John Ford weaves three "Judge Priest" stories together to form a good- natured exploration of honour and small-town politics in the South around the turn of the century. Judge William ... See full summary »
As Mormon settlers head to the promised land at the San Juan river in Utah, they hire horse traders Travis Blue and Sandy as wagon masters. They have to forge a trail across unknown territory and face many hardships along the way. They quickly come across some stranded travelers, a medicine show run by Dr. A. Locksley Hall which includes the attractive Denver. Along the way however, they are also joined by Shiloh Clegg and his murderous clan of robbers and thieves. An encounter with the Navajo leads to an invitation to their camp but after one of the Clegg boys gets a whipping for attacking one of the Navajo women, Uncle Shiloh plans his revenge. It's left to Sandy and Travis to protect the travelers and get them to their destination. Written by
In the scene where Sandy (Harry Carey, Jr.) and Jackson (Chuck Hayward) fight, the fight is broken up by Elder Wiggs (Ward Bond). Bond has ripped pants as he separates the fighters, and you can hear a dog barking in the background. This happened because Director John Ford wanted to use two dogs, that had been ruining every scene in the film by fighting, in the background as the men fought, hoping the dogs would start fighting as a contrast to the men fighting. Instead of fighting, however, one of the dogs ran away, and the other attacked Bond and ripped his pants. Ford could barely contain his laughter, but kept filming. Afterward, he became quite concerned and said they needed to find the dog, in case it had bitten Bond, not just ripped his pants. Ford was worried the dog might have needed a tetanus shot. See more »
When the marshal mounts the horse and Sandy whistles, he is sitting on the fence, on the right side of Travis. Soon after, when the Mormons arrive, Sandy is sitting on the left side of Travis See more »
Hey, you wouldn't, uh, happen to know that San Juan River country, would you?
Yeah, we know it. What about it, Grandpa?
Now look here, don't you be grandpa-ing me, you young whippersnapper! I'll bull you off that fence and fan your britches for you! Goddarn...
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There might be a certain visual poetic quality to Ford's frontier fairy-tale about the team spirit of the American people, but narrative-wise this one's even slighter than the director's usual Western efforts without gaining some of their intensity.
That said, the characters - played enthusiastically by a cast of supporting actors - are quite likable and there's a relaxed air to the proceedings. Still, the pic's as easily forgotten as it is watched; except for a memorable episode featuring Navajos.
And the schmaltzy songs grow tiresome, indeed.
5 out of 10 run-of-the-mill villains
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