely film. Ford never played a psychotic type as well as here. Holden (actually in a supporting role - before his burst into super stardom) is a great balance to Ford. Rains performs well as do most of the cast. And by the time the holocaust unleashed by Ford's appointment to the bench is finished, even Ray Collins wishes he never was dumb enough to put this man on the bench.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

War can do strange things to a man.

Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom
8 October 2009

The end of the Civil War is nigh and one last pocket of Confederate resistance is holed up at Jacob's Gorge. Knowing their time is up they hoist the white flag in surrender. Union Colonel Owen Devereaux sees the white flag but orders the attack anyway. Returning home with his friend and colleague, Capt. Del Stewart, Devereaux grows ever more erratic by the day, his friends, his loves and all who cross him, are sure to pay if they can't rein in his madness.

Starring Glenn Ford as Devereaux and William Holden as Stewart, directed by Henry Levin, The Man from Colorado, from a story by Borden Chase, is an intriguing psychological Western. The story follows the theme of a man ravaged by war and his inability to let go of the anger and mistrust gnawing away at him. Perfectly essayed by Ford as Devereaux {great to see him donning some bad guy boots}, the film is rather grim in context. Light on action {no bad thing here at all} it's with the dialogue driven characters that Levin's film really triumphs. Having both become lawmen, it would have been easy for all to just play out a standard oater as the two friends are driven apart by not only their different levels of sanity {Holden's Stewart is an excellent counter point to Ford's blood thirst}, but also the love of a good woman {Ellen Drew's petite Caroline Emmet}. But Chase's story has other elements to keep it from ever being formulaic. There's a deep political thread involving power and those entrusted with it, while the treatment of returning soldiers is firmly given prominence. Here the "boys" return after 3 years of being knee deep in blood and bone, to find that their claims are no longer valid. Snaffled by a greedy corporate type, thus as the "boys" look to the law for help?.....

As a story I personally found this to be excellent, all I needed to seal the deal was to have some technical aspects to harness it. Thankfully it's joy of joy there as well because the Simi Valley location work is fabulous. I'm not overly familiar with William E. Snyder's cinematography work, but if this is a marker then I'd like to sample more. It's fair to say that even a "c" grade Western can look nice if given a good transfer, but when the Technicolor print is good, you can tell the difference big time, and this piece is first rate. The dusty orange and browns of the scenery fabulously envelopes the blue uniforms, while the green lamps are vivid and shine bright as if extra characters in the piece. Even Ford's greying temples have a classy sheen to them, almost belying his characters anger. All Western fans simply must hone into High Definition TV because although we always knew how fabulous these pictures looked, now it's another dimension of rewards unbound.

As the finale comes in a blaze of fire {hello, hell!}, The Man from Colorado has achieved the two essential Western requirements if it wants to be taken seriously, one is that it looks gorgeous, the other is that it has strong thematics. And then some. 8/10

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Perfectly cast action packed Western

Author: drystyx from United States
5 March 2007

Ford and Holden worked together more than once, and they took turns playing "good cop bad cop" as the saying goes. In their case more "good Westerner bad Westerner". In this one, it's clear early that Ford is the bad guy. It was perfect casting. Ford and Holden are ex Civil War officers who become the law in a mining town. With usual poetic film license, the men from their unit live in that very town, and left mining claims while fighting in the war. While they were gone, a mine baron took advantage of a loophole to steal their claims. As the new judge, Ford complies with the letter of the law. We get a very complex and real look at the psychological influence of power, and interpretation of the law. Ford delivers his sadistic power hungry official with realism. He doesn't foam at the mouth when he performs his sadistic acts. Instead, he acts reluctant, as if he's chilled by violence. Then, after taking more and more power in his hands, he loses control of everything when he loses control of his wife, who remains faithful to him despite her respect and possible love for William Holden's character. Ford's character is very much like a Shakespearean king descending into madness and mayhem.

