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Ring Hassard and father Jeff, wild horse breakers, live in a hidden mountain eyrie because Jeff is wanted for a murder he didn't commit. But things change when they take in a lost young lady, Riley Martin, who finds that Ring has "never seen a woman close up." Jeff is injured, Ring runs afoul of horse thieves and the law, and Riley (who turns out to be a lawyer) labors to clear the Hassards; but others would prefer them dead. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Until they take in a fugitive girl, a father and son hide out in the mountains to elude a bogus murder charge.
Pretty good Murphy western, one of his earliest. When you think about it, his transition from Texas sharecropper to WW II hero to Hollywood actor is remarkable. True, it was hard for him to loosen up on screen, still he delivered his lines well enough, while nobody could do a hard-eyed stare better.
Here Murphy does well enough, carrying most of the movie. The role of a hard eyed loner (Ring Hassard) appears tailor made for him. At the same time, diminutive, girlish Hendrix (Riley) manages her courtroom lawyer sequence in pretty convincing fashion. Ironic to think the two were married at the time, but in the process of getting divorced. So there's something poignant about their riding into the sunset at movie's end.
Universal popped for a pretty big budget, unlike many of Murphy's later westerns. The red rock Kanab (Utah) locations are really eye-catching. Then too, those wild horse herds are anything but skimpy. And nobody could strum a guitar more soothingly than the rotund Burl Ives. Together they add a lot of color and mood to the dramatics. At the same time, there's not much gunplay, yet quite a bit of suspense to the rather complex story.
All in all, it's a picturesque, entertaining Murphy western.
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