Vinnie Holt, a single woman traveling with her toddler niece, becomes stranded at Rawhide, a desert stagecoach stop managed by stationmaster Sam Todd and his assistant Tom Owens. Owens is quickly impressed by Vinnie's independent self-confidence. Jim Zimmerman, a fugitive murderer from Huntsville Prison disguised as a deputy, and three other ruthless escapees take over the station, intent on robbing the next day's gold shipment. After murdering Sam, Zimmerman knows they must keep Tom alive in order to complete their plans. Owens does not correct Zimmmerman's assumption that Vin is his wife, correctly sensing that the misconception might be the key to her survival also. Written by
Tyrone Power and Susan Hayward star in "Rawhide," a 1951 western about convicts who take over a stagecoach station and plan to rob a morning stage carrying gold. The film sports an excellent cast, including Edgar Buchanan, Hugh Marlowe, Dean Jagger, and Jack Elam.
Hayword and her niece are held over at the station because of possible danger ahead. When she and the child go into the canyon to bathe, she takes Power's gun. When the robbers come on the scene, she hides behind the cattle troth, but the baby cries and reveals her position. She drops the gun there. Back at the station, the criminals assume that Power is her husband. The two now have to figure out how to get out of their situation with no gun.
This is a very suspenseful, sometimes violent, sometimes scary movie with Marlowe in the unusual role of being an educated, cold-blooded killer trying to manage his motley crew. Elam is menacing as a foolish, oversexed villain, with Dean Jagger and George Travis being appropriately moronic. Edgar Buchanan has a small role, appearing only in the beginning of the film.
Susan Hayward is beautiful and a real firecracker in her role. She and Power worked well together, appearing also in "Untamed" later on. Power is 10 years too old for his part - he's supposed to be a young man learning the business. "When the green wears off and you get a little older..." Hugh Marlowe says to him - Power was 37 and, by old west standards, not young. The script was not changed to accommodate him. At this point in his career, he was anxious to fulfill his obligations to Fox and probably didn't make a fuss about it. He does an excellent job in the role of a man in a difficult situation nevertheless and looks very handsome. The character is a bit of bumbler at first, and Power carries this off in an amusing manner.
Surprisingly good, and I think non-western fans like myself will enjoy it, and the final scene will keep you on the edge of your seat.
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