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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

A psychological western based on the mental anguishes of the post-Civil War era

Author: Mickey-2 from Front Royal, VA
27 December 2000

"The Man From Colorado", filmed in 1948, portrays two men and how the trauma of the Civil War affected them, and those about them. Glenn Ford delivers a truly mesmerizing performance as a Civil War commander who is slowly being gripped by madness due to the violence of the War, while William Holden plays the part of a veteran of the same war, is able to cope with the aftermath, and yet, is unable to prevent his friend from sinking into degenerate madness.

After the war has ended, both men return to the same hometown to resume their lives. Ford is appointed as a federal judge of the territory, and he, in turn, names Holden as federal marshal. Ultimately, Ford's character sinks deeper into violence and glaring errors in carrying out justice, and Holden has to try and stop his former friend.

Don't let the age of the film deceive you, this movie does pack a message that can be applied today. An 8/10 viewing mark

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Unconventional Western

Author: Noirdame79 from Canada
10 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Henry Levin's post-Civil War western, shot in Techincolor, features real-life best friends Glenn Ford and William Holden (both RIP) as former Union officers who find themselves on opposite sides after Owen Devereaux (Ford) becomes town judge, and who begins to abuse his power to punish anyone who opposes him. Del Stewart (Holden) is made town marshal but he sees that his friend is slipping more and more into insanity (which today would be referred to as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), brought on by his experiences during the war. Enemy lines are drawn more strongly as Devereaux marries Carolyn (Ellen Drew), with whom Stewart is also in love. As Owen's mind deteriorates and his madness intensifies, the town is thrown into a uproar and his sadistic, murderous tendencies only grow. Of course, there has to be a showdown that only one man can win.

Ford's son has referred to this film as "an oddball production", perhaps because it was a rarity of the time, a psychological western. As offbeat of a role this was for Ford (similar to his Don Jose in "The Loves Of Carmen" of the same year, he sports the same longer hairstyle, but the gray on his temples here doesn't quite give the distinguished effect that was intended), he portrays a tortured, jealous man quite well, never more evident in the scenes paranoia sets in, thinking that his wife loves Del and not him. Ellen Drew is effective in her role, although I find her much easier to believe as Holden's love interest, but after seeing Ford with Rita Hayworth, the chemistry would be hard to compare. Different but compellingly watchable, and interesting to see these lifelong friends on screen together for the second and last time (they previously costarred in "Texas", in 1941), in another worthy addition to the Columbia Classics collection. With the recent passing of Glenn Ford, this is another film that adds richness and variety to his legacy.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

The Judge is out to lunch!... and he's never comin' back

Author: MartynGryphon from Coventry, England
11 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Throughout my 30+ years on earth, I have always appreciated the few certainties in life and held the firm belief that some things always remained constant. The sun will rise in the east and set in the west, night will always follow the day, I've always enjoyed the twice daily ebb and flow of coastal tides and I knew that Glenn Ford will always play the 'good guy' in a movie.

I have just watched 'The Man From Colorado' and my view of life has been left completely skewed and severely dented, because in this movie, Ford plays nothing short of a complete nutjob.

Victorious from the civil war, union Colonel Owen Devereaux, (Ford), and his lifelong best friend, Capt. Del Stewart, (William Holden), return to their home town to pick up their lives where they left off three years previously.

Devereaux, however, has come back a different person. His war experiences have left him with an insatiable appetite for killing things and a sadistic streak as wide as Colorado itself.

Unaware of his newly acquired 'personality issues', the Governor of the state appoints Devereaux as Federal Judge of the town, leaving him with the power of life and death over every man in it. (I think you know what's coming).

His buddy Del Stewart is offered the job as Marshall of the town, but before he can accept, Stewart and Devereaux, are ambushed by a crazed confederate officer, who had witnessed Devereaux's new found rage first hand during the war, when he butchered over 100 rebel soldiers that were flying a white flag of surrender. Devereaux easily, (maybe too easily), overpowers the assailant, and foaming with rage, pumps a million bullets into him, instead of adopting the more orthodox 'arrest followed by trial' format favoured by most sober judges.

