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The spoilt young son of a wealthy railroad owner manages to get himself lost in the middle of nowhere. He is found by a cowboy on a cattle drive and the lad must start learning the hard lessons of working in a team if he wants to make it to San Diego. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
This pleasant ,juvenile Western is a retread of the theme of the classic movie -and Kipling novel upon which it is based-Captains Courageous in that it deals with the education in life of a spoiled rich kid who is taken out of his comfort zone and forced to adjust to new situations and people Chester Graham Junior (a winning performance from Dean Stockwell)is the boy in question .He is left alone in the desert by mischance and can only get back to civilisation by joining a cattle drive bossed by the tough but fair Dan Matthews (the always excellent Joel Macrea).Chester is a fish out of water and struggles to adjust, making his dislike of the situation and his new colleagues all too plain until he sees the error of his ways learning lessons of the trail and life itself from his new boss and grizzled veterans played by genre luminaries Chill Wills and Bob Steele.There is one delightful touch when Macrea pulls out a picture of the woman waiting for him at end of trail -it shows his wife in real life ,Francis Dee, with whom he made a number of Westerns
Kurt Neumann,not a name usually linked with the genre, directs admirably and the colour photography by Maury Gertsman ,of Death Valley where the movie was shot is superb .Indeed the choice of ;ocation adds immeasurably to the impact of the movie as it is relatively little used in Westerns
This is not the only trail drive Western to draw its inspiration from a movie in another style -Red River being essentially a variation on Mutiny on the Bounty .This is not in the class of that magnificent movie but it is enjoyable and worth watching
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