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Twenty-five years ago the Lavery baby was kidnapped. Bad guy Leffingwell gets Choya to impersonate the son to gain the Lavery estate. When he finally fesses up to his "sister" Ruth she is furious. To redeem himself he sets out to find the real son. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
A gunslinger called Choya/Alan Ladd impersonates the son of wealthy rancher/Charles Bickford with unexpected results
This horse-opera is an excellent , meaty Western ; it contains interesting plot , intrigue , thrills , shootouts and results to be quite entertaining . A gunfighter (Alan Ladd) named Choya (as someone obligingly explains Choya is Spanish for cactus) along with a swindler (Robert Keith) take part in a scheme to bilk a rich cattle family (formed by father , Charles Bickford , mother, and daughter , the feisty Mona Freeman) out of half a million dollars by pretending to be their son, who was kidnapped as child . As tough Choya (in fact, when asked if he has some friends he answers : ¨My guns¨) impersonates the long-gone son of wealthy rancher .
The picture gets action Western , shootouts , a familiar drama and is entertaining and well realized . A fairly gripping film ,being probably one of the best Western in the fifties , including frenetic action up and down . Nicely balanced thrills , intrigue , drama and a love story . The highlights of the film in the course of action are the climatic shoot'em ups , thrilling pursuits and violent fights . The traditional story as well as complex screenplay was rightly written by Sydney Boehm based on a novel by Max Brand . The enjoyable tale is enhanced for interesting moments developed among main characters and especially on the relationship between Alan Ladd, pre-Shane, and Mona Freeman , the prettiest of heroines who even played a 60 minute broadcasting radio adaptation of the movie reprising her film role . Magnificently performed by Alan Ladd who proves to be as two-fisted as his name ,Choya, and an old veteran Charles Bickford , they are awesome experts in the art of conjuring sensational acting , here are reunited in this atypical but thought-provoking western with a lot of reflection , distinguished moments and dramatical attitudes , in addition a multitude of entertaining situations . Most of the fun in this one is picking out the locations and identifying stock performers , as there appears several secondaries such as Robert Keith , Peter Hansen , Milburn Stone and veteran actors as Joseph Calleia and Tom Tully giving the stars solid supports . Glamorous as well picturesque cinematography in shinning colour by means of Technicolor ; it is superbly caught by cameraman Charles Lang , though being necessary a correct remastering . Shot on location in Portal, Globe, Salt River Canyon,San Simon,Douglas, Arizona, USA Kanab Canyon, Kanab, Utah, and valley of Rio Grande . Thrilling as well as lively musical score by Roy Webb.
This is another superbly powerful Paramount Western being compellingly directed by Rudolph Mate . He was an expert cameraman and director of the classic D.O.A and filmmaking occasionally for cinema all kind of genres . Polish-born Mate was an assistant cameraman for Alexander Korda and later worked throughout Europe with noted cameraman Karl Freund , director Carl Theodor Dreyer and Erich Pommer . Dreyer was so impressed with his work that they hired him as cinematographer on The Passion of Joan of Arc . Mate was soon working on some of Europe's most prestigious films, cementing his reputation as one of the continent's premier cinematographers. Hollywood came calling in 1935, and Mate shot films there for the next 12 years before turning to directing in 1947. Unfortunately, while many of his directorial efforts were visually impressive ,especially his sci-fi When the worlds collide (1951) , his labour as cameraman was excellent . He realized a variety films of all kind of genres as Adventures : The Black Shield of Falworth , Seven Seas to Calais , Western : Three Violent People , The far horizons , Noir films : Union Station , Second chance .He also directed Epic films as The Barbarians and The 300 Espartans . The films themselves were for the most part undistinguished, with his best work probably being the film-noir classic DOA (1950). ¨Branded¨ rating : Better than average , 7. This is a fair stuff for Alan Ladd fans and Western buffs . Well worth watching .
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