|Index||4 reviews in total|
This 1951 Color Western features a splendid cast, familiar story and a
memorable conclusion. The great Edmond O'Brien leads the great cast in
a story of greed, graft and silver mine shenanigans. Arlen and O'Brien
are former partners who do battle over the treasures ( A lady and a
Along for the bumpy ride in this fun oater are Edgar Buchanan, Richard Arlen and Yvonne DeCarlo. I also enjoyed seeing the great Barry Fitzgerald as a villainous mine older. Fans of post WWII westerns will enjoy this well-paced film. I believe that Edmond Obrien rarely gave a bad performance........ this one was one of his best !
They don't make 'em like this anymore.........but they should !
Silver City is a slightly more complex tale of the west than is usual
with the sins of greed and jealousy working overtime here.
Hard to believe but little elfin Barry Fitzgerald is one of the villains in this film. Barry plays a miserly silver mine owner who has leased one of his played out mines to Edgar Buchanan and his daughter Yvonne DeCarlo. That is Barry thought it was played out, but Edmond O'Brien has found a rich new vein and Fitzgerald is frozen out. Not if he can help it though.
Jealousy is what Kasey Rogers arouses in men. She's got her husband Richard Arlen who represents a big eastern mining concern all hot and bothered over here flirtations. One of those flirtations has been with O'Brien who used to work for Arlen. He's blackballed O'Brien from getting work with most outfits and O'Brien is picking up chump change from wherever he can.
Now how these two plot elements combine is for you to watch Silver City and learn. But I assure you the recipe delivers a good performance cake. I was most impressed with Fitzgerald in this one. The only other time I recall he essayed villainy on the screen was in And Then There Were None and we don't know he's the bad guy until the very very end. Also note Michael Moore in this cast, not the documentary maker, but an actor who sports a mean and sadistic disposition as another of Fitzgerald's cronies.
That most noted of color cinematographers Ray Rennahan does some nice work here, but Silver City could use a restoration. Check it out and see what I mean.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This attractive looking western concerning both the logging industry
and silver mining in the old west suffers from too much verbal
exposition and too many bar fights or sequences of one person
destroying an office in an act of sabotage. When the visual description
of the industries come in, it is towards the end of the film, and by
that time, it is too late. The story surrounds the silver claim made by
gruff Edgar Buchannan and his rough and ready daughter, Yvonne DeCarlo,
and the various characters who may or may not be out to get a claim in
it. Among the good guys are Edmund O'Brien, and the leading bad guy is
none other than that "Going My Way" Oscar Winning Priest Barry
Fitzgerald, here anxious to get his Irish paws into the claim with the
help of various henchmen who have their own interests.
DeCarlo is basically the whole show here, tearing everything else apart with the heat she uses to sizzle up the screen. The amateurish acting of Laura Elliott as the typical society dame who has the manners of a cat on the prowl for mice becomes painfully obvious when in the company of DeCarlo. Like Barbara Stanwyck and Maureen O'Hara, she proves that a woman could be just as handy in the west as a man and stand up to any foe. Poor Gladys George, one of the great character actresses of the golden age of Hollywood, is totally wasted here, as are veterans Buchannan, Fitzgerald and Richard Arlen.
After 80 minutes of mostly mediocrity, the film finally begins to take off with a scene in the logging factory as huge trees are sliced into planks like steaks from a cow. This leads into the type of action the entire film had been screaming for when DeCarlo was off the screen. At least they filmed it in gorgeous Technicolor. Without that and the future Lily Munster, this would have been another "B" grade western that would have sunk as part of a double bill.
The writer reportedly found the story so complicated he had trouble
making the screenplay coherent.It shows,particularly in the first scene
,which does not look at all like a first scene-there's the same problem
in Haskin's and O'Brien 's "war path" ,the -in my opinion- better
follow-up the same year.These movies were supposed to make this actor a
western star but left him a tough guy in thrillers in which he excelled
Anyway the star of this western is the incredibly attractive Yvonne De Carlo ;every time she appears,you only have eyes for her.And there is a scene where her face is filmed in close shot! A labored western ,with two good chases at the beginning and at the end .If it were not for De Carlo,I would rather recommend "war path".
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