From this moment on, Stewart's eyes have been firmly opened to the Jekyll & Hyde personality that has developed within his friend, and he reluctantly accepts the Marshalls job hoping that his influence as Marshall can bring Devereaux back from the 'dark side of the force'.

Due to the pre-war Gold Rush, the town had experienced a population explosion, and many of the claimers had volunteered for army service with Devereaux & Stewart when the war began, safe in the belief that their claims would be protected should they return.

In their absence, however, all the land had been taken over by a greedy Gold mining company, who uses a loophole in the law which stipulates that all claims that have remained dormant for three years or more, are null and void and fair game for any new claimants.

Devereaux, openly expresses his personal support for the veteran claimers, but in his capacity as Judge, rules in favour of the Mining Corporation who rightly or wrongly has the law on their side.

Because of this decision, the relationship between Stewart and Devereaux quickly begins to sour. It doesn't help matters either when Devereaux announces his engagement to Caroline (Ellen Drew), who until then had been the the object of Stewart's affections.

The hard done to claimers, decide that if they can't reclaim what was their's through the courts, then they will take it back by less legal means and after some are captured, it's not long before Devereaux's blood lust comes to the fore. He shows no mercy to any of his former comrades in arms, and orders enough hangings to create a rope shortage. In consequence, Stewart's friendship with Devereaux, deteriorates by the day and so does Devereaux's grasp on reality.

When Devereaux needlessly hangs one young man on weak circumstantial evidence, A furious Stewart finally decides it's one death too far, and angrily confronts Devereaux, declaring him self Devereaux's enemy until the power of life and death that he is constantly abusing is taken from him 'one way or the other'.

After turning outlaw, it doesn't take long before Stewart's name is at the top of Devereaux's 'to hang' list. and his capture becomes Devereaux's psychotic obsession.

No longer able to 'keep a lid on it' the townspeople have now become fully aware that their Judge is a complete 'wacko', and when he torches the entire town in order to get the town-folk to reveal Stewart's whereabouts, it becomes painfully evident that the last dregs of Devereaux's sanity has finally dwindled away.

The film turns out to be a great mesh between a standard western and a 'Hitchcockesque' psychological thriller, with both Holden and Ford turning in great performances, but once again, it's Glenn Ford who steals this movie with his portrayal of the evil Devereaux, a role COMPLETELY in contrast to his 'good guy cowboy' image we're more used to seeing, which proves what a powerful and versatile an actor he actually was.

During Glenn Ford's lifetime, I was one of the many ardent campaigners who would have loved to see Ford live to receive some long overdue honour or award. Sadly, this wasn't to be and after seeing the 'Man from Colorado' I am convinced now more than ever, that Hollywood has committed a monumental injustice, by failing to recognise Glenn Ford as one of the greatest actors of all time.

This movie, has sadly debunked one of the great beliefs of my life, so I go now to reconstruct my injured viewpoint. I wonder if the Earth is STILL round?, are the Stylistics STILL crap?. God I hope so! Enjoy!!

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Good, Solid Western...

Author: jmsfan from United States
26 October 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a fine Western from 1948 with Glenn Ford giving a great performance as a former Civil War Col. obviously unhinged by his experience in that conflict. He returns to small town life with his best friend and former Captain, played by William Holden. It's not long before Ford is made a federal judge and in turn makes Holden a federal marshal. Soon tension begins to arise, aggravated by the love of both men for one woman and Ford's continued descent into madness. He begins to abuse his power as judge and leads hanging parties, much to Holden's dismay. Before long, the men are on opposite sides of a growing conflict between former soldiers and a mining company fighting over the rights to a gold-rich mountain.

Ford is really the whole show, twitching and bulging his eyes every time anyone even suggests he's acting crazy. Catch this film for the formula Western action but groove to Ford's performance, really one of his finest.